The Capitan Train Depot was first
built as a part of the El Paso and
Northeastern Railroad in 1899 or 1900.
The original location was at Coalora,
about 1 ½ miles west of Capitan as a
depot to handle the growing needs of a
coal field which eventually was run by
the Phelps- Dodge Corporation.
In 1973 the building was given to
the State of New Mexico as part of
Smokey Bear Park. Today it is used only
for storage. The Capitan Depot Museum,
LLC plans to restore it for use as a local
museum with an emphasis on its
railroad days and its ties to farming and
ranching in Lincoln County.
The coal field was closed about 1905
and in 1906 the depot was moved to its
present location in Capitan. The railline
was extended to Capitan and the depot
served as a terminal for freight and
passengers until the 1940's. The building
was used as a depot and as storage for
George Titworth's local mercantile
company. When the rails were torn up in
1943 to make the steel available to the
war effort, the depot became storage for
a variety of enterprises.