Engine No. 9 takes up residence in Breckenridge’s Rotary Snowplow Park | SummitDaily.com

Engine No. 9 takes up residence in Breckenridge’s Rotary Snowplow Park

Caddie Nathsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE – The historic and long-awaited Engine No. 9 finally landed in its new home in Rotary Snowplow Park in Breckenridge Tuesday afternoon.After years of planning and months of preparation by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, the train engine that carried mail, supplies and news to Breckenridge for over 50 years arrived back in Summit County Monday afternoon. “It’s an authentic town asset,” Mayor John Warner said of the engine. “Breckenridge is an authentic historic community and this underscores that … We’re just tickled to have it here.” The engine, sporting a big red ribbon was carefully moved into the open-air shelter built by members of the community. Local businesses and individuals donated over $40,000 in cash and materials to construct the shelter, which was part of an agreement with the Colorado Historical Society to restore the engine to Breckenridge. “This wouldn’t have happened without the full support of the community,” Alliance board member Larry Crispell said. “(The engine) is here because people get it. History is important to this community. This isn’t just one person’s vision.” The shelter will protect the restored engine from winter weather conditions. In the long term, Crispell said, the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance would like to develop the park around the engine with picnic tables, parking and a train-themed play area for children. The Town of Breckenridge and the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance secured Engine No. 9 through the sale of another historic engine, the $90,000 Engine No. 111.A mining heritage and carefully preserved historical artifacts are already important tourist attractions for Breckenridge that set it apart from neighboring ski towns, Crispell said. “Our mission is to help the town in its economic development,” Crispell said. “Every time we have the opportunity to give (visitors) something of interest to them in the historical context of the community, we’ll do that.”He said he hopes the engine will spark an interest in locomotive history with visitors that might inspire them to explore some of the other historic train attractions in Colorado. Engine No. 9 began serving Breckenridge and Summit County in the early 1880s. It made the trek over Boreas Pass from Denver frequently until 1937. Prior to its arrival in Breckenridge the train was housed in Palisade, Colorado.

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