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Railroads in the West

In their early years, railroads did much more than carry passengers across the country. The Iron Horse helped settle the West by building rail branches to uncharted areas. The manuscript collection includes papers from the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, Northwest Terminal Railroad, San Luis Railroad and the San Juan Railroad. Railroad Passes include solid silver and paper examples that Silverton Railroad founder Otto Mears issued to politicians, judges and others whose favors he courted.

Many of our pamphlets, timetables, and other material produced by railroads to promote the American West demonstrate the artistic flair of the period.

We have a cataloged collection of both public and employee timetables including train schedules, fares, name of station stops and other useful information for the traveler. Employee timetables usually include additional information regarding operating rules, station services and sometimes information about personnel.

Highlights of our Railroad Collection:
  • 20,000+ photographs including the entire Otto Perry Catalog
  • Railroad company periodicals and trade publications
  • Timetables
  • Maps
  • Promotional material and other ephemera
  • 3,500+ Books


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Inside a Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad dining lounge car [1939?].

Inside a Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad dining lounge car [1939?].

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Updated: June 25, 2013