There was fierce competition between the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad (D&RG) and the Colorado Midland Railroad to be the first to serve the community of Glenwood Springs. In the late 1880s, Glenwood Springs was booming.
Walter Devereux was putting the finishing touches on his hot springs resort and was in the midst of building a hotel to rival the finest chateaus of Europe. Glenwood desperately needed train service to transport people and materials. Silver ore and coal from Glenwood and neighboring communities had to be hauled east. Farmers needed to get their agricultural products into the hands of buyers. A train would also enable visitors to easily reach Glenwood Springs.
The first railroad to reach Glenwood Springs would score first dibs on the business. After two years of arduous construction and an estimated $2 million dollars, the D&RG arrived in Glenwood Springs on October 5, 1887. The completed rail route passed from Leadville over Tennessee Pass, through Glenwood Canyon to Glenwood Springs and onto Aspen. The Colorado Midland Railroad reached Glenwood on December 12, 1887. Its route originated in Colorado Springs, went through Leadville, over the Continental Divide, and down the Frying Pan River Valley to Basalt. It then built tracks to both Glenwood Springs and Aspen. The train depot on 7th Street opened in 1904.