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RFP Railroad Due Diligence - Updated

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Request for Proposal


Counties of Rio Grande and Mineral    

Towns of South Fork and Creede

Rio Grande County, Colorado, Fiscal Agent

Denver and Rio Grande Rail Road Project

South Fork to Creede

June 29, 2017

  1. Introduction

A collaboration of local governments consisting of Rio Grande County, Mineral County, Town of South Fork, and the Town of Creede, located in southcentral Colorado, are seeking a qualified firm(s) to provide consulting services to determine the feasibility of the acquisition of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad (D&RG) which runs between South Fork, Colorado and Creede, Colorado.  The final product will include an appraisal of real estate, depot, and track, inventory assessment of rail and rolling stock, title review, Phase 1 Environmental Study, and assessment of the condition of the track and other infrastructure.

The Creede branch of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad was constructed in 1881 as a way to seek out sources of traffic for the newly-constructed La Veta Pass line. The track meanders for approximately 18 miles along the scenic river corridor of the Rio Grande River, which is also a part of the Silver Thread Scenic By-way.  The line was initially only built west across the flat section of the valley, reaching South Fork in 1881. By 1883 this had been extended westward as far as Wagon Wheel Gap with the intentions of reaching the Creede mining district. However, the railroad found itself financially over-extended due to the rapid expansion during the early 1880s, and decided to postpone further construction. By 1889, operations had been cut back to Del Norte, on account of little to no traffic and heavy snows on the west end of the line.

David Moffat realized that Creede could be the next mining boom town. However, while he was president of the D&RG during the same era, he was unable to convince the Board of Directors to push the rails west to Creede. Nicholas Creede found the rich vein of ore in the canyon north of Creede in 1890 that would really start the Creede mining boom. His claim became the Holy Moses Mine, which was shortly thereafter purchased by Moffat Frustrated that the D & RG would never finish the branch and his mining investments would be stuck without reliable rail transportation, Moffat resigned his position with the D&RG and built the ten miles from Wagon Wheel Gap to Creede using his own fortune. Operations on the new line were contracted out to the D&RG, and once construction costs were recouped (in only four short months), the extension was subsequently sold to the D&RG in 1892.

Originally constructed as a narrow gauge line was converted to dual gauge in 1901 and then the rail to North Creede was converted to pure standard gauge in 1902.  Rio Grande trains continued hauling ore out of the Creede area until the last mine closed in 1985. However, no revenue train ever entered Creede after 1969. Past that point, all ore was loaded on the wye at Wasson, about two miles from downtown Creede and almost four miles from the original end of track.

This corner of the D&RGW system was also home to the last standard gauge steam run on the Rio Grande. On 26-Dec-1956, D&RGW 1136 ran from Alamosa to Creede and back, and when it dropped its fires that night, the steam era ended on the Grande.

The line passed to Southern Pacific in 1988, and then to Union Pacific in 1996. The South Fork-Creede segment was put up for abandonment by UP in January 1999. Three proposals came in to purchase the line with the Denver & Rio Grande Historical Foundation as the successful bidder.[1]

In 2016, Don Shank, President of the Denver and Rio Grande Historical Foundation, decided to sell the railroad with an asking price of $3MM.  He approached several local entities including the Coalition.    Their desire to have control over the corridor and what does and does not happen on the corridor has created a need for these studies.

  1. Background

The coalition is located in the San Luis Valley which is comprised of 6 counties (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache), is approximately 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2) and has an average elevation of 7,664 feet (2,336 m) above sea level. The Valley is a section of the Rio Grande Rift and is drained to the south by the Rio Grande River, which rises in the San Juan Mountains to the west of the valley and flows south into New Mexico. The valley is approximately 122 miles (196 km) long and 74 miles (119 km) wide, extending from the Continental Divide on the northwest rim into New Mexico on the south. The physical geography and location offers year-round recreational opportunities.   

The Town of South Fork is located in Rio Grande County while the Town of Creede is located in Mineral County.    The economy of these communities relies on tourism and the draw to the area is the scenic beauty of the area.  Many of the visitors each year participate in a variety of outdoor adventures.   All of this adds up to an overarching desire to control what does and does not happen on the corridor and have the ability to promote positive impacts and mitigate negative impacts, including the potential for railcar storage.

In 2014, a San Luis Valley Trails and Recreation Master Plan was completed for all six counties in the Valley.  The general public completed surveys for its completion.    The public specifically identified that they wanted to connect communities, expand and enhance trail systems throughout the Valley, and utilize railroad corridors if possible.  This specific rail corridor was identified by the public as potential expansion and enhanced recreational opportunities.

III.          Scope of Work

All specific, major components of the Request for Proposal are outlined in Exhibit A, Scope of Work.  All of the items listed in Exhibit A are the sole responsibility of the consultant; the County will not reimburse, or pay the consultant for unrelated, undocumented and/or unauthorized time or expenses. The total budget is $ 80,000.00. This will be a fixed contract.

  1. Proposal Requirements

In addition to other required submittals in this RFP, each proposal shall include the following:

  1. Summary Statement – Provide a brief statement that summarizes the unique qualifications of the proposer in relation to the unique and general requirements of this project. Boiler-plate Summary Statements will not be looked upon favorably.
  2.  Proposed Project Team Organization and Qualifications – Provide a chart that identifies the roles of each of the Key Individual(s) involved in each phase of the project. Provide resumes for all Key Individuals on the Proposed Project Team.
  3.  Proposed Project Team Performance on Past Projects and References – Provide information for at least five projects that demonstrate the proposer’s ability to accomplish this project. For each project identified, provide the following information: Owner, Description, Photo, Cost, Special Features, and Project Team Members’ involvement. Provide a reference for each project listed above who may be contacted for further information regarding the performance of the proposer’s Project Team.
  4. Proposed Project Approach – Provide a Proposed Project Approach that describes the roles and responsibilities of the proposer’s Project Team members and how the Team will work together to achieve the objectives of the project. The Proposed Project Approach should identify decision making authority and points of contact. The Proposed Project Approach should provide a Proposed Project Schedule, including schedules for individual items as applicable. The proposed project schedule shall list important dates, times and locations of meetings and submittals. The Committee will consider timely completion in the recommendation and selection of the consultant.
  5. Cost Proposal – Provide a Cost Proposal to perform the work described herein in a not to exceed format.  Said Cost Proposal shall be a consideration in the evaluation of proposals but shall not be the sole determining factor. The Cost Proposal should include a breakdown of costs for individual tasks listed in the scope of work. The Cost proposal should be sent in a separate sealed envelope. In addition, please include an hourly cost breakdown by position for additional services that may be requested.
  1. Timeline for  Proposal



  1. Any proposal not received prior to the time and date specified shall not be accepted.

Proposals shall be submitted to: 

Roni Wisdom

Rio Grande County

Denver and Rio Grande Rail Road Due Diligence RFP

925 6th Street; Suite 207    -      Del Norte, CO  81132


  1. The following schedule outlines the overall timeframe for the RFP process:

Event                                                                     Date/Time

RFP Released                                                         June 30, 2017

Last Day to Submit Questions in writing                  July 20, 2017

Requests due                                                         July 21, 2017 5 P.M.

Review of Submittals                                              July 26-31, 2017

Selection of Finalists                                               August  4, 2017

Interview of Finalists                                               August  9-11, 2017

Announcement of Consultant                                  August  16, 2017

Contract to Rio Grande County                                August 30, 2017   

Notice to Proceed Tentatively                                  August 30, 2017 (or as soon as all contracts are signed)

Completion                                                             December 1, 2017

  1. Proposers must submit 5 (five) print copies of their proposals and 1 (one) electronic copy (PDF). Fax

and email proposals will not be accepted.

  1. The cover letter shall be signed by someone legally able to bind the proposer.
  1. All proposers must be properly licensed to conduct business in the State of Colorado. All proposers shall include evidence that the proposer is licensed to do business in the State of Colorado.   Proof of all applicable professional licenses is required.
  1. The selected consultant will be required to enter into a written contract with the County in order to             provide the services required in the RFP.
  1. While there is no mandatory pre-bid meeting with interested entities, appointments can be made with

Roni Wisdom, Rio Grande County for an onsite visit.

  1. All questions and requests for explanations must be submitted in writing to:

Roni Wisdom             719-657-4216    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Janelle Kukuk           719-658-2360    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tom Acre                   719-873-0152    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Clyde Dooley             719-658-2276    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  1. Evaluation Criteria

The Coalition will generally evaluate the proposals on the following items:

Proposed Project Team Organization and Qualifications 30%

Performance on Past Projects and References 20%

Project Methodology and Approach 30%

Cost 20%

General Conditions:

A selection committee (with representation from all four local governments) will evaluate all timely submissions. Phone or in-person interviews will be conducted as part of the selection process.

A final ranking will be established and presented to Rio Grande County, who as the fiscal agent will select and contract the firm or individual from the ranking list based upon recommendation from the selection committee.

Fee and scope negotiations will take place with the selected firm or individual. If an agreement is not reached, then the selected firm will be disqualified and fee and scope negotiations will begin with the next ranked firm or individual. The County reserves the right to terminate the selection process at any time and re-advertise for consulting services.

A professional Consulting Services Agreement will be entered into once a firm or individual is selected and the selected consultant will then produce proof of required insurance coverage.

The County reserves the right to reject any and all proposals at its sole discretion. In addition, the County reserves the right to select the consultant that represents the best value to the project.  It is the County’ sole discretion to define best value based upon the Selection Committee’s recommendation.

VII.         Attachments

  1. Scope of Work
  2. Region map

VIII.       Known Resources 

  1. 2014 SLV Trails and Recreation Master Plan
  2. Mineral  County
  3. County:   Janelle Kukuk, County Administrator   719-658-2360
  4. Town of Creede:  Clyde Dooley, Town Manager at 719-658-2276
  5. Rio Grande County
  6. County:  Roni Wisdom, County Administrator  719-657-4216    
  7. Town of South Fork: Tom Acre, Town  Manager  719-873-0152
  1. BLM – Contact Sean Noonan, Outdoor Recreational Planner for SLV BLM, Monte Vista office;

719-852-6267 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  1. Forest Service – Contact   National Forest, Monte Vista office; 719-852-6221 or   
  2. Tom Malececk   @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  1. Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  2. Rick Basagoita:  Area Wildlife Manager  719-587-6934  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  1. San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority;  

Pete Magee

Integrated Land Services

6820 South Highway 17, Alamosa, CO  81101

 (719)-587-0286    or   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


ATTACHMENT A: Scope of Work


Objective 1:  Appraisal of the real estate, rail road right-of-way, fee simple and easements

  • Consultant to meet determine value of the actual real estate, rail and rail road right-of-way using standard appraisal techniques


Objective 2:  Valuation of Rolling Stock

  • Determine the value of railroad equipment based upon a list and personal observation of said equipment.


Objective 3:  Title Work Review

  • To determine ownership and identify and conditions and restrictions affecting the use of the parcels to be acquired.
  • Include a photocopy of the latest recorded deed in its entirety
  • Include photo copies of the entire recorded deed of any easements, rights-of-way, restrictions or conditions of record.
  • Description of the parcel to be insured and indicate the correct tax related parcel numbers.

Objective 4: Phase 1 Environmental Evaluation

  • Complete a Phase 1 environmental assessment of the property
  • Prepare a written report that meets or exceeds ASTM 1527-13 standards and All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) rules.

Objective 5:  Study of Track Conditions and Needs

  • Assess the railroad track conditions for current use
  • Assess the condition of bridges, crossings, and other infrastructures for soundness and carrying capacity for major loads
  • Make recommendations for any needed up-grades for current standards of use and possible future uses.




  • Appraisal
  • Rolling stock valuation
  • Title work
  • Phase I Environmental
  • Report of track conditions and needs


[1], Creede Branch

pdfClick here to download the packet329.33 KB

Addendum added July 14, 2017

Addendum to the June 29, 2017
Request for Proposal


Counties of Rio Grande and Mineral
Towns of South Fork and Creede
Rio Grande County, Colorado, Fiscal Agent

Denver and Rio Grande Rail Road Project
South Fork to Creede

July 14, 2017

The Scope of Work for the above referenced Request for Proposal will be changed to read:

Objective 1: Appraisal of the real estate, rail road right-of-way, fee simple and easements

  • Consultant to determine market value of the actual real estate and improvements.
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