PHOTO TOURS / SIGHTSEEING TOURS

Train enthusiasts, you’re in luck.  Colorado has a rich history of railroads spurred by the gold rushes of the late 1800’s.  While much of the great rails that ran through the mountains are no longer running, a few historic rails have been saved or rebuilt for posterity (and tourism).  This day tour provides an opportunity to ride trains, photograph trains and learn a great deal about the history of the Colorado railroads.

Colorado Railroad Museum

Train buffs from all parts of the world LOVE this museum.  It is outdoors with over 100 locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars and cabooses; many of which you can climb on/in. Since the train displays are outside on large grounds, there is opportunity for truly excellent photographs.

Ride the Train: Train rides every Saturday. Catch a ride behind one of the Museum’s steam or diesel locomotives in passenger cars from different eras in Colorado railroad history or on the uniquely Colorado Galloping Goose. Rides operate 10:00AM to 4:00PM.

Special exhibits: The museum has more than just big trains.  Special exhibits include:

  • Denver Ho Railway Club – the Denver HO Model Railroad Club is one of the oldest and largest model railroad clubs in the Rocky Mountain region.
  • Denver Garden Railway Society – Denver Garden Railway Society will operate the layout most Saturday mornings from 9:00am until 12:00pm, weather permitting.
  • No Agua Water Tank – The Museum’s No Agua water tank has a capacity of about 10,000 gallons and is used to fill the operating steam locomotives.
  • Cornelius W. Hauck Roundhouse – There are five stalls in the roundhouse. No. 1 has an inspection pit for undercarriage access, No. 2 has narrow gauge rails, No. 3 includes a machine shop, No. 4 has dual-gauge rails and a wood shop and No. 5 has a pit.
  • Turntable – The Colorado Railroad Museum turntable came from the end of a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad branch line at St. Francis, Kansas. It is 74 feet long and was built in 1900 by the American Bridge Company of Chicago at its Lassig Works.

 

Georgetown Loop Railway

Even if you were not able to ride a train at the museum, that’s ok.  We have an even better train ride available every day of the week in the Georgetown Loop Railway.  The ride itself is an opportunity to relive history and have some real fun.  It’s also a great opportunity for photography of the surrounding canyon from the open top cars.  Maybe you want photos of the train itself, we will do that too.  We can hike up the track through the woods allowing us to capture unique images of the train as it makes its way up and down the route.

About the Train: The Georgetown Loop Railroad® was one of Colorado’s first visitor attractions. Completed in 1884, this spectacular stretch of three-foot narrow gauge railroad was considered an engineering marvel for its time. Today, the Loop is once again a popular tourist attraction and an exceptional way to see the Clear Creek Valley.

THREE MILES OF MARVELOUS ADVENTURE
The Loop takes you between Georgetown and Silver Plume, over 2 miles apart. The tracks scale an elevation of 640 feet over mountainous terrain, requiring trestles, cuts, fills, loops, and curves totaling 3.1 miles of narrow gauge track.

AN ENGINEERING FEAT FOR ITS TIME
The once-thriving mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume lie two miles apart in a steep, narrow mountain canyon. To connect the two, the railroad’s builders designed a “corkscrew” route that traveled twice the distance, slowly gaining more than 600 feet in elevation. The route included horseshoe curves, grades of up to 4% and four bridges across Clear Creek, including the massive Devil’s Gate High Bridge.

 

The Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad.

Located in the high country mountains in the historic town of Leadville (the highest incorporated city in North America), this open air train offers us 2 1/2 hours of sightseeing and photography in areas we can not reach by car.

The train reaches elevations 1,000 ft. above the headwaters of the Arkansas River Valley providing views of Freemont Pass and the two tallest peaks in Colorado, Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert. We will pass through mountain forests and high alpine meadows.  In the fall the aspen groves will display their rich “Aspen Gold” colors providing incredible photo opportunities. This destination can be integrated with a visit to the restored town of South Park (instead of the Golden Rail Museum, if desired).

  • Time of Year: Summer & Fall (1 Christmas time option)
  • Tour Length: 7-8 hrs
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Landscapes: Trains, Rocky Mountains
  • Wildlife: Mt. Goats, Big Horn Sheep