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The Pike Peak Cog Railroad 7/13/2009

by Chris Guenzler

I checked out of the Motel 6 and gassed up the rental car before driving to Manitou Springs. I parked the car and picked up my ticket before I used the bathroom then boarded the train for the 8:00 AM departure.

The train ready to head to Pikes Peak.

This one car train will be followed by a two car train once they get all the seats filled by stand by passengers.

Once the ticket office called out of the window that the last two seats were filled by two passengers from Boston, one who sat next to me, we were ready to go. We departed Manitou Springs at 8:10 AM.

Leaving the Manitou Springs Station behind as we start up the 8.9 miles of track to Pikes Peak.

The train passed the shops of the Pikes Peaks Cog Railroad.

The train entered the Pike National Forest.

Looking back down the grade as we climb the grade.

The rocks are interesting and you can see whatever you want to see.

The train starts up the Son of a Gun Hill.

Another rock formation.

We keep climbing Son of a Gun Hill.

Our conductor gives us a rolling commentary.

More rock formations.

The strongest tree in the world holding this boulder up.

Climbing Son of a Gun Hill.

Jumbo the Elephant Rock.

As we climbed Son of a Gun Hill you can see Colorado Springs.

Rock formations along our route.

Waterfall on Ruxton Creek.

Water tank.

Minnehaha 8,332 ft.

Climbing the grade.

Seal Rock.


More rock formations.

Another rock formation along our route.

Water Tower.

Another rock formation.

Another curve.

Ruxton Park.

Taking the curves.

Interesting tree.

Deer Park.

The train taking another curve.

Mountain View 10,012 ft.

We are running up the longest straight track on the railroad.

Pikes Peak came into view near Mountain View.

Rolling up the longest straight track on the railroad.

Water tank.

Running up the longest straight track on the railroad.

Interesting rock outcropping across the valley.

Looking down on Colorado Springs.

The train climbs the Big Hill.

The Big Hill is almost a 25% grade.

The trees are shorter as we near tree line.

Getting near tree line.

These trees do not grow much during their short growing season.

Lake Moraine.

Looking across at a peak across the valley.

Looking back down the grade of the Big Hill.

The railroad work crew takes a break while we passed by.

Looking back.

A train is running ahead of us but it is not a passenger train.

Looking across the valley.

A marmot runs away from the train.

Taking the final curve into Windy Point.

Colorado Springs from a long way up.

A train in the siding at Windy Point.

A look back.

A work train in the Windy Point siding.

Windy Point 12,130 ft.

Windy Point.

Our train leaves Windy Point behind.

Our train continues to climb towards the summit of Pikes Peak.

This is the location that Chris Parker and I got to back a few years ago when we only got to here because of a deep snow bank that the train could not get through. Today no snow so we continue to move up the grade.

New trackage as we head to the top at MP 7.

Click here for Part 2 of this story