Well, we missed the Royal Gorge train while traveling through Canon City, Colorado recently; although that wasn’t on our agenda. It would have been a nice ride if we had the time. Maybe next time, right?
I wasn’t readily aware of the influence of Canon City concerning history and the railroad.
According to Wikipedia, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad is a heritage railroad located in Cañon City, Colorado. The railroad transits the Royal Gorge on a 2-hour scenic and historic train ride along what is considered to be the most famed portion of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RG). The 1950s-era train departs the Santa Fe Depot in Cañon City daily. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Gorge_Route_Railroad
In the late 1870s, miners descended on the upper Arkansas River valley of Colorado in search of carbonate ores rich in lead and silver. The feverish mining activity in what would become the Leadville district attracted the attention of both the Rio Grande and Santa Fe railroads, each already having tracks in the Arkansas valley.
The Santa Fe had tracks in Pueblo and the D&RG had tracks near Cañon City, Colorado, some 35 miles (56 km) west. Leadville was over 100 miles (160 km) away through the “Grand Canon of the Arkansas,” a mountain valley 50 miles (80 km) in length at a consistent and railroad-friendly water grade of one per cent.
For two railroads to occupy a river valley ordinarily was not a problem, however, west of Cañon City the Arkansas River cuts through the Royal Gorge, a high plateau of igneous rocks forming a spectacular steep-walled gorge over 1,000 feet (300 m) deep and 6 miles (9.7 km) long. At its narrowest point sheer walls on both sides plunge into the river, creating a nearly impassable barrier. Sharing is not an option along this route, which created some challenges for the two railroads.
While stopping for fuel I head a train whistle and all of a sudden it was just behind the gas station. I barely arrived in time to get a couple of photos and a short video clip. It was neat seeing the train with it’s open cars and the fancy looking ones as well. I’m sure you’ll enjoy taking a trip on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad if you travel through Canon City.
I also didn’t get to travel to the Royal Gorge itself but here is a link to some photos and further information. http://bit.ly/2qr3XBG
Don’t you just love the sound of trains. I imagine they are beautiful traveling through the Rockies.
Blessings along the way!