Denver & Salt Lake Railway Tunnel Company


SKU: 922
Product Details


Intricately engraved antique stock certificate from the Denver & Salt Lake Railway Tunnel Company dating back to the early 1900's. This document was printed by the New York Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 11 1/8" (w) by 8 1/4" (h).


This certificate's vignette features a train exiting a tunnel. 


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    David Moffat intended to build a 2.6 mile tunnel under Rollins Pass (The Denver & Salt Lake Railway Tunnel), but it was never built. Instead, he built his railroad (the Denver Northwestern & Pacific) over Rollins Pass in 1904, and the company that was intended to build the tunnel never got off the ground (the plan was to have a separately incorporated company build the tunnel and lease it back to the railroad).

    Moffat's plan was to start construction on the tunnel a year or 2 after he built over Rollins Pass. He gambled that by going over the pass he could get to the coal fields on the western slope and start bringing in revenue that would help pay for the tunnel. Unfortunately, the cost of fighting the snow on Rollins Pass was extremely high. 30 to 40 foot snow drifts were common there in the winter. That cost, plus the fact that he ran out of money short of the coal fields, along with his inability to get eastern investors to back him, thanks to the hated E.H. Harriman, prevented him from ever building the tunnel. Railroads were very competitive at the time, and Harriman, who ran the Union Pacific, which ran through Cheyenne to Salt Lake, was opposed to Moffat going from Denver to Salt Lake. He pulled lots of tricks, like creating dummy power companies that filed for rights to build dams for hydro-electric power. These dams, of course, were in the canyons that Moffat wanted for his railroad. The battle for Gore Canyon went all the way to Teddy Roosevelt. It was one of the few battles Moffat won against Harriman. Moffat died in 1911 while on an east coast, fundraising for his railroad. The line had only been built from Denver to Steamboat Springs and the tunnel was still a dream.

    The railroad went into receivership and was reincorporated as the Denver & Salt Lake Railroad a couple of years later. It struggled for years due to snow fighting on top of the pass. There were a few attempts to get state funding for the tunnel, which failed due to other parts of the state not wanting to help pay for it. It wasn't until a disastrous flood hit Pueblo, and some creative politicians combined funding for the tunnel with relief for Pueblo, that funding was finally approved and construction of the current 6.2 mile tunnel under Rollins Pass was began in 1923 - some 20 years after Moffat first wanted to build his tunnel.