One of the straightest railroad lines in the US is located in Colorado of all places.

Railroad lines attempting to brave the terrain of the Rocky Mountains meant that some of the tightest curves ever in the US railroad network were located in the State of Colorado.

DRGW 207 at Alamosa, CO. Fireman's Side of Engine, 1907. Image: NG Train Pics

Ironically, one of the longest straight (tangent) sections of track was also located in Colorado, along a Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad line running between Alamosa and Poncha Springs, CO, known as the Valley Line.

Much of this grade paralleled present-day Colorado Route 17.

Just north of Alamosa all the way to Villa Grove, the line was perfectly tangent for nearly 53 miles. 

Image: Colorado Encyclopedia

Nonetheless, this line would be abandoned some time in the 1950's. According to, "Most of the route - from Mears Jct down to Hooper - was abandoned in 1951. Without the Marshall Pass line in place, there was no northern narrow gauge system to connect with, making the line pointless. However, the dual gauge stretch to Hooper would live on as the standard gauge Hooper Spur until it, too, was abandoned in 1959."

Thanks as always for reading!


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