Here are a few shots taken Spring/Summer 2019, some of the last of the old Pike’s Peak Cog Railway built 1890-1891. (And yes I know I have shutter problems)
Some of the construction once they tore up the rails, etc.
The metal refuse pile as it was the day after they tore out the rails. If I’d been up there earlier I could have brought back my weight in railroad spikes but I did come away with a few plates and bolts.
Cripple Creek is a mere half hour South of where I’m currently living, so you’d think I’d get there more often, but I don’t. Even that day I didn’t do as much as I wanted and decided that I’d have to go back at some point.
Below is one of my first attempts with 4×5 film, marred by either the film holder or uneven development, possibly both.
This is the cog railway that goes from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pike’s Peak. 2018 was the first year since 1891 that it didn’t run, which was a big bummer for a heck of a lot of people: if you read any brochure or article on the best things to do in Colorado Springs, the cog railway was always #1. It’s owned by the Broadmoor Hotel, they had about a century of deferred maintenance to address, and what they’re saying is that it’s going to cost $95 Million to fix, and all the parts have to be machined from scratch from a company in Switzerland.
Thankfully, the Broadmoor has plenty of money and the last I heard, they’re saying that the railway will be up and running in 2021. Never having ridden the train before (I thought I had plenty of time), it was a gigantic bummer, so I’ll be one of the first in line to get tickets once it comes back. I took those pictures while we were waiting to hear of the assessment’s findings. This train pictured was evidently their maintenance engine, probably the last time I saw any train on top of the mountain.
Here’s a picture of Ridgerunner pointing out the wear in the track:
Fujicolor 200 in the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80. Autofocus at its finest…
I was able to take a train ride while attending the Durango Independent Film Festival in the beginning of March. Being winter, the line was only open for the bottom half, so it made a nice morning trip and something to do before attending my first screening at the festival.
While the scenery was nice, I was of course more interested in the steam locomotive itself.
Well actually, my brother was the train buff when we were growing up, but my fascination with old technology has worked its way to these wonderful contraptions. Especially steam locomotives: properly maintained, they can work for centuries and besides that they look wonderful. Engine 169 from the Denver & Rio Grande railroad is a good candidate for restoration, and had been saved and preserved in Alamosa, CO.
William Jackson Palmer was a Quaker from Pennsylvania, went into the railroad business at 15, but felt so strongly about the cause of Abolition that he joined the Union Army during the Civil War, and suffered consequences of that from his family and church. He served with distinction, became second-youngest General in U.S. history, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Lincoln himself. After the war, he went back into railroads, came out West, and founded his own railroad running North-South. The D&RG intersected most other railroads there at the time, and connected many mining towns along the Front Range that had sprung up supplying miners going into the Rockies looking for gold. General Palmer founded the town of Colorado Springs and lived there the rest of his life. I was happy to see a Springs connection in Alamosa when I went there for the Southern Colorado Film Festival.
There was a railroad that I considered riding after the festival, but ended up not having time for unfortunately. I did go into their yard and take a few pics of some of their engines and cars; some are in better condition than others. What I didn’t see and wish I had was a mid-century diesel engine, though there were later electric engines, though perhaps they were in a different spot. Alamosa seems to be a repository of old train cars and I hope these will end up being preserved as well.