DRGW History and Information  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Started in 1869 from Golden, CO, the Colorado Central would be one of the first narrow gauge railroads in Colorado to head straight up into the mountains. Built originally to serve the mining areas around Blackhawk and Central City, it was eventually extended west towards the Divide in an ambitious Union Pacific-driven project to reach Leadville. However, beaten back by the Rio Grande's earlier arrival, the line's construction would stop in 1884 just past Silver Plume, CO, as the Georgetown, Breckenridge, & Leadville. However, in its short extension toward the Divide, a fascinating marvel of engineering would be constructed to overcome the 600 ft climb in two miles between Georgetown and Silver Plume - the Georgetown Loop.

The Georgetown Loop twists 4.5 miles of track into 2 linear miles. The line up from Georgetown follows Clear Creek, then loops back on itself, crossing both the lower line and the creek on a steel trestle nearly 100 feet high. While other railroads have used loops to gain altitude in short amounts of space, the Georgetown has the unique footnote of being the only one to do it completely in open air - all of the rest placed at least part of the loop inside a mountain via tunneling. A scenic wonder since its construction in 1884, it was often capitalized upon as a tourist attraction by its owners. However, as with most Colorado narrow gauge, the automobile eventually won out, and in 1939, the bridge and the remaining track w... (Continued)

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