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Three Stops In Colorado / Rochelle, Illinois Hot Spot

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All pictures displayed are video captures from actual program footage unless noted.

Program 114
Three Stops In Colorado / Rochelle, Illinois Hot Spot

The Georgetown Loop Railroad was rebuilt in the late 70's and through the 80's to appear exactly as it did around the turn of the century. This narrow gauge line even includes some of the original lineside structures and traverses the original roadbed.

In one hour and 30 minutes, the Manitou and Pike's Peak Cog Railway travels to the peak of Colorado's 32nd highest mountain, a trip that used to takes 2 days by mule. This famous railway is a prime example of the cog railway principal.

The Southern Pacific - Union Pacific merger of 1996 meant the end of the picturesque Royal Gorge Route. Before its closure as a transcontinental route, the Union Pacific ran one last excursion led by steam locomotive 844. Experience the train's arrival in nearby Canon City, and it's passage through Royal Gorge the following morning.

Videotaped in June 1997.

Rochelle, Illinois represents a busy intersecting point between the Union Pacific's ex-C & NW Chicago - Omaha line and Burlington Northern Santa Fe's Chicago - Twin Cities route. This Hot Spot was one of the most frequently populated places we've visited.

Videotaped in September 1997.

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The Georgetown Loop Railroad's main claim to fame is the High Bridge. First constructed in the late 1800's, the bridge was dismantled in the 1930's only to be rebuilt again in the 1980's.

The narrow gauge General Electric diesels on the Georgetown Loop are actually considered more rare than the steam engines normally used.

Open cars and deep, broad valley's make the line a very scenic one. The cars have either been constructed new or converted from older freight cars.

Our second stop is the Pikes Peak & Manitou Springs Cog Railway. With out the use of the cog wheel and rack system, Pikes Peak trains would not even be able to leave the station.

The Pikes Peak railway uses trains that were constructed in Austria.

The trip to the summit of Pikes Peak takes an hour and a half. On a clear day, the views are spectacular.

Union Pacific 844 begins it assault on Royal Gorge and Tennessee Pass. Here, the train is just upstream from the famed Royal Gorge suspension bridge above and Rio Grande hanging bridge below. By the time the 844 passed this signal, the sound of its exhaust completely drowned out the roar of the nearby Arkansas River.

The river was running fast and cold that day as the train twists its way upstream.

We left the train as it departed Salida, Colorado. Today the rails over Tennessee Pass are rusted and weed-covered.

Union Pacific trains roll through Rochelle over the former Chicago Northwestern. The old C&NW practice of left handed operation of trains over the double-tracked main line still prevails. 

This train is about to cross over the BNSF as it rolls east toward Chicago.

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