The Colorado Midland Railway was the first standard gauge line into the Colorado Rockies. At its peak it was 261 miles long and had two branches. The route began in Colorado City, went on to Leadville and then crossing through the Continental Divide via the Hagerman Tunnel it continued on to Basalt and terminated at New Castle, Colorado.
The first contract for construction was awarded on April 6, 1886. The construction in Colorado Springs started in July of 1886 with 3000 men spread between Colorado City and Buena Vista. Eight months later, the track was completed to Woodland Park and made it to Florissant on March 23, 1887. In Lake George, the tracks through the 11 Mile Canyon weren’t completed until about June and then continued on to Buena Vista, reaching that point in July. Eleven Mile Canyon was the deadliest stretch of the Midland in El Paso, Park and Teller Counties. “Midland Tragedies” will address some of those many accidents in our area.
Steve Plutt, local historian, will present an interesting program on this piece of Teller County history at the Pikes Peak Historical Society’s February Chautauqua. Steve has long lived in the shadow of Pikes Peak, having grown up in the Woodland Park area. Steve now resides near Lake George.
The Pikes Peak Historical Society invites you to learn more about the Midland Railroad and the tragedies which befell the line at the PPHS monthly Chautauqua on Sunday, February 18th at 2pm at the Florissant Library. The Library is located adjacent to the Florissant Community Park on 334 Circle Drive in Florissant. This program is presented as a public service of the Pikes Peak Historical Society in partnership with the Rampart Range Library System. Admission is free and refreshments are served. No reservation is required but arrive early, seating is limited. For more information call 719-748-8259 or 719-748-3861.