Bring back some good or bad memories


May 28, 2022

Go-Devil on the Little Bookcliff Railway, 1903

The Go-Devil was a gravity driven rail car that ran on the Little Bookcliff (LBC) Railway from 1892, when the railway opened, to about 1907. The LBC was a narrow gauge railway that ran from Grand Junction to Carpenter, a coal mine camp in the Bookcliffs, from 1889 to 1925.

(Photo courtesy Museums of Western Colorado)

The LBC was incorporated on September 11, 1889, by William Thomas Carpenter and several other Grand Junction business owners. The purpose of the 12-mile railroad was to haul coal from the Bookcliff mines owned by Carpenter to Grand Junction. Construction began in 1890 and progressed in sections until the rails finally reached the coal camp in the Bookcliffs in June 1892.

Although the railroad was built to haul coal, it was also used for excursions. Many locals traveled from Grand Junction to Carpenter for picnics and hiking. There were special Memorial Day excursions where families would go out to Carpenter, gather up the abundant wildflowers growing there in the spring, and return to Grand Junction to decorate their loved ones' graves.

Some of the more thrill-seeking visitors would ride back to town on the Go-Devil. The Go-Devil consisted of some boards bolted together and attached to a set of handcar wheels. It coasted down the tracks from Carpenter to Grand Junction at break-neck speeds.

Although you can no longer ride the Go-Devil, you can still see it at Cross Orchards Historic Site at 3073 F Road in Grand Junction.


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