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When I was a child we would ride the train from Denver to visit family in Yampa. We loved that trip, we were always so excited to take the train!

Hi Gail,

I envy that you were able to ride that train. I was too young and my parents didn't much support my love of trains. I'm glad you got to take the trips!

As a young child growing up in Arvada, I remember the Yampa Valley Mail. It lost out to progress. That was too bad. The Rio Grande was making profit on freight and the Coal assets on the branch to Craig and Hayden. I did railroad in my lifetime, knew many off the Rio Grande. I am not a Rio Grande man. Bob Prior rights Santa Fe/ BNSF engineer retired... Joint-Line was my route. I had rights up on the Moffat

Hi Bob,

You may have worked past where I grew up, Security-Widefield! It is a shame the train ended, but it is my hope that the line is purchased by the state and perhaps a new train could run up to Steamboat for skiing and summer tourists.

An excellent account, James. I rode the Yampa several times during its last decade and my experience and that of others was that it invariably ran right on time. While it is true that there were over 30 "stations" listed in the timetable only Bond, Steamboat Springs and Hayden were scheduled stops. About 15 of the others were "flag stops on signal only. These were rarely necessary by that time. The others, such as Gore, Toponas and even the town of Yampa itself, were passed right by.

An enjoyable part of the trip was that in the mornings the conductor would go through the car taking orders for sandwiches. These were brought on board at Bond from the crew hotel where a 24-hour cafe was operated by the dining car department. I still remember the good ham and roast beef sandwiches!

Charles, this coming from you is brightens my day! I wish I could have experienced that train. And the sandwiches just made it better! I hope to write more blogs like this in the future. All the best and hope to see you at DPL soon.

Hello, I've a special connection to the Yampa Valley Mail. My father knew Jack Thode (D&RGW exec VP in 1950s) and was able to get a locomotive pass for both himself & me. On Aug 25, 1958 (I was 11 years old) my dad and I rode in the locomotive (#9) from Denver to Grandby, where we got off, ate lunch, and rode back to Denver (#10). My mom was in the passenger car with one other passenger both ways. I still have the locomotive pass signed by Mr. Thode. It's in pristine condition.
My dad was a narrow gauge nut and we spent many summers hiking old narrow gauge roadbeds in Colorado in the 1950s. It was a terrific childhood. Thanks for your story here. Rekindles great memories.

Peter Smith

Hi Peter,

I'm glad to have helped rekindle your memories of this lovely little train. I was too young to ride the train and my parents did not have the same fondness of trains and railroads as I did.

You were very lucky to ride in the locomotive. I assume it was a PA unit?

Thank you again for sharing!

My Thanksgiving weekend in 1967 was special: knowing of the impending demise of the Yampa Valley Mail, we rode it from Denver to Craig, stayed overnight, and then returned.

Hi Ed,

I'm sure it was bittersweet knowing that the train was going to end soon, yet you still had a great opportunity to ride the train. Thanks for sharing your memories!



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