Colorado & Southern location?

dak94dav Sep 27, 2018

  1. dak94dav

    dak94dav TrainBoard Member

    I posted this on another site, thought I’d try here too:

    Does anyone know the name of the pass/location where the Colorado & Southern-BN-BNSF enters Colorado from Northeast New Mexico? I’ve found virtually no information on it. I know it’s not that far from Raton were the C&S grades? Are there any places I can find photos of the area, especially during the Burlington Northern era? What was the primary traffic during this era? Any books out there that covers it? Looking for any info I can get.

  2. drbnc

    drbnc TrainBoard Member

  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Trinidad, CO? The former C&S and AT&SF cross there.

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Well, Google earth was no help, it just list that spot right at the border as Raton Pass. The actual border crossing is just north of the tunnel. As for towns, it's Trinidad Colorado to the north and Raton New Mexico to the south.
  5. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    there was an issue in Classic Trains about 20 years ago about the last 2 years of C&S mainline steam, they had quite a few 2-10-2's and 2-8-2's plus a pair of 2-8-0's running in the early 60's
  6. dak94dav

    dak94dav TrainBoard Member

    Thanks guys, I finally came across some info that reveals it as “Trinchera Pass.” It seems it was a much easier crossing than Santa Fe’s Raton Pass at barely over 1% grades, Santa Fe chose its routing due to more potential traffic of the surrounding area and from a lack of water and lumber on the C&S’s chosen path.
    ddm502001 and Kurt Moose like this.
  7. ddm502001

    ddm502001 TrainBoard Member

    The 'Y' and sections of road ROW are still visible to the east of Raton down to the SE, appears much of it has vanished back into nature.
  8. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    Sort of. The Santa Fe got a land grant for reaching the Kansas/Colorado border. Then after rushing to get that by the end of 1873 deadline, they sort of looked around and said, "Now what?" They knew they wanted to be a part of the Denver-Pueblo line to get in on existing towns and mining loads, and knew they wanted to go west too.

    The old Santa Fe Trail had two routes, and the Santa Fe rode them both eventually. The Raton Pass climb was steep, but the southern leg lacked water. That was an obvious handicap in the steam days, just as it was in the mule team days. But it wasn't as dry as the Mojave, which the road would later cross. They did eventually manage--and redirected all their through freight around, not over, Raton.

    Passenger traffic was another story. There is some very nice scenery between Trinidad, Co. and Las Vegas, NM.

    As for the C&S, remember that it didn't go west, but east to Ft. Worth. That makes a big difference, and had more to do with the routing than lumber did. The C&S was content to be a bridge. The Santa Fe was fixated on being a "transcontinental", and had to go west. The C&S line barely clipped the corner of New Mexico; to the Santa Fe that was the wrong direction.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018

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