Railroads and Trains - Yesterday and Now

 

There was a train that would come by our house every night,

and I'd hear the whistle blow.

That is the sweetest memory I have.

                                                                                                                  -Cassandra Wilson
 

The Walsenburg Train depot was the hub for North, East, South and West passengers. During its heyday, over 11 passenger trains came through Walsenburg every day. Burlington Railroads and Colorado & Southern ran 712 miles from Wendover, WY to Dalhart, TX via Denver, Pueblo and Walsenburg. The Denver-Rio Grande [D&RG] and Colorado & Southern [C&S] each ran on their own poorly constructed lines from Pueblo to Walsenburg - D&RG having built its line in 1876.  In 1911, both railways jointly built a new standard gauge line on a completely new, low-grade, broad-curve alignment from the Southern junction to Walsenburg. In 1951 the D & RG ceased night passenger train service over La Veta pass after 50 years and began daylight service only. By May of 1953 passenger trains ceased traversing La Veta Pass altogether, ending the era of passengers trains in Walsenburg.