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Now browsing: Hometown News > Travel > Rose Mascarenhas

Rose Mascarenhas
This Week | Archive

Scenic trains of the Old West
Rating: 2.16 / 5 (168 votes)  
Posted: 2008 Oct 10 - 02:57

If you have been a train buff all of your life, or just like a trip that is a little different, this is it.

I consider this a trip of a lifetime. A train trip such as this is truly an amazing adventure. You will travel through Colorado, where the rich heritage of American railroading was built.

Discover miles and miles of magnificent country, old west mining towns and scenery that will leave you in awe. Recreate the same journey gold miners took more than 100 years ago.

As you ascend the steep mountaintops, you will marvel at the engineering of the incredible railroads and begin to wonder how they were able to do this that many years ago.

The trains across Colorado tour will bring all of this to life and answer many questions you may have about this feat.

The first train used is the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which was founded by the Denver and Rio Grande Railway in 1879. This train was first built to haul ore from the San Juan Mountains, but passengers soon became aware of the mountain views. Now you can re-live this spectacular journey.

The second train was built in 1880 and is known as the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. This railroad remains one of the most spectacular examples of the steam era of mountain railroading. This train was used for hauling precious metals, but today carries passenger over high trestles, through dark tunnels and along narrow mountain passes.

The third railway is know as the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway and is billed as the most scenic train ride in North America. While riding on this railway, you will most likely get to see the bald eagle and red tailed hawks as they soar above you. This particular train takes you over 12 miles and follows the same trail as the old Denver and Rio Grande Western line.

The last, but by all means, not the least, is the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. You will start this part of the trip at a 1,300-acre park known as the Garden of the Gods. This is the highest Cog Railway in the U.S. It is 9 miles long and climbs to almost 8,000 feet.

On this trip, you will have the opportunity to visit the Colorado National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park.

Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Pueblo people who made this their home for more than 700 years. Today, the park protects over 4,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.

The Colorado National Monument preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. Many colorful formations along with desert bighorn sheep and soaring eagles reflect the environment and history of the plateau and canyon country. Both of these sites are among the most well preserved in the United States.

If you find this type of trip interesting, call and allow Gadabout Travel to help with your plans to explore a new discovery with tours.

Rosemarie Mascarenhas is a consultant with Gadabout Travel. She can be reached at www.cruisetraveltours.com, or by calling (772) 589-0633.

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