Mustang Mile Post 526-1 – Colorado Ghost Town
by local author & historian: John LaBorde
Out in the middle of nowhere close to somewhere the Chicago Kansas and Nebraska railroad put in a siding now know as Mustang Mile Post 526-1- Colorado Ghost Town. Being on the face of a ridge it was a difficult terrain to build on. The ridge just west of Genoa, Colorado that the railroad crossed made it difficult to travel. The railroad did a lot of cut and fill to level out the hills they crossed but here there was still a good grade. The Genoa hill was a torment for man and beast to cross. The grade for the railroad was over 1 percent making it a tough ridge to climb. The diminutive engines of the 19th century would often need help getting up hills of more than 1 percent.
The siding at Mustang Mile Post 526-1 – Colorado Ghost Town, became a helper station. The gullies and ridge were too steep to build many structures on. A depot was built and at the east end of the siding where there was a small pond. Here the helper engine could get its orders for return or pushing. Shoving the train up the hill was an adventure years ago. Speeds could get out of sync, things could break, and mishaps were common. Once over the rise at Genoa the helper would un-couple and return to Mustang for another job or go back to Limon and the roundhouse.
A farm road crosses the railroad tracks just north of the Interstate. Just to the west of this crossing is an old signal lamp stand. This is approximately where the siding would have been located.
Later years when the highway was built, the Genoa Wonder Tower would dominate the eastern horizon. It was a page in history that merited a sentence or two. Today it is but a passing thought of yesteryear.
Even though the Wonder Tower is now closed to the public, more information can be found on Denver’s 9 News website.