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Colorado Rail Facts

The Leadville train depot is the highest functioning station in North America at 10,280 feet. Completed in 1895 by the Union Pacific Railroad, it was built to serve the Denver to Gunnison narrow gauge route.

Original Leadville train depot
Original Leadville train depot

The original Leadville depot, which served a joint agreement between the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad and the U.P.RR, was a wooden structure which still stands today as a private residence on Ninth Street.
The Leadville depot became the standard architectural model for other U.P.RR stations across the United States. But, in the 1890’s the U.P. went into receivership and the depot was then run by a combination of several lines named the Colorado and Southern RR.
In 1908 the Burlington Northern bought the C&SRR including the Leadville Depot. In 1940, the rail line was converted to regular gauge to service the molybdenum mines. By the 1970’s the depot was no longer being used by the railroad and was rented out as miner’s quarters. In 1987 the BNRR sold the depot to the city of Leadville.
In 1988 it was sold again to Ken and Stephanie Olsen, who, in about six months, using original blueprints from 1908, restored it to use for their new tourist rail line, the Leadville, Colorado & Southern RR which continues to operate from late May to early October running ten miles up Fremont Pass and back.