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Riflesight Notch Loop


Riflesight Notch ca. 1903

Walter Hines Page, Arthur Wilson Page

View this photo on Wikipedia

BH Photo #295341



Riflesight Notch, on the historic Moffat Road railroad line over Rollins Pass, consisted of a trestle, a 270 degree loop to lose elevation, and then a tunnel underneath the trestle. The line was replaced by the Moffat Tunnel in 1928, and the tracks removed in 1935.


Abandoned timber stringer bridge over Denver and Salt Lake Railway on Denver and Salt Lake Railway
Grand County, Colorado
Built ca. 1903; abandoned 1928; tracks removed 1935; tunnel collapsed.
- Denver & Salt Lake Railway (D&SL)
- Denver, Northwestern & Pacific Railway (DNW&P)
Timber trestle over its own tunnel, connected by a loop
Listed as a contributing resource to the Denver, Northwestern and Pacific Railway Historic District
Also called
Tunnel Number 33
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.89907, -105.70807   (decimal degrees)
39°53'57" N, 105°42'29" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
13/439470/4416794 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
East Portal
11107 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 63116 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 22, 2015: Updated by Luke: Removed category "Bridge-Tunnel" as it is not a bridge-tunnel
  • July 22, 2015: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Bridge-Tunnel"
  • September 24, 2014: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add alternate name Tunnel 33
  • September 23, 2014: Added by Roger Deschner

Related Bridges 


  • Roger Deschner - rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Wikipedia


Riflesight Notch Loop
Posted July 22, 2015, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Riflesight Notch Loop was planned and built as a single structure by the railroad for the purpose of gaining elevation in a limited space. To do that they had to build a tunnel and a bridge (trestle), together at the exact same location. (See photo) They probably had to be built very carefully, to avoid one damaging the other during construction. Historians consider them as one structure. If they were to be considered separately, they would have the exact same geographic coordinates. I do not see how that is different from the Navy requiring a string of bridges and tunnels to traverse Chesapeake Bay. That is why I tagged Riflesight Notch Loop as a bridge-tunnel, because that's what this single structure is. I have been to both. If Riflesight Notch Loop is two separate structures, then the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is several separate structures as well, related as "same project". It has 15 separate Virginia Bridge Numbers. For simplicity, let's just keep both bridge-tunnels as single entities here.

Riflesight Notch Loop
Posted July 22, 2015, by Luke

The category was made for three structures at Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Hampton, Virginia that are bridges with tunnels underneath the main navigation channels.

The structures were built that way due to the Navy being worried about a bridge being targeted to shut down the navigation channels, thereby crippling the Atlantic Fleet, which is based out of Naval Station Norfolk.

Riflesight Notch Loop
Posted July 22, 2015, by Patrick Feller (nakrnsm [at] aol [dot] com)

Much as I'd like to see a bridge tunnel or a trestle tunnel, this trestle and tunnel appear to be two entirely separate structures, functionally and structurally independent of each other.

Riflesight Notch Loop
Posted July 22, 2015, by Chester Gehman (gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

We have so many meaningless categories on this website I have to ask: what is a bridge-tunnel? And if Tunnel 33 does not qualify, according to our expert, what is it? A trestle-tunnel?