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Monthly Archives: September 2010

2010: Railfanning South of Town; Part II / Day#4

On our final day of this latest outing we once again headed up Highway 24 and then cut over to Mueller State Park for some more hiking. The Aspen are starting to change with the cool fall air at this altitude. The terrain here is a bit more rouged and hilly so we only took a few short / easy trails.

I did learn that here too the Colorado Midland route can be seen at various points including from the road. So, as we left the park I went to where I was told to look and sure enough there is what was called Murphy’s Cut visible from the road as the route cut through the part and over the road.

As we started making our way back home we once again stop in Manitou Springs to locate the 11 Mineral Springs the city is famous for. Found all 11 but some are now dry and others are not flowing all the well now.

Manitou Springs

From there we head back into Colorado Springs but before we get onto I-25 I learned I missed a depot from a earlier trip. Right next to the old D&RGW / CRI&P depot at Sierra Madre St. built in 1877 is it’s replacement at 112 West Pikes Peak Ave. This small more modern building used today by UP as a Freight Office was also historically the D&RGW/CRI&P depot.

Well, there was a D&RGW Engine there too that has been UP Patched (Grr!) as well as a D&RGW Caboose and you know I was not leaving without take a few shots of them too…

After that it was back up I-25 to home…

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Posted by on 09/13/2010 in RRAdventures

 

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2010: Railfanning South of Town; Part II / Day#3

Day#3 and we once again drive through Cripple Creek were I stopped briefly to see how the restore of Engine #4 of the Cripple Creek and Victor RR was doing since I was last here.

We then headed to the next road that is part of the Gold Belt Tour National Scenic Byway; Shelf Road. This was the old toll road for Freight and Passenger Wagons coming into the area during the mining era when railroads once dominated this area.

Gold Belt Tour National Scenic Byway

From there we stopped at Red Canyon Park but it was a bit to much 4×4 driving and hot for us this trip so we took a few rock photographs and pulled back out.

We then went to Garden Park Fossil Area and Marsh Quarry where many of bones have been dug up in this region.

This day would sadly also be the last running of the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway as Buckskin Joe park ended it’s operation. We are told the train will be moved “somewhere” in Colorado but they would not say were. Well, we bought tickets and took one last ride of this tiny train that goes to the edge of the canyon rim. A full trip report on the ride will come in another RRAdventures topic…

Back into Canon City next were we tracked down a Mining Engine and Ora Car display that sits right outside the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility.

We once again got onto another section of the Gold Belt Tour National Scenic Byway, this time High Road. This is were many of the old Cattle Ranches were(are) prior to the Mining Era that supplied many a steaks for miners and RR employees during the mining era.

Gold Belt Tour National Scenic Byway

As we headed back to our hotel in Colorado Springs, I stopped in Old Colorado City to photograph the old Colorado Midland Roundhouse that has been once again renovated for retail usage.

 
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Posted by on 09/12/2010 in RRAdventures

 

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2010: Railfanning South of Town; Part II / Day#2

On our second of our four-day trip, we once again headed up Highway 24 and reached Divide where we located their Colorado Midland Depot that they are now trying to preserve.

From there we headed into Cripple Creek to visit their new Pikes Peak Heritage Center that includes historical material from their history including some neat RR displays I will show more later in a future RRAdventures Trip Report.

Railroad Maps

We then traveled to Victor and drove into Phantom Canyon which was once where the Florence and Cripple Creek RR route was; more of this in a future RRAdventures Trip Report too.

Once we reach the other end of the canyon in Canon City, it was back to looking for more surviving RR history. Our first stop was to locate a bank that was once the D&RGW Depot here…

From there we headed to the Dinosaur Depot Museum that sits inside the old Fire House across from the Rio Gorge Railway.

We spotted lots of old RR equipment in a yard near by and also found two Rock and Rail engines sitting there…

We did not take the Rio Gorge Railway train this time but I did take a few photos including this shot of the old AT&SF Depot they use today.

From there we headed to Florence to track down two depots that still survive there. The first was the AT&SF depot that is now a private home and the second was the D&RGW depot now a Senior Center.

Our final destination for Day#2 was to head to Portland to find a bridge on State Route 120 that we were told still had D&RGW markings. Found the bridge but didn’t see any markings on it but there was a D&RGW Trespassing sign in front of it. We could only take a few quick shots and clear the area as the best angle was from on the highway bridge itself…

 
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Posted by on 09/11/2010 in RRAdventures

 

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2010: Railfanning South of Town; Part II / Day#1

Lisa and I once again headed out of town and headed south for a short vacation. On our first day we hiked around Castlewood State Park which once was a lake behind a dam that failed reveling the canyon once again.

We next headed into Manitou Springs to track down and photograph the Colorado Midland Passenger Depot that still exists that is now a private home.

We later headed up Highway 24 to see if we could find some historical markers in several towns that we read marked the location of where their depots once stood. This information we had was from 1979 and sadly we did not locate any of the markers. The towns searched were Cascade, Chipita (Ute) Park, and Green Mountain Falls. All of these would have been on the Colorado Midland route that basically Highway 24 now resides.

We continued to Woodland Park were we also read that part of the Passenger Station still exists and was now the library. Well, we found a brand new Library but talked to folks that said the old library had been moved over to a park to be used as a storage shed. Yep, one Baggage Room; all that remains of the depot from the fire that nearly destroyed it many years ago…

 
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Posted by on 09/10/2010 in RRAdventures

 

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