David Moffat’s visions ended here at end-of-track in Craig, Colorado. He dreamed and spent his fortune with the goal of putting Denver on a direct main line to the west coast, with Salt Lake City an objective and the town of Craig an immediate goal. Moffat began construction of the Denver Northwestern & Pacific in 1903 and pushed through the front range Rocky Mountains west of Denver. By 1909, the railway reached Steamboat Springs, when money ran low and a tunnel under the Continental Divide failed to secure funding. He died on March 18, 1911, and had spent his entire personal fortune on the road.
Friends finished the “Moffat Road” to Craig in 1913, but the advancement of rails stopped here. Later, a 6.21-mile tunnel completed in 1928, and in 1934, the Moffat Road (now Denver & Salt Lake Railway) connected with the Denver & Rio Grande Western’s trackage to Salt Lake City with the new Dotsero Cutoff, truly completing David Moffat’s dream of a “Main Line thru the Rockies” as D&RGW later became famous for.
Today, the Craig Branch still ends at Craig and now belongs to Union Pacific. On June 21, 2023, two boys ride their bikes past the end-of track, surely unaware of the historical significance of the location.