Denver, Northwestern & Pacific Railway

Reporting mark: DNW&P
View Exhibit map

This is the historic Moffat Road, built by David Moffat to connect Denver to the west, which eventually resulted in Denver becoming the large, important city that it is today. Building it was a heroic undertaking, requiring numerous short tunnels. The highest stretch, over Rollins Pass, was only intended to be temporary until a long tunnel could be dug under the Continental Divide. It required snowsheds in much of its highest elevations, and was fraught with hazards, accidents, and frequent closures in winter.

The traverse over Rollins Pass was replaced by the Moffat Tunnel in 1928, resulting in abandonment of that portion of the line. The lower-elevation remainder from Denver through the Moffat Tunnel remains in heavy use today for freight and passenger trains, and includes 31 tunnels of varying length. Tunnels 1-30 are original, and the 31st is the Moffat Tunnel. The Union Pacific Railroad calls it the "tunnel district". Portions of the high-elevation Rollins Pass route are open today as a 4WD road, though it is not continuous due to the closure of the Needle's Eye Tunnel.

You can travel the current portions of this route on the Amtrak California Zephyr passenger train, which passes through spectacular mountain scenery that can only be seen from a train, including 31 tunnels.

More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollins_Pass


D&SL - Tunnel 31 (Gilpin County, Colorado)
Built 1903, abandoned 1935, collapsed at later date
Lost Tunnel on Denver & Salt Lake Railway
Collapsed

Devil's Slide Trestles (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903-05; bypassed 1928; tracks removed 1935; reopened as a road 1955-1979.
Timber stringer bridge over Devil's Slide on Denver and Salt Lake Railway
Closed to all traffic, but still carries a natural gas pipeline

Needle's Eye Tunnel (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903-1905; Bypassed 1928; Abandoned 1935; Reopened as a road 1955-1979 and 1988-1990.
Tunnel on Abandoned Moffat Road
Closed to all traffic

Riflesight Notch Loop (Grand County, Colorado)
Built ca. 1903; abandoned 1928; tracks removed 1935; tunnel collapsed.
Abandoned timber stringer bridge over Denver and Salt Lake Railway on Denver and Salt Lake Railway
Derelict/abandoned

UP - Tunnel 1 (Jefferson County, Colorado)
Built 1903; portal constructed on west end 1958
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 10 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903, wood lining burned 1943
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 11 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 12 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 13 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 14 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 15 (Jefferson County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 16 (Jefferson County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 17 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 18 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 19 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 2 (Jefferson County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 20 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 21 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 22 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 23 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 24 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 25 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 26 (Gilpin County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 28 (Gilpin County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 29 (Gilpin County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 3 (Jefferson County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 30 (Gilpin County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 34 (Grand County, Colorado)
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 35 (Grand County, Colorado)
Built 1906-7
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 36 (Grand County, Colorado)
Built 1906-7
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 37 (Grand County, Colorado)
Built 1906-7
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 38 (Grand County, Colorado)
Built 1906-7
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 39 (Grand County, Colorado)
Built 1906-7
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 4 (Jefferson County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 40 (Grand County, Colorado)
Built 1906-7
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 42 (Eagle County, Colorado)
Built 1907
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 5 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 6 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 7 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic

UP - Tunnel 8 (Boulder County, Colorado)
Built 1903
Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Open to traffic