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Denver and Rio Grande Railroad

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Revision as of 11:29, 7 February 2014 by Diana47judy (talk | contribs) (added map and paragraph about settlers)
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United States  Gotoarrow-kelly.png  Migration  Gotoarrow-kelly.png  Railroads  Gotoarrow-kelly.png  Denver and Rio Grande Railroad

The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad operated from 1870 to 1988 and was principally a transcontinental bridge between Denver and Salt Lake City, and also extended into New Mexico. The rail line carried much of the coal and minerals of the region. In 1988 as part of a purchase, it merged with the Southern Pacific. Today, most former D and RGW main lines are owned and operated by the Union Pacific Railroad.



File:Denver and Rio Grande Western System Map.PNG

Route map for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad

Settlers were attracted to nearby communities because the railroads provided access to markets. Railroads encouraged settlement along their routes to help increase the need for their service. If an ancestor settled near a railroad, you may be able to trace their place of origin back to another place along the tracks.

Record Locations
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The principal repository for the records of the D and RGW is <a _fcknotitle="true" href="History Colorado">History Colorado</a>, formerly called the Colorado Historical Society. Other repositories that have some records about this rail line are the Utah State Historical Society, the Pikes Peak library, Colorado College, and Fort Lewis College.

Colorado Historical Records
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<a _fcknotitle="true" href="History Colorado">History Colorado</a>’s holdings for the D and RGW include a manuscript collection, a photography collection, artifacts, and maps.

Manuscripts
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The manuscript collection, MSS 513, is probably the most substantial at about 195 linear feet in size. The finding aid for this collection is available on their website at http://www.historycolorado.org/researchers/manuscript-finding-aids. This finding aid describes the contents of the collection folder by folder. The majority of the collection is financial and legal records, but it also includes some personnel information, promotion, and other types of materials. The personnel records do not include records for each year, and several of the rosters will only list agents, bosses, and supervisors rather than a full roster of all employees.

Photographs
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The inventory for their photography collection is available online at http://www.historycolorado.org/researchers/drg-photographs. The photographs themselves are available to view in person at the History Colorado library; the photographs have not yet been digitized.

History Colorado has some plat maps attributed to the railroad, but this is not comprehensive collection of settlements near D and RG depots. To find these maps, search the library catalog, online at http://www.historycolorado.org/researchers/library-catalog. To cut right to the D and RG maps, try a Subject search for the term "Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company--Maps." There may also be maps included within the manuscript collection, and those will be noted on the manuscript finding aid.

Maps
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History Colorado has some plat maps attributed to the railroad, but this is not a comprehensive collection of settlements near D and RG depots. To find these maps, search the library catalog, online at http://www.historycolorado.org/researchers/library-catalog. To go directly to the D and RG maps, try a Subject search for the term "Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company--Maps." There may also be maps included within the manuscript collection, and those will be noted on the manuscript finding aid.