The Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway

The Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway connected its namesake towns in Colorado, beginning in 1897, along a right of way over 38 miles in length. (Right-of-way)

Image: Cathedral Park, Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado. "The train tracks belong to the Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway." Photochrom print by the Detroit Photographic Co. copyrighted 1901. From the Photochrom Prints Collection, Library of Congress.

It was built during Colorado Springs' second gold rush during the 1890's, but faced competition from many of the other railroads built to tap into the mines at Cripple Creek. Despite the rugged terrain it ran through, it was a standard gauge line.

Much of the rolling stock of the company, and other companies in the area, was left in the town of Cripple Creek, and were often incorporated into new buildings, or destroyed as time went on.

An abandoned car turned building, c. 1960. FRRandP photo collection.

The line changed hands a few times during the 1910's, before finally becoming part of the Cripple Creek Central Railway, who also controlled the nearby Midland Terminal Railway. By 1917, most traffic had been moved to the MTRwy, with 1919 being the last year of operations.

Almost all of the right of way today has been converted into Gold Camp Road. In fact, the road was built on top of the line, and even incorporated some of the trestles of the old line, which became an issue in 1965, when some of the road washed away in a mudslide.

Trestle Showing Through Washout - Gold Camp Rd. 1965. FRRandP photo collection.

The Cripple Creek District Museum keeps the history of the area alive, and published a book in the Images of America series for those of you interested in further reading of the line.

Thanks as always for reading!


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