The Laramie North Park & Western Railroad

The Laramie North Park & Western Railroad connected Laramie, WY with Coalmont, CO along a 112 mile route that ran through incredibly treacherous terrain. (Right of way)

Laying rail for the LHP&P (Wyoming Tales & Trails)

It was established in 1901 as The Laramie Hahns Peak & Pacific Railway, it was built to tap into the mining interests of Southern Wyoming, and was later extended down to Colorado at a steep price. Initially, however, it was planned to extend much farther south and west, with over 500 route miles planned, although none would be constructed beyond Coalmont.

"By the time the rail line reached Centennial in 1907, the town's latest mining boom was fading, so the company's owners turned their sights to black gold. Coal seams near the southern end of the Medicine Bows beckoned, and the LHP&P followed. The rail line turned south through the mountains, reaching appropriately named Coalmont, Colo., in 1911." (Rails to Trails)

Map of portion of planned routes for the Laramie, Hahn's Peak and Pacific. (Wyoming Tales & Trails)

Needless to say, the company had a complicated history, with numerous bankruptcies and acquisitions of the right of way, which was common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Colorado Wyoming and Eastern Railroad would assume operations in 1914, ceding operations again to the Northern Colorado and Eastern Railroad ten years later, who reverted back to the LNP&W name.
CW&E Steam Engine via Visit Laramie

It was acquired by Union Pacific in 1936, becoming its Coalmont Branch 15 years later. UP would own the line for over 50 years, before selling the line to the Wyoming Colorado Railroad in 1987, who would abandon it.

Medicine Bow Rail Trail (TrailLink)

The rugged 112 mile right-of-way is today occupied by the Medicine Bow Rail Trail, forest service roads, county roads and private property.

Thanks as always for reading!


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