Carbondale's community connector

Pages of the Past: Trains, buses and schools

Locations: News Published

From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal

Jan. 26, 1976

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In the Journal’s new Basalt section, 81-year-old Walter Hyrup reflected on the history of the town. J.P. Hyrup, Walt’s father, had moved the family from Helena, Montana and been killed in a pile up on the Colorado Midland Railroad, leaving behind a widow, four boys and a girl who put down deep roots.

“From the time the school opened up until a couple of years ago there has always been a Hyrup in the school,” he said. “That’s continuous service.”

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Walt worked for the Midland himself until World War I broke out and he went off “to subdue the Kaiser.” Upon returning, he inquired about the state of the railroad and was told by head honcho A.E. Carlton that it was defunct “as long as there is a Democratic President of the United States.” Walt found work in Casper, Wyoming, then came back to Basalt to get married, take to ranching and raise four children.

In other news… While avalanche danger postponed a search for two cross country skiers, someone broke into one missing man’s home and stole a stereo system.

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Jan. 28, 1988

Roaring Fork Railroad President Randy Parten announced his was shelving plans for a passenger train between Denver and Aspen. He had run into a brick wall, he said, with the Denver and Rio Grande. Municipal officials, however, had been supportive, and Carbondale City Manager Davis Farrar expressed disappointment at the news. “It was always difficult for me to think that the operation would be cost effective, but you never know,” he said. “At any rate, we still need to have a good public transportation system in the Valley.” RFRR’s temporary ski trains, meanwhile, were slated to continue running through the end of February.

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In other news… The St. Finnbarr stables and riding arena near Carbondale became Preshana Farms, with new owner Lana Trettin hinting at more in score for the 105-acre property.

Jan. 29, 1998

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Negotiations were ongoing between Roaring Fork School District and the Aspen Educational Research Foundation to create a renewed charter for the fledgling Carbondale Community School. The financial picture appeared to be the main stumbling block, with plans for a new building and expansion through Eighth Grade meaning more maintenance costs for RFSD — or else AERF might have to put up the money. (The new building was eventually constructed, and was recently added onto.)

In other news… A new permit request on East Mesa threatened to reopen the decades-old debate over building in the area, though the owner suggested he would really prefer a conservation easement.

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Jan. 24, 2008

The Roaring Fork Transit Authority was considering how to implement one or more “feeder buses” in Carbondale, allowing the main Valley route to stick to the new park-and-ride on Highway 133 rather than coming all the way into downtown. The added efficiency would come with a heavy price tag, with a similar plan in Basalt estimated at several hundred thousand dollars. The question of hourly or half-hourly service perplexed trustees, with two buses deemed necessary to properly encompass the town in the latter case. (Currently, a single circulator serves the same stops all RFTA buses used to use, though some residents have expressed a desire for more.)

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In other news… A Naturalist Nights speaker was slated to discuss the looming issue of Sudden Aspen Decline.