Limon Railroad Depot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Former Rock Island Line and Union Pacific station[1][2]
Limon Colorado Railroad Station 1909.jpg
The Depot in 1909.
Location 897 First Street
Limon, Colorado[3]
Coordinates 39°15′37″N 103°41′14″W / 39.26028°N 103.68722°W / 39.26028; -103.68722
Owned by Limon Historical Society[2][4]
Tracks 1
Structure type at-grade
Opened 1889[4]
Rebuilt 1904, 1910[5]
  Former services  
Preceding station   Rock Island Line   Following station
Main Line
Limon Railroad Depot
Limon Railroad Depot is located in Colorado
Limon Railroad Depot
Limon Railroad Depot is located in the US
Limon Railroad Depot
Location 897 First St., Limon, Colorado
Coordinates 39°15′37″N 103°41′14″W / 39.26028°N 103.68722°W / 39.26028; -103.68722Coordinates: 39°15′37″N 103°41′14″W / 39.26028°N 103.68722°W / 39.26028; -103.68722
Area Less than 1 acre (0.4 ha)
Architect Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific RR
Architectural style Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements
MPS Railroads in Colorado, 1858-1948 MPS
NRHP Reference # 03000038[6]
Added to NRHP February 20, 2003

Limon Railroad Depot (also known as Limon Station) was a major Union Pacific and Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad station in Limon, Colorado. It has been on the National Register of Historical Places since 2003. The now museum is one of seven still standing Rock Island Line stations in Colorado, and the only one restored.[7]


In 1870, the Kansas Pacific railroad, now Union Pacific, was the first railroad to pass where the town of Limon is today.[5][8] The town was not incorporated (and didn't have a station) yet so trains passed by without stopping on their way to Denver.

In 1888, the Rock Island Line constructed a camp for workers building the main line to Colorado Springs.[9] The track intersected the Union Pacific track where the depot is now.[8][10] The town was named after the construction supervisor for the railroad, John Limon.[9][11][12] The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific (Rock Island Line) then decided that Denver would be a better western terminus for their trains. In 1889, the two railroads reached an agreement to allow "The Rock" to use Union Pacific's Limon Subdivision line on trackage rights.[10][13][14][15] Before that, trains went to Colorado Springs and used Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad track north to Denver.[16] Limon became a major junction for the two railroads,[9] since it was where trains such as the Rocky Mountain Rocket split to Denver or Colorado Springs, respectively.[5][17]

In the 1980s, approximately 70 miles of former Rock Island and Cadillac and Lake City Railway track between Limon and Colorado Springs was removed.[8] Evidence of the former right-of-way can still be easily seen along the route.[18] In Colorado Springs, a 5.8 mile part of the right-of-way has been turned into a rail trail known as the Rock Island Trail.[19][20] Northeast of Colorado Springs, the track closely followed U.S. Highway 24 and included a large trestle over Big Sandy Creek.

The building was damaged by the 1990 tornado that tore through Limon, destroying 50 to 75 percent of the business district.[21] The first major event after the tornado was the Weekend Western Festival in June, 1992.[1]



Limon was considered a union depot for the Union Pacific and Rock Island Line railways.[1][4] It served many trains on the ex-Kansas Pacific Kansas CityDenver main line and Rock Island Line Omaha—Colorado Springs main line. It was the end of the "Limon Shuffle" where the popular Rocky Mountain Rocket train split into two trains.[22][23]


Limon is at the western end of the Kyle Railroad, a short line railroad that operates on the former Rock Island Line to Nebraska.[8][24] The railroad entered service in 1982.[25] The line often interchanges cars with the Union Pacific. Union Pacific also runs about 12 trains a day on the Limon Subdivision, the ex-Kansas Pacific main line.[24]

Limon Heritage Museum and Railroad Park[edit]

The depot is now home to the Limon Heritage Museum and Railroad Park, a large historical museum. Railroad Park includes a Union Pacific caboose, a model railroad layout of the 1940s Limon Yard, and a 1914 dining car.[4][5] It is the site of the annual Limon Railroad Days, which happens in June.[24][26]


  1. ^ a b c Patrick O'Driscoll (June 4, 1992). "Evening excursions halted, but depot events seek to lure visitors". Denver Post. p. 3B. 
  2. ^ a b Retrieved February 18, 2011
  3. ^ Weekly listing on properties taken action on. Retrieved February 16, 2011
  4. ^ a b c d Town of Retrieved February 16, 2011
  5. ^ a b c d Lincoln County Things to see. Retrieved February 18, 2011
  6. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  7. ^ Listings in Lincoln County. Colorado Historical Society. Retrieved March 7, 2011
  8. ^ a b c d Lincoln County History. Retrieved February 20, 2011
  9. ^ a b c Wiatrowski, Claude (2009). "The Southeast". Historic Colorado: Day Trips & Weekend Getaways to Historic Towns, Cities, Sites and Wonders. MBI Publishing Company. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-7603-3256-6. 
  10. ^ a b Schafer, Mike (2003). Classic American Railroads, Volume III. Saint Paul, MN: MBI Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-7603-1649-8. 
  11. ^ Retrieved February 20, 2011
  12. ^ Town of the week. Retrieved February 20, 2011
  13. ^ Brief History of the Rock Island Line. Retrieved February 20, 2011
  14. ^ "THE ROCK - THIRTY YEARS GONE". March 31, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ History of the Rock Island Line. Retrieved February 20, 2011
  16. ^ Traffic Service Corporation (July 3, 1915). "Traffic world, Volume 16". XVI (460): 460. 
  17. ^ Rock Island Line map. Retrieved February 20, 2011
  18. ^ Google (February 21, 2011). "Rock Island Right-of-way" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 21, 2011. 
  19. ^ Rock Island Trail. Retrieved February 20, 2011
  20. ^ Map of Rock Island Trail. (PDF) Retrieved February 20, 2011
  21. ^ Associated Press (June 7, 1990). "Tornado Rips Through Colorado Farm Town". Mount Airy News. 
  22. ^ Rocky Mountain Rocket timetable. Retrieved February 20, 2011
  23. ^ Wiatrowski, Claude (2007). "Rock Island". Railroads Across North America. MBI Publishing Company. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7603-2976-4. 
  24. ^ a b c Limon Train Show. Retrieved February 20, 2011
  25. ^ Associated Press (August 27, 1986). "Runaway cars roll 31 miles, kill two men". Fort Scott Tribune. 
  26. ^ "Limon celebrating Railroad Days June 12–13". Fort Morgan Times. May 13, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2011. 

External links[edit]