Wagon Wheel Gap Route
Denver & Rio Grande Railway
The San Luis Valley Southern
The railroad that came and went with no one noticing...
Connecting to the main line on the west side of Blanca ( about 15 miles east of Alamosa on Hwy 160 ) this line ran south through the best crop areas in the San Luis Valley and was to connect to Taos, NM but never completed. It carried produce that fed the plates of every one from the rich Mine Owners of Denver and down to the poor miners in the high mountains.
A surprising amount of this line, equipment and buildings still sits outside Blanca, half buried track, falling apart buildings, and the most ugly train power ever patched together. Worth the hour it takes to see it all when you pass through Blanca.
1925 Motorcar M-300 that carried freight an local passengers, a little strange looking but fully functional...
M-300 parked in Blanca Yards - see additional present condition photos at end of section...
Yard engine built on a short flat and driven by a truck axle and tires, typical of SLVS equipment.
Hidden below the blowing sand and dirt roads are the last rails of the SLVS.
Still connected to the main line but unused for years these old rails are slowly fading from sight but hopefully not from memory
Not unlike an abandoned old western town of the movies, these old loading docks are slowly decaying away.
Additional loading and maintenance buildings sit just off the dirt road about 1/2 mile south west of Blanca, Co.
An old loading facility still stands proud against the Mountain Peaks looming over it...
Leaving for today to chase trains I will return to get additional close up photos of the equipment left behind at the SLVS...
Hidden away in the back storage area of the Oklahoma Railroad Museum is what is left of M-300, exactly how it found it's way there is unknown, but it does survive and awaiting someone to return it to original condition...
Looking fine in the 1940's, it is just a sad reminder of what was...
Note later changes in front with extended nose just below front cab windows, looks like for air compressors for brakes, catcher removed with two front steps and also no truck drive axle on old photo. We know it is the same unit for it is still labeled M-300...
Typical to SLVS - Drive is a truck axle with rubber tire...
Although Cab is almost gone, the frame and axles survive, this would be a great start on rebuild...
We wish to thank Guy Lynn of the Oklahoma Rail Road Museum for these photos of M-300
The following information on the M-300 was sent by Guy Lynn - it is interesting reading..
Remember most of what you see is on private property, please respect that...
Take only Photos and Leave only Footprints..... Thanks....
Oklahoma Railroad Museum - At Oklahoma City - Interesting and extensive collection - Open Saturdays for Free...
Has in it's collection the SLVS M-300 Motor Car -
Web Site E-Mail Address is Wagon-Wheel-Gap@hotmail.com
Also see our History of San Luis Valley & it's Railroads web site:
It's still under construction but you may find it interesting.
This is not an official web site of the D&RG Ry. Historical Foundation.
It is a private informational site by Richard Cutter who is solely responsible for content and
content is not submitted to, approved nor controlled by the D&RG Historical Foundation.
Unless otherwise Noted
Historical Photographs 1800's to 1940's from the National Archives
Photos, Videos and Text are Copyrighted by Richard Cutter
- Photos can be used for non-commercial use if plainly identified as to copyright holder and location, such as "at Wagon-Wheel-Gap-Route, Colorado"
The name "Wagon Wheel Gap Route" refers to the section of the Creede Branch of the Old "Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad" that extends from South Fork to Creede Colorado, the name was developed and used for this website and is considered as our trademark.
Last updated: July 03, 2005
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