Scenic Railways of Colorado

Wells Gray Tours takes to the rails in Colorado with a 16 day/nine train tour leaving the station on June 4th.

Train travel has appealed to me ever since as a small child I would mimic pulling the engineer’s cord and would hear the blast of the whistle from a passing train, always wondering where the trains were going.  I also remember lifting my feet over the train tracks and holding up the ceiling of the car when going under the rail bridge. Train travel today provides the same connection to the people and the communities the trains pass through as it did in the past.   No matter the age there is something fascinating about answering the wave to a passing train.

This tour is traveling by ground to Colorado allowing for some great stops along the way and flying home.  Oregon Trail Interpretive Centre: For eight decades in the 1800’s the

Oregon Trail served as a natural corridor from the east to west coast of the United States, the trail ran approximately 2,000 miles west from Missouri through the Rocky Mountains and on to Oregon’s WillametteValley.

UtahStateRailroadMuseum: the museum is dedicated to the creation of the transcontinental railroad which was built to connect Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Francisco, California in 1869.  The museum will provide an up close and personal connection with the locomotives that worked these lines.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir:  When in Salt Lake City a visit to the Mormon Tabernacle is a must and we have included an opportunity to hear the choir preform.  While in Salt Lake City we experience our first railway excursion on the Heber Valley Railroad which provides spectacular views of Mount Timpanogos and the dramatic glacial-carved landscape of the ProvoCanyon.

As we move into Colorado history, train buffs will enjoy the variety of steam engines, narrow gauge rails and the one cog railway on this tour and the reasons behind the building of these rail routes.

The trains on this tour will take us back to a slower time, through scenery that is not accessible by any other means.  These “Iron Horses” of the past will climb through the Colorado Rockies, travel through the six mile Moffat Tunnel under the Continental Divide, traverse mountain peaks, canyons and rushing rivers.  Our travels include the longest narrow gauge rail trip in the USA, the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad, and riding the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the 14,115 foot summit.  The Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad pass the ghost towns and gold mines of Colorado’s gold rush, the George Town Loop tells the tale of mining silver ore from the Silver Plum Mine and the need to transport it to Denver.  Each of the 9 trains tells a story of part of Colorado’s history and offers a glimpse of the diverse landscape.

Colorado’s majestic scenery has been immortalized in songs such as America the Beautiful, (written after the song’s author stood at the top of Peaks Pike) and John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High.  As you journey on the rails you will feel the same awe and inspiration that our forefathers did as they navigated this untouched and forbidding wilderness.

Written by: Joan Niemeier

Scenic Railways of Colorado
June 4, 2014 — 16 Days


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