THE magazine of railroading

SEARCH TRAINSMAG.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

(RRAdventures) - Georgetown Loop

7708 views
34 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
(RRAdventures) - Georgetown Loop
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Monday, November 21, 2011 8:52 PM

Steam is back on the loop and it looks like the new operator understands the pulling power as Steam Engine #12 is no longer trying to pull more cars that it can handle. They have setup a new price structure and you pay a bit more to ride the train when steam is the power over diesel power and they run the diesel most to not over utilize the steam engine. Well, you know Lisa and I paid the extra to ride behind Steam Engine #12

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:31 PM

Argentine #284 (Coach)

Lisa and I make this trip together and as normal we will try to capture as much as we can together. So, lets get things going on what is here in Silver Plume, CO...

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 7:52 PM

C&S Depot

Lisa will catch a couple of angle of the old depot...

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 1,498 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, November 24, 2011 11:14 AM

I heard that  #12 was to go to an Iowa tourist line.  Is that still happening?

  • Member since
    August, 2001
  • From: US
  • 225 posts
Posted by gbrewer on Thursday, November 24, 2011 12:12 PM

It has been awhile since I was last there. Still, it was a memorable and probably unique opportunity to see C&S Number 9 in action: The Return of Colorado & Southern Number 9

Glen Brewer

Railroad Glory Days

 

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Monday, November 28, 2011 12:57 PM

MidlandMike

I heard that  #12 was to go to an Iowa tourist line.  Is that still happening?

You caught me Smile, Wink & Grin.  This RRAdventures report is from a trip that was taken on June 25th, 2010 and #12 has since left the GTL and a new operator has since taken over as well.

C&S #9 at one time was going to get repaired and come back to the GTL; but, that no longer looks to be happening as C&S #9 is heading for Breckenridge, CO to sit as a display along with Rotary Snowplow DL&G #01 last I heard....

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 8:53 AM

Silver Plume Yard

More Roster Shots from the yard...

-
  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:14 AM

Business Car No. 911

Lisa and I also have time to go inside their Restoration Building to see what we find there...
  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • 927 posts
Posted by Falcon48 on Friday, December 02, 2011 12:35 AM

I haven't closely followed the trials and tribulations of the Georgetown Loop.  But, at least from a distance, it appears to me that they have never managed to get their act together since the Colorado agency that owns the line got rid of the original operator (which now runs the Canon City and Royal Gorge).  The original operator never seemed to have any problem running a consistent and reliable steam operation.  The agency's reasons for getting rid of the original operator have never been entirely clear to me. 

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Friday, December 02, 2011 10:43 AM

Yes, since the old operator left the Loop has had several issue since; but, the GTL now has a local (from Georgetown itself) operator that seems to have things getting back on track.

One of the biggest issues that led to the initial change is the CHS wanted the Loop to stop running the Shay engines that did not historical operate on this section and go with C&S #9 while maintaining the same loads not wanted to give the operator the long extension like they had.  So, the old operator took their equipment and left leaving the Loop nearly non-operational.

 

  • Member since
    August, 2001
  • From: US
  • 225 posts
Posted by gbrewer on Friday, December 02, 2011 2:20 PM

" So, the old operator took their equipment and left leaving the Loop nearly non-operational."

Most of that equipment ended up at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden where it can be seen today, occasionally in operation.

Glen Brewer

Railroad Glory Days

 

 

  • Member since
    December, 2009
  • 268 posts
Posted by Thomas 9011 on Saturday, December 03, 2011 5:02 AM

The Georgetown loop has been a mess since the original operators packed up and left town. From what I have read the line belongs to the Colorado historical society. It leases the rail line to who ever can afford to lease it and was previously charging in the neighborhood of $230,000 a year.

Then they got greedy. Very greedy. They decided to lease the line at a $1,000,000 plus a year. The long time operators of the Georgetown loop nearly had a heart attack when they heard of the massive rate increases. Despite several meetings and negotiations, there was no budging on the new lease rate. So the operator took all the locomotives and rolling stock and left the Georgetown loop with nothing but rusting track.

I am not sure if the Colorado historical society took over running the show or if another company was stupid enough to pay the million plus lease on the line, but either way neither one had a clue what they were doing. With no locomotives they resorted to restoring old C&S #9 which had been sitting on the siding of the Georgetown loop for decades.

It was a fast sloppy rebuild. So sloppy they didn't figure it was necessary to lube the pistons. Naturally it didn't take long for the #9 to wear the rings and the cylinder castings into fine powder. With the piston rings shot and now a over sized cylinder bore, you had steam trying to push on bend ends of the piston at once. That locomotive could hardly pull it's tender up the grade let alone a few cars.

The new owners were off to a bad start. A expensive overhaul that resulted in a few months worth of service and now they are left with a worthless locomotive that needs major repairs.

Much has happened since then and the current operators are operating locomotive #12. #12 is a decent locomotive but it can only pull about 5 loaded cars. Last year they operated a narrow gauge diesel locomotive to little fan fare.

I can't remember what locomotive they traded, but they traded one of their steam locomotives for a shay from Iowa. They are currently restoring the shay.

I would find it very hard to believe if you told me the Georgetown loop has made a profit since the old operators left. With the old operators you had 14 cars full of people. I see the trains now and you have 5 cars half full. On top of all the problems they increased the rate to $30.00 round trip! Way too expensive for the short ride up and down the mountain and a steep increase from the $22.00 which was expensive even with the old operators.

I think the Colorado historical society really made a fatal mistake with the Georgetown loop. It is riddled with tons of negative publicity, high ticket prices, low ridership, and inexperienced personal. If they make it through next year with out going under I will be very surprised.

 

 

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Monday, December 05, 2011 10:52 AM

Colorado and Southern #76

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Monday, December 05, 2011 10:57 AM

Colorado and Southern #13 Mail Car

-

  • Member since
    December, 2011
  • 1 posts
Posted by bergngstm on Monday, December 05, 2011 4:08 PM

If they are bring in a Shay from Iowa, it must be one of the old Westside Shays.  Too bad money was the ruining of the loop when the Shay's were there, even though they ran in California during their active days and not in Colorado I certainly had no problem riding it with a Shay pulling the cars.  It's to bad that big money was the base of the problems, someone should have been smart enough to realize 230K per year was one thing but to push it up to 1mill. instead, was a stupid thing to do, but maybe they figured they had a gold mine on their hands.  Oh well maybe something good will come out of it yet if they get their heads together.

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • 3,273 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, December 05, 2011 5:32 PM

Per Thomas 9011's comment, apparantly there's a lot of people out there who've never heard the old story about  "not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs", or if they have heard it, just didn't  "get it".   I see it all the time in many businesses.  Sad, very sad.

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Tuesday, December 06, 2011 8:40 AM

Unfortunately the Colorado Historical Society (CHS) is the one making these calls and it's they who are not listening to the RR Experts and Railfans.  They forgot that when C&S #9 ran the loop it only pulled a car or two so by hooking to many cars behind her she broke down.

With that said, I'm pulling for the new "local" operator to get things turned around!!!!!!!

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • 274 posts
Posted by Sunnyland on Tuesday, December 06, 2011 12:34 PM

Glad to hear this.  When I rode it a few years ago with a friend who lived in Denver, we had a steam engine which was great.  I had heard they were exchanging an engine with another tourist RR and steam fits with their line, which is historic. 

Mom had an old postcard folder that belonged to her father and it had a pic of the Loop RR in it, the folder was probably from the early 1900's. 

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Sunday, December 18, 2011 10:57 AM

Steam Engine #12

Sorry for the delay in this trip report, I got into a major Video Tape to AVI Digital conversion & Backup project that was consuming PC resources...

At this point this was inside the Depot getting our tickets and when she came out she got a bit of a surprise. Steam Engine #12 was now switching its way to the water tank.

- - -

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 8:33 PM

Steam Engine #12

Lisa will continue to get shots as #12 pulls up to the new Water Tank and takes on water. From there #12 backs up down the track...


-
  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 1,498 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 9:22 PM

Beautiful shots of #12.  Thanks.  I wish I had gotten back there before they traded that engine away.

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Thursday, December 22, 2011 8:36 PM

High Ball

Lisa will catch a few more shots of some last minute switching before we start our journey down to Georgetown


-

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Friday, December 23, 2011 10:01 AM

So you might ask with all these shots from Lisa getting posted, what the heck was Darren doing. Well, this shot Lisa took looking toward the back of the train might tell you...


  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Monday, December 26, 2011 11:01 AM

Video!!!!!!!

Yep, that's me sitting way back with my old camcorder. Let's step back a bit now and see what action I caught before boarding the train...


  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 4:03 PM

Narrow Gauge Steam Engine #12 will start off at the Silver Plume, Colorado Depot and make its way along the old Colorado and Southern Railway line down to Georgetown, CO. Along the way it will make a stop at the Lebanon Mine Station. See it cross of the Devils Gate High Bridge going backwards as well as over a trestle and girder bridges.

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 7:32 PM

Video - Part III of III

As some of you know, my old camcorder was starting to fail me. Well, luck would have it that before we started our uphill climb I noticed I had enough tape to last the entire trip up so I pushed the RECORD button and let it record the entire trip back up to Silver Plume. So, sit back and enjoy the ride with me as we ride behind Steam Engine #12 up and around the loop non-stop!

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Muncie, Indiana...Orig. from Pennsylvania
  • 13,423 posts
Posted by Modelcar on Thursday, December 29, 2011 9:29 AM
....Darren, that was entertaining. Enjoyed the ride up to Silver Plume. The engine puts out a good steam engine sound for anyone that has not heard a real one in a workout. Liked the way it sounded at start of the trip....Oh so very slow, {so no slipping}, and quickly gains it's strength and momentum. Seems the engineer has to really keep his hand {and thoughts}, on the throttle, as it is evident the engine is prone to slipping on the upward run. One certainly can determine the varying grades as it works it's way up and around the high bridge to it's destination. Seems the grade is not constant and one can certainly hear the throttle variations. Old recorder or not...It picked up really good sound. Haven't watched the downgrade run yet, but will do so. So, it's a good enjoyable video cam performance of the run.

Quentin

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Thursday, December 29, 2011 2:18 PM

Thanks Quentin!

Whenever I get the chance I take video over photographs as capturing the sounds and motion adds to the enjoyment now and for future generations when these engine may no longer be operational.


Georgetown, CO is roughly at 8,500ft and Silver Plume is roughly at 9,118ft.  As the bird fly's it's 1.2 miles of distance from where we started to where we ended.  The train itself will travel about 3/4 mile just to get onto the bridge over it's starting point, another 3/4 miles to reach Lebanon Mine Station and it's about 2.9 miles of track from end-to-end.  So, that should give you a feel for the grade as well as how much time the train is zing-zaging along the south side of the valley mountain side.

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Centennial, CO
  • 3,218 posts
Posted by Stourbridge Lion on Thursday, December 29, 2011 3:00 PM

Well folks that all to this Chapter of RRAdventures but you know me, there is always another one coming when I know there is interest in my trip reports...

  • Member since
    August, 2001
  • From: US
  • 225 posts
Posted by gbrewer on Friday, December 30, 2011 2:42 PM

Keep them coming Darren. There is plenty more to cover in this great state.

Was the Georgetown Loop a poor design?

Glen Brewer

 

 

 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Trains free email newsletter
NEWS » PHOTOS » VIDEOS » HOT TOPICS & MORE
GET OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
Connect with us
ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

Loading...