On 13 April 1897 Lucian D. Ross, Thomas Burk, James L. Lindsay, W.T. Doubt and Kurnel R. Babbitt organized the Cripple Creek District Railway Company to operate a 6.25 mile standard gauge electric line between Cripple Creek and Victor.
The Articles of Incorporation were amended 17 November 1899, at which time the line's name was changed to Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District Railway. An extension to Colorado Springs opened in April 1901.
From 1897 to 1904 the Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District Railway remained under the control of local investors. After gaining control of the line through stock ownership in 1904, the Colorado & Southern directed operations until 1911.
After the line lost money due to competition from the Florence and Cripple Creek Railway and the Midland Terminal Railway, the Colorado & Southern, in 1911, leased the Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District Railway to the Florence and Cripple Creek.
In 1915 this lease was transferred to the Cripple Creek Central Railway, which also controlled the Midland Terminal Railway.
By 1917 most rail traffic in the area was directed to the Midland Terminal Railway. The loss of the Bear Creek Bridge in May 1918 cut off all direct traffic from Colorado springs.
The Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District Railway was declared bankrupt in 1919, at which time it went into receivership. All operations ceased in 1920 and the line was sold for scrap.
From one of my Short Line Blue Books I also have this quite nice text, used often in those books:
|The Short Line|
The following will answer questions which are daily propounded by tourists who take a trip over Colorado's most remarkable railroad:
The corporate title is "The Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway Company."
It is called "The Short Line" because it is the short and direct route between Colorado Springs and the Gold Camp.
Preliminary surveys were made in the summer and fall of 1899; the final or locating survey was made late in the same year.
January 4, 1900, actual work was begun at the Colorado Springs end, a large army of men and horses being employed.
March 23rd, 1901 - about a year and three months - the last spike was driven at the Cripple Creek terminus, completing 45 miles of standard gauge track, a remarkable record. It was the occasion for the most memorable celebration in the history of the Gold Camp.
April 8th, 1901, the line was formally opened to the public, and at once became very popular as a scenic route.
November 9th, 1901, the line from Cameron to Victor, five miles, was opened for traffic.
It is built around the rims and over the tops of North and South Cheyenne Canons, instead of following the stream levels at the bottoms, thus affording long distance views of bewildering grandeur.
From Colorado Springs to Summit, 21 miles, a uniform grade of 3.56 per cent. is maintained. The maximum curvature is 16 degrees.
There are nine tunnels, through solid granite, the longest 530 feet. Eight of them are east of Summit and one west thereof. They are much higher and wider than the ordinary railroad tunnels.
The road represents an expenditure of four and a half millions of dollars, undoubtedly the most costly road in the West, according to mileage.
It is conceded to be the best and most substantially built mountain railroad in the country, no expense being spared to secure the best of everything for its construction.
The roadbed is wide and of an ideal character, built on solid rock around the mountain sides. It is solidly and uniformly ballasted with disintegrated granite, clean and absolutely dustless.
The smooth track is standard gauge and laid with 75-pound steel on closely spaced ties. The alignment is perfect, and the curves scientifically elevated to prevent pitching or jarring of coaches.
The monster locomotives, of the consolidated type, were built especially for the service. They have eight 51-inch drivers, the total weight of engine and tender being 277,600 pounds.
The Passenger equipment is of the Twentieth Century type and the best that money can buy. The Palace Observation cars, run on the rear of all trains, afford an unobstructed view of the scenery.
It was originally projected to handle coal and other supplies to the Camp and haul ore from the mines to the smelters and mills, and is transporting a very large tonnage daily.
On account of its rare scenic attractions, superb equipment and convenient service to and from the Gold Camp, it has developed a phenomenal passenger traffic. It is the feature of a Western tour, and no tourist to Colorado would think of missing it.
Point Sublime, looking down into North Cheyenne Canon, Broadmoor and the Plains, is universally conceded to be the most gorgeous spectacle in this country.
The ascent of St. Peter's Dome, winding around the rim of South Cheyenne Canon, showing several elevations of track, is a marvelous engineering feat.
Between St. Peter's and Duffields you travel over three miles by rail to gain a distance of 1,600 feet, and an elevation of 540 feet.
West of Duffields you view the east end of tunnel 7 and the west end of tunnel 8, making a complete loop of the mountain.
Looking east from Duffields, Colorado Springs, 18 miles, is in plain view, while to the south, Pueblo, 45 miles, may be seen.
The Devil's Slide is a solid mountain of hard granite with smooth surface one thousand feet from top to bottom, the railroad being cut through the face of same.
Some railroads boast of a single "horseshoe curve." The Short Line has them by the score, single and double, forming the letter "S" and loops of all kinds, spanning the canons and twisting around the mountains.
Cathedral Park, at Clyde Station, is noted for its fantastic rock formations, rising hundreds of feet above the ground. Also a perpetual ice cavern at the base of a large spire. Ice formed in the winter from a mountain stream remains solid throughout the summer.
Hoosier Pass is the highest elevation on the steam line, 10,360 feet. Theview of the city of Cripple Creek and the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) range, always snow capped, from this point is one of incomparable magnificence.
The scenic grandeur and marvelous construction of the road are continuous from one end to the other, and it is difficult to select points of special interest. It is one grand panorama of nature's most gorgeous and stupendous mountain and canon scenery.
It is strictly a Colorado enterprise, the funds for its construction and the courage necessary to push it to completion being furnished by capitalists of Colorado Springs and the principal mine owners of the Cripple Creek District.
The modern Electric Trolley System, 18 miles, connecting the various towns in the District and passing the big mines, is owned and controlled by The Short Line. The "Electric Circle Tour" between Cripple Creek and Victor, going via the "High Line" and returning via the "Low Line," or vice versa, is an experience which no tourist can afford to miss.