Standing in front of the historic Marcia passenger car, Mayor Terry Carwile accepts Craig's official induction into the Train Town USA Registry from Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Sarah Cassidy on Tuesday evening. The registry commemorates towns that have played an important role in railroad history.

Photo by Andie Tessler

Standing in front of the historic Marcia passenger car, Mayor Terry Carwile accepts Craig's official induction into the Train Town USA Registry from Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Sarah Cassidy on Tuesday evening. The registry commemorates towns that have played an important role in railroad history.

Craig officially named a Train Town USA

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— A small crowd gathered in front of the historic Marcia railroad car Tuesday evening as the city of Craig was awarded membership into Union Pacific’s Train Town USA Registry.

The registry was created as part of Union Pacific’s 150th anniversary to recognize towns that played an important role in the history of the railroad.

“What a great testament to the community. The way you value your history is so wonderful to see,” said Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Sarah Cassidy.

Mayor Terry Carwile accepted an official resolution that was presented by Cassidy and signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young, officially inducting Craig into the registry.

The effort to have Craig inducted into the Train Town USA Registry was a joint effort between the city council, chamber of commerce, the Museum of Northwest Colorado and Mayor Carwile, who submitted the application.

Craig first became a railroad town in 1913, marking the end of the line for the Denver, Northwestern & Pacific Railway Company. At the time, major railroads skirted around Colorado because of the difficulty of laying track through the mountains.

The DN & P was founded by David Moffat in 1902 as a means to realize his dream of a rail line between Denver and Salt Lake City. The line only made it as far as Craig before funds ran out.

To woo potential investors, Moffat commissioned a Pullman Palace Car in 1906. It was named Marcia after Moffat’s daughter.

Sleeping up to 14 people and featuring African mahogany woodwork, leaded glass clerestory windows and curling irons in the bathroom, the car was the height of luxury.

The Marcia was donated to the Craig Chamber of Commerce by the Denver Rio Grande Railroad in 1953 after years of disuse, and is one of the last of its kind in existence. For 20 years, it housed the chamber’s offices before being fully restored and opened to the public as a museum.

“We feel it’s so necessary to recognize the role Craig played in railroad history,” Cassidy said to the small crowd gathered in front of the Marcia car. “The history of the railroad in Craig is really an important piece in the history of our country and the drive west.”

For more information contact Andie Tessler at 970-875-1793 or atessler@craigdailypress.com

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