Railroads of the Pikes Peak Region 1900-1930 by Allan C. Lewis
Images of Rail
By 1900, the scenic beauty of the Pikes Peak region had become well known, making it a popular destination with visitors from across the nation. This influx of tourism along with the apex of the Cripple Creek mining boom saw El Paso and Teller Counties become a hub of freight and passenger activity. Over the next 30 years and through challenging economic times, the area would be served by 11 different railroads and an interurban line.
The Midland Terminal and the Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District railways relied heavily on the revenue gleaned from Cripple Creek ore production, but as the output of these mines declined, so too did the coffers of the railroads that supported them. Larger railroads like the Santa Fe and the Colorado & Southern increased their regional presence through joint agreements and the expansion of local facilities. Still other road had a more local flair, including the Manitou and Pikes Peak whose unique cog railway introduced “America’s Mountain” to thousands of tourists. Mass transit also came to the region as the Colorado Springs & Interurban Railway became part of a legacy left by millionaire Winfield Scott Stratton to the people of Colorado Springs.