Mo & Terry Smedley


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Part IX - Georgetown Loop, Colorado Railroad Museum

Today, we rode over the Georgetown Loop between Silver Plume and Georgetown.  This is an unusual route because the track loops over itself as it climbs from Georgetown to Silver Plume. 

In the afternoon, we spent a couple of hours at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden.  After a quick stop at Buffalo Bill Cody's grave, we wound up our tour in Denver.

Tomorrow morning, we'll be boarding the Westbound California Zephyr bound for Sacramento, where we'll change trains to the Coast Starlight which will take us back to Olympia (where our car is hopefully still parked).

Walnut Catsup - on display in the Hotel de Paris in Georgetown.  The hotel was built in 1875, and retains most of its original furnishings.  It is now operated as a museum. Downtown Georgetown, with "real" Victorian buildings dating to the 1870s.   In many of the areas we've visited, evidence of mining activity is easy to spot.  Look carefully at this hillside - you can pick out half-dozen tailings piles from now-abandoned mines.
The Georgetown Loop Railroad uses a 2-6-2 "Prairie" locomotive that was previously used to haul sugar cane trains in Hawaii.  Here, #12 is completing the uphill run into Silver Plume station. The locomotive is watered before beginning our trip. Aspen fall colors as we descend to Georgetown behind #12. The locomotive is switched to run around the train to begin the return trip up the hill to Silver Plume.
You can see the high trestle that loops over the track.  Our train on the high trestle. The high trestle. We rode in the open car at the end of the train,
#12 is working close to its limit climbing the grade.  It's a small engine for this steep grade. A sign in a shop in Idaho Springs. Another shop sign in Idaho Springs, where we stopped for lunch. Rio Grande F9 A/B locomotive that was used on the Zephyr route.
An observation car from the Santa Fe Super Chief is on display at the museum.   Because the museum deals with both narrow gauge and standard gauge rolling stock, the roundhouse and turntable are equipped with unusual dual-gauge track. The roundhouse and shops at the museum.
Two more examples of the "Galloping Goose' used on the Colorado Southern Railway.   A nicely preserved rotary snowplow. This Shay (logging) locomotive appears to be serviceable.
View of the Shay, showing the three cylinders that drive the side-mounted driveshaft. Close-up view showing the "half cylinder" that is used to stabilize the pistons as they extend. Closeup view of the ring and pinion drive gears.  The ring gear is mounted directly on the locomotive wheels.  In a Shay, all locomotive and tender wheels are driven by the side-mounted shaft. Builder's nameplate, showing this Shay was built in Lima, Ohio in 1926.
  A nicely-preserved Railway Post Office (RPO) car is on display at the museum. Interior of the RPO. I spotted Thomas the Tank Engine in the roundhouse.
The Coors brewery is just across the road from the museum.  Mo is at the controls of a Coors-labeled switcher.   This is a huge 4-8-4 "Northern" type locomotive The drivers (wheels) are 74" in diameter!
I'm standing next to the drivers to give an idea of the size of this beast.  Loaded with fuel and water, this locomotive and its tender weighed in at 844,000 pounds (422 tons)!  Imagine this locomotive moving down the track at 80 miles per hour. Buffalo Bill Cody's grave at Lookout Mountain above Denver. A stitched panorama of Denver from Lookout Mountain. Downtown Denver from Lookout Mountain.