(RRAdventures) - Georgetown Loop

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(RRAdventures) - Georgetown Loop

  • 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

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  • 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...

  • C&S Depot

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

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

  • 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


  • 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....

  • Silver Plume Yard

    More Roster Shots from the yard...

  • Business Car No. 911

    Lisa and I also have time to go inside their Restoration Building to see what we find there...
  • 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. 

  • 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.


  • " 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



  • 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.



  • Colorado and Southern #76

  • Colorado and Southern #13 Mail Car


  • 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.