Denver & Rio Grande Western [Southern Pacific]
June 11, 1996
Orestod, Colorado, located just east of Bond, is where the Craig Branch leaves the Rio Grande mainline and heads northwest towards Steamboat Springs and Craig. Everything from Denver to here is part of the original Moffat Road (Denver & Salt Lake). The Craig Branch was once the continuation of that mainline, its ultimate goal Salt Lake City. Alas, it never got further than Steamboat Springs, Colorado and the coal mines at Craig just beyond. It can be seen leaving the main line to the right, and the steep grade is apparent.
The line continuing past the junction is the newly-built Dotsero Cutoff (note that Orestod is Dotsero spelled backwards) which connected the Moffat Road to the Denver & Rio Grande Western's Tennessee Pass line, saving many miles of the long loop down through Pueblo and the steep grades over Tennessee Pass.
This page posted 10/1/2017. Text and photo ©2017 Lamont Downs.