COBWEB CORNERS: More on our railroads
By Mel McFarland
Last week I ran quickly over the railroads in the area, but I skipped a few. I also said how many railroads there were in the area. I will try to fill in the gaps this week.
I will add to the confusion by first including some odd railroads. I include the streetcar line as a railroad because technically it was. Not only did it haul people, but it actually hauled a bit of freight. One of the heavy users was the Broadmoor Hotel, which actually owned its own coal cars. They would move them at night to a hidden spot near the hotel right up until the streetcar line shut down in 1931. Then there is the cog railroad from Manitou up Pikes Peak. There were also two funicular railways, better known as cable lines in Manitou. The old Mt. Manitou Incline had a rival for a few years, the Red Mountain Incline. The first of those had a better view and lasted the longest. The second is barely remembered, but if it had not been built there would be no Coffin Race in Manitou.
Now to review the Manitou railroads. They were: The Denver and Rio Grande, Colorado Midland, Manitou and Pikes Peak, Mt. Manitou Incline, Red Mountain Incline as well as two streetcar lines! One was the Colorado Springs and Interurban, and the other had a long name - the Manitou Electric Railway and Casino Company. It ran up Ruxton to the cog depot. So that makes seven!
Colorado City had four: the Rio Grande, Colorado Midland, Short Line and the streetcar line.
In Colorado Springs, there were the Rio Grande, Santa Fe, Missouri Pacific, Colorado Midland, Rock Island, Short Line, and the D&NO (which eventually became the Colorado and Southern), plus the streetcar line.
If you count name changes, there are a bunch more. The list between the D&NO to the Colorado and Southern is about four more. Also, I have included the Colorado Midland and the Midland Terminal as one. So, now do not ask me how we got today's Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Union Pacific!