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Hi James, We're preparing a National Historic Landmark nomination for Wink's Panorama at Lincoln Hills, located on this railroad line just west of Pinecliffe. African Americans who vacationed at Wink's and Lincoln Hills called this the "dinky train" because of its small number of cars. Lodge guests and the girls attending Camp Nizhoni at Lincoln Hills took this train from the Moffat station in Denver and got off at the Lincoln Hills stop (The Denver departure point perhaps changed to Union Station after the Rio Grande assumed ownership). We'd love to hear from any Wink's guests that would share their experiences. frraden@msn.com

Hi Tom,

Thank you for sharing this information. What we can do is post this on our Facebook account and then send these on to you. We would probably not put your email in the post, as you may get responses that may not be appropriate. Hopefully a few of our followers will respond. We can also ask our colleagues at Blair-Caldwell library.

James

I grew up in Granby and the Yampa Valley mail, the Prospector trains, and the bus were often used to get to and from Denver in the 50s and 60s.. We had a nick name for the Yampa Valley Mail (The Doodle Bug). Unattended youth would probably no be allowed on these trains if they were running today.

Hi John,

Thanks for you comment. I do wish I had gotten a chance to ride it. Maybe one day we will have a train going back up if the UP doesn't pull up the tracks in the future.

All the best,
James

Living in Granby during the 50s and early 60s, I travelled quite often to and from Denver.
The Yampa Valley mail, the Prospector, and Continental Trailways was the only transport for someone too toung to drive. The train was more comfortable than the bus.

Hi John,

Glad you were able to travel on the train. I wish that I had the opportunity, but my parents did not support my train habit! Glad you enjoyed the article.

James

Beginning in the early 1920’s, my family use to ship their cattle on the train from Craig to the Denver Stock Yards, up until the 50’s. The train discontinued their cattle car service because semi trucks pulling pots basically took it over and we didn’t have to drive the cattle from the ranch to Craig which was a 2 day ride. As a young boy I only remember the trucks coming to the ranch to load up the cattle. When I was around five years old I remember riding the train from Craig to Denver with my mother and grandmother, because I got car sick and did a number on the car floor. One of my uncles worked as a blaster in the Moffat Tunnel when it was being built and had to spend a little hitch in a Denver Hospital from blasting powder pneumonia. it Would be nice to take my wife on a ride on this train sometime in the near future.

Wow, you had some great experiences while this train was running. I'm sad that we can't take it up to Craig and Steamboat anymore. I didn't know that cattle were shipped on this line, I thought it was always mine ore or coal.

I would highly recommend that you take the California Zephyr to San Francisco one of these days. The train trip is lovely! Thank you for sharing your story!

James

I will add that when my grandfather, my father and his brothers shipped their cattle on the rail, as it was called, were given a free pass to ride in the caboose and ride along with their livestock if they so desired. I am sure all ranchers were given this same opportunity. My father told me that after the Moffat Tunnel was built that everything had a coat of coal suite on it from the coal fired steam locomotives including the cattle and ranchers. When the buyers ran their hand across the hair of the cattle at the stockyards and picked up a little coal suite, my dad said they would get a few cents more on the hundred because the buyers new the cattle came from the western slope. The Osborn Brothers and other ranchers up and down the Morapas/Deer Creek valleys purchased the livestock scales in the 1970,s from D&RGW. They reset the scales along with corrals and loading chute beside the Morapas/Deer Creek roads to weigh livestock to be loaded and hay to sell. Thought I might add this comment for you to read.

Hi Dale,
This is a wonderful story. I'm glad you posted it, as I learned something as well as our fellow readers. Thank you so much for sharing. I have a sad feeling once the coal mine closes down on this branch, that may be the end of it, unless the state buys it perhaps and leases it out to a potential short line company.
All the best,
James

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