Getaways: Colo. history on rails |

Getaways: Colo. history on rails

JULIE SUTORsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

GEORGETOWN – A short trip from Summit County provides a long leap back in time at the Georgetown Loop Railroad.The 7-mile train tour, now in its 36th year, takes history buffs of all ages on a snaking track far above the Clear Creek Valley floor to follow the same route silver prospectors traveled more than 140 years ago. Passengers can hop aboard one of three trains in the short climb from Georgetown to Silver Plume, all the while hearing nuggets of Colorado’s past.The tour begins at Devil’s Gate Station with a double-toot of the train’s whistle. Lucky guests can catch a ride on the train pulled by steam locomotive No. 12 (the other two locomotives are diesel-powered), originally built in 1928 for the Kahului Railroad company in Hawaii. The locomotive returned to the Georgetown Loop this year, after a major overhaul. The refurbished beauty features a new black-and-silver paint job, replicating the Colorado & Southern locomotives that once lugged miners and equipment up the Clear Creek Valley and returned to Denver overflowing with silver ore.The tour makes a stop at the town of Silver Plume, where visitors can get out and visit the train car museum. The small exhibit features a coach car, a business car and Railway Post Office from the mining era. Guides aboard the train point out local landmarks and mining relics and instruct passengers how to tell the difference between gold tailings and silver tailings.A quick trip back to Georgetown affords delightful views of pine and aspen forest, the sparkling waterfalls of Clear Creek and glimpses of the town once known as Colorado’s Silver Queen.SDN reporter Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or

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