With a new era dawning for the highest 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 his telegraph insulators atop the summit. A hard two days on a mule gets him thinking about a more efficient and comfortable way to the mountaintop.

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

1890: Three steam-powered locomotives arrive from Pennsylvania’s Baldwin Locomotive Works. The train’s first passengers reach the summit a year later.

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

1938: The decade sees a shift from steam and coal engines. This year, a self-contained, gas-powered railcar is installed, believed to be the first of its kind.

1964: Where New York’s General Electric Co. was relied on for the gas fleet, now Swiss Locomotive Works enters the fold. The Switzerland company delivers two red railcars — the first in a series that sets the standard for the modern age.

1974: With tourism booming and operators looking for a train that could carry more than 200 people, Swiss Locomotive Works delivers a pair of diesel-hydraulic railcars. More eventually are added and used into the 2000s.

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

2021: The railway returns with upgraded trains — and three new ones from Swiss manufacturer Stadler — along with a restructured cog track. The depot is also renovated.

Sources: Colorado Encyclopedia, Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway


Get OutThere

Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.