Project Update: Como Depot

Progress Continues with Laying of Track at Como Depot

Laying track at Como Depot, photo courtesy of Como Depot and Roundhouse

The remarkable and steady progress in historic preservation in the tiny town of Como in Park County continues with the recent laying of additional railroad track at Como Depot. Colorado Preservation, Inc. listed the Depot on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places in 2006 and it was dedicated and declared a “save” in 2015.

Colorado pioneer George Lechner acquired Stubbs Ranch, created in 1859 to serve the needs of nearby prospectors in the Tarryall and Hamilton gold camps. Dan McLaughlin later discovered coal near the entrance of Camp Como. These developments helped trigger Denver South Park & Pacific Railroad (DSP&P) arrival in 1879. The influx of Italian coal miners spurred naming the settlement “Como” after Lake Como in Italy. In time, Gilman Hotel was developed and attached to the depot, but the depot later moved a few yards to the south as a stand-alone structure. The town flourished for decades before the closing of rail service in 1937.

Since then, the community restored the remarkable Como Roundhouse, Depot, and Hotel, along with renovating many small houses in the area. Things picked up in August 2021 during railroad days when Denver South Park & Pacific Historical Society fired up Engine #4 and took visitors on a short round-trip run from the depot to the turntable. The new track is an extension of this excursion line. These efforts result from a partnership between David Tompkins (owner of the Depot and Hotel), Dr. Charles Brantigan (who bought the locomotive), Bill and Hazel Kazel, South Park Rail Society, and Denver South Park & Pacific Historical Society. Thanks to many volunteers throughout the summer and fall dedicating time to the restoration efforts at Como Roundhouse and Depot.

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