Talk about having your head stuck up a potbelly stove. I have been blessed (so far....) with a sound mind which can be debated. Just ask my wife! As much as I hate to eat crow, I will, this time anyway!
I went downstairs to my basement "office/library" and reread Chapter 5: The Carlton Midland, in Mel McFarland's excellent book on the CM. I was shocked when I read the chapter again. How on earth could a CM fan such as I am forget so much?
It clearly shows that the USRA was responsible for shutting down the Midland shortly after Carlton had purchased it at the junk sale that was held in Colorado City. The railroad wasn't chocked with traffic that it couldn't move but it was rerouted over the D&RG and UP leaving the CM with no transcontinental traffic at all!
I admit that I appear here without a fist full of fancy figures but I wouldn't put it past the Rio Grande's Robber Barons to have paid off USRA (Government) officials since the D&RG did not want a "super" (my wording) CM to emerge to compete with them through the Rockies!
Carlton wanted to extend the railroad to Salt Lake City. I don't intend to debate the reason this wouldn't have worked in all probability but the Hagerman Tunnel, which replaced the old high line, would have worked in Carlton's favor. The CM held 50% ownership in the Rio Grande Junction Ry. that operated between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction as well. These are two positive notes that I would like to present here.
Carlton could probably have obtained the required "friendly connection" with Southern Pacific.
Perhaps not so with Western Pacific since it had been built with D&RG $$$ from the beginning. In retrospect, I wonder why the D&RG didn't merge WP into it's system after it was completed to the west coast? It was a natural! Add the Gould interest in Missouri Pacific and you would have had a direct line from St. Louis to San Francisco, which indeed would have created a gigantic problem for CM.
I don't want to speculate how long the Midland would have remained in business had Carlton reached Utah and obtained the SP connection. Afterall, if we all talk til the cows come home we still won't derive at an answer to satify everyone.
"Bert" did retain the Midland Terminal to move ore from Cripple Creek mines (including those he held an interest in) to the smelter in The Springs so it wound up running over CM rails from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek up Ute Pass, thence over it's own track at Divide. Movies of MT survive!
Like most ghost railroads today, each has it's dedicated followers and mourners. CM, though having disappeared almost 100 years ago being disolved officially in 1921, still has many.
The Santa Fe returned at the end of CM's operations running a special train over the line to evaluate the possibility of purchasing it once again since it had controlled the Midland in the 1890s. This is how CM wound up with the unusual Hanrahan reefers, since ATSF rostered them during the same period.
"John Santa Fe" decided against investing in CM and it slowly faded away but to this day isn't forgotten. Robber Barons remain to this day too, e.i. Goldman Sachs, and it is scary that some of the Top Dogs will be in high offices of the forthcoming Trump administration. I don't see any blue skies appearing on the horizon for one single blue collar worker despite all the promises Donald made during the presidential campaign.