Colorado Railroad History

Colorado history is steeped in railroads & mining.  For the most part, neither could have existed without the other.  The railroads built the towns and access, the mines provided the cash flow.  Even today, a lot of the major rail traffic is coal from the northwest coal fields of the state.

Tourist railroads also go back to the late 1800's.  They built resorts and other tourist attractions in some of the most scenic areas.  Hundreds and thousands of sightseers traveled the rails.  That was, until the automobile became reliable transportation.  Only a couple of tourist trains survived.  In the 1960's, tourist rail experienced a rebirth, with some new railroads starting, and other, abandoned roads reopened.  The latest is the Rio Grande Scenic Railway, in Alamosa, who started operations on 2006.

Colorado timeline

Denver & Rio Grande

Durango & Silverton

 

Bibliography

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