Denver to Greeley

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This view shows the former DL&NW right of way facing north from Road 6 in Wattenberg. The grade is slightly elevated and follows the fence line directly away from the camera. Photo by Mike Palmer, October 2003.

The Denver, Laramie and North Western Railroad was originally graded and constructed in the early 1900s as competition to the Union Pacific. Judging by the railroad's name, the original plan was to build from Denver all the way to Laramie or Cheyenne in Wyoming.

The DL&NW paralled UP's main line from Denver northward, although the DL&NW was on the west side of the South Platte River, and the UP was on the east side. The DL&NW crossed several branches of the UP along its route. The UP already had a large share of the local business, and the DL&NW was abandoned between Denver and Wattenberg less than ten years after it was built. The line segment north of Wattenberg was purchased by the Great Western Railway of Colorado, but it too was abandoned by 1950.

Heading north from Denver the DL&NW passed through:

  • Welby
  • Henderson
  • Wattenberg
  • Ady
  • Traceyville
  • Vollmar
  • Wulfekuhler
  • Moore
  • Hodgson
  • Fort St. Vrains
  • Letford
  • Milliken
  • Adna
  • Elm
  • Greeley

No mention here of the graded but unused portion of DL&NW - portions from Greeley to Severance to Ft Collins to near Virginia Dale, as well as an abandoned tunnel!

Leyland
Loveland, CO
12/5/2012

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Very interested in this McKeen Motor car operator. I am modeling the #1 Greeley car in HO.

Does anyone have drawings or photographs of either #1 or #2 they are willing to share?

Robert L Grove
Olympia, WA
8/30/2015

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Just view on "Tracks Ahead" a program about the Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Greeley, CO. "Awesome" is what I say. Wish I could visit there. A must go place to see if anyone has the chance.

D.Marks
South Milwaukee , WI
2/17/2016

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Just bought and read Ken Jessen's book Railroads of Northern Colorado. From what I gather here, the D,L,&NW was not graded from Severance to almost Virginia Dale. But there is clear evidence of the grade near Virginia Dale stage stop. Also, there is clear evidence of the grade along fish creek north of Butte Royal tunnel, into Wyoming. I note the latter evidence, through looking at Google Earth, since images have gotten very good in the past couple years.

Leyland
Loveland, CO
2/17/2016

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