Alpine Tunnel On The Continental Divide
Historic Railroad Tunnel In Colorado's Sawatch Range; Visit To Gunnison County Side
|Colorado Railroad History At Its Best
During Colorado's settlement era in the late 1800s, a railroad route was needed to cross the
Continental Divide in Central Colorado.
A remote and mountainous area between the once-bustling mining towns
of St. Elmo and Pitkin was
selected as a site to build a 1,771 foot
tunnel. The railroad and tunnel
were eventually abandoned in the early 1900s as mining activity diminished,
upkeep was deemed too expensive, and snow removal became overwhelming.
But many of the historic buildings and tracks on the Gunnison County side of the divide remain.
These are my photos when friends and I visited in 2007.
Sadly, the Alpine Tunnel collapsed after years of neglect. I'm standing on the railroad bed with the tunnel behind.
One of a few railroad buildings and structures that remain at the Alpine Tunnel site.
Photos and write-up by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado.
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