First time I wrote this page was many years ago, I was still doing some model railroading and was coming into this area from a model railroader's standpoint, which had just found a place that spoke to all my dreams and fantasies for a area to design and build a model railroad based on.
As years went by, I learned stuff, I bought books, later post card folders and one day, postcards, and then, I was able to start winning through eBay also photographs, old books, railroad tourist pamphlets and books and other published materials, mining journals and so on.
My interest just grew and grew, the railroad side was soon just a part of my interest, I was literally at home in the area, its history, and I had to learn and find more and more and more and more!
So, you see, while my website is built upon years and years of interest for this area, parts of it still show where I came from, and this page is one of those "left overs" from a railroad based interest, while today, it is a mixture of the mining and the rail and the scenery that still hold my interest and wish to keep on digging, to keep on learning, to keep on collecting!
The below text is mainly written all the way back to about 1998/99, so it is not really an up to date info about my plans, but it still has merits in showing what got my attention and still valid points for the area from a railroad based view.
So, why did I many years ago made the start for this website? Why do I want to learn as much as I can about the Pike's Peak, Colorado Springs and the Cripple Creek area?
Well, all I can say is that I'm in love...
In love with Colorado (a state in USA, for those who don't know... ), and particular with this relative small area southwest for Denver, near Colorado Springs!!
And even if I really, really liked the area around Red Mountain and Silverton - (south)-western part of the state - because of the really magnificent nature there, I still have chosen the Cripple Creek area as an inspiration for my modeling.
I bet you wonder why, especially after what I just said about the San Juan's area...
Well, here's the answer!
You see, I like trains - both the heavy mainline types and more short line type, I like trams/trolleys, I like the narrow gauge trains, I find the mining industry interesting (even if they have been destroying much nature..). I love nature, especially mountains and narrow valleys - and dramatic scenery!
And that's the beauty about the Colorado Springs and the Cripple Creek area! You see:
- I can have/model mainline modeling (ex AT&SF - now BNSF, ex Rio Grande - now UP).
- I can have/model the Colorado Midland (CM) - a standard gauge railroad that penetrated the Rocky Mountains towards the west (it's said it never should have been build, but it was..). That railroad had some really lovely scenic wonders in my meaning, just begging to be modeled - even if the last train ran on that railroad early into the 20th century (August of 1918).
- I can have/model the "sole survivor" Midland Terminal (MT) that in addition to it's own track from Divide to Cripple Creek used some of the track from the CM to get from Cripple Creek via Divide to Colorado Springs - MT got closed in 1949 due to the opening of a new mill in the District and hence no need for it anymore.
- I also can have/model a narrow gauge - the Florence and Cripple Creek RR (F&CC RR). It came into the Cripple Creek area from south and with an interchange with Rio Grande's mainline through Royal Gorge/Tennessee Pass. F&CC RR as a outbound railroad was closed in 1912 after a big washout in Phantom Canyon. Most of the narrow line in the District was still used for many years. Meaning I can have lots of dual gauge action, great! LOL
- I can also have/model another standard gauge railroad that went into Cripple Creek from Colorado Springs. The Short Line - or more correct, The Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway (CS&CCD Ry.) This line was shut down in 1920 I think. It ran through a very dramatic and beautiful landscape, at least according to pictures I have seen!
- There's even more rail history! You have the Trolley/tram operation in Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs, and the Trolley operation in the Cripple Creek district! Also closed down early in the 20th century, but it was there at least... >
- And, not to forget, the worlds highest cog railroad - Manitou & Pike's Peak Railway (M&PP Ry.) - up to the top of Pikes Peak from it's depot in Manitou Springs!
- There where also an other cog railroad to a nearby zoo at one time, and I think there even where a cableway (called an incline) to a top over Manitou Springs.
- Of other things, you have The Garden Of Gods, lots of mining and related industry, and so on... What more do you need...? (Except for a very big house/room so I could model all this...) - Or, as I discovered in late 2002, use Trainz to make it all in a computer... Then you just need a big hard drive, a very fast computer (mine's not...), lots & lots of time - and some commitment to learn new things like modeling in 3D instead of in "real world".