Alpine tunnel west portal

This photo was taken in 1948 on the west side of Alpine Tunnel by Ruth McCoy, a photographer from Buena Vista. 

The photo is of the Alpine Tunnel station and boarding house. The small building is the depot, or station.  It also had a Western Union Telegraph office in it. 

The two-story building was a boarding house for the railroaders and was built in 1881.

The rock walls are the ruins of the stone engine house built in 1881, with no mortar, just rocks fit together.  It was 54 feet by 153 feet. The roof and inside burned in 1906. 

There were only log buildings at the east portal of the Alpine tunnel, no boarding house or engine house, but possibly as many as a dozen buildings. 

It was called Atlantic because it was on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Continental Divide.  None of these buildings on either side of the Alpine Tunnel are still standing, but remnants of foundations and old logs can be found. 

For more information on the heritage behind the history of Buena Vista, visit

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