A History of the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Rack Railway | Way of life

As a new era dawns for the tallest attraction of its kind in North America, here’s a look at the history of the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway:

1888: Wisconsin inventor and entrepreneur Zalmon Simmons visits Pikes Peak to inspect its telegraphic insulators atop the summit. Two tough days on a mule made him think of a more efficient and comfortable way to get to the top of the mountain.

1889: Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Co. is founded and construction begins.

1890: Three steam locomotives arrive from Baldwin Locomotive Works in Pennsylvania. The first passengers on the train reach the summit a year later.

1925: Simmons sells the railway to Spencer Penrose, owner of Broadmoor.

1938: The decade sees a change in steam and coal engines. This year, an autonomous gasoline wagon is installed, considered the first of its kind.

1964: Where the General Electric Co. of New York was called upon for the gas fleet, now Swiss Locomotive Works enters the fold. The Swiss company delivers two red wagons – the first in a series that sets the standard for the modern era.

1974: With tourism booming and operators looking for a train that can carry more than 200 people, Swiss Locomotive Works delivers a pair of diesel-hydraulic wagons. Others were eventually added and used in the 2000s.

2018: After 126 years of service, the railway decides not to open for the season, following a major assessment of infrastructure and equipment.

2021: The railway returns with improved trains – and three new ones from Swiss manufacturer Stadler – as well as a restructured cogwheel track. The deposit is also renovated.

Sources: Colorado Encyclopedia, Manitou Cog Railway and Pikes Peak


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Jun Quentin

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