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.