Working on the Railroad: Improvements on the LCSR!
While the tracks of the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad that transport tourists through miles of alpine beauty haven’t changed much in their 28 years of operation, the popular Leadville attraction has made some noteworthy cosmetic and safety upgrades this summer. Plus there’s still lots of great fall foliage trips ahead. So here’s some train news!
For guests’ enjoyment, the scenic stop at the French Gulch Water Tower has undergone significant improvements. A popular photo stop, the old water tower provides a picturesque backdrop at the only disembarkment spot on the return portion of the 2 ½ hour train trip.
There is now an expanded viewing area with newly installed safety railings, giving those photo opportunities an extra special background for family trips. Closer to town, locals will notice the added signage at railroad crossings. The note basically give people a direct line of communication in case of any issues, as well as identifying licensing numbers for the RR. It’s safety first on the rails!
At the historic depot located on E. 7th Street, the north end parking lot has seen some upgrades, most notably the additional boarding staircase. No doubt the Leadville train’s popularity has increased bringing everyone from flatlander families, to high school reunions, to all groups in between, up to the high country for one of the most scenic rides on the rails. This summer the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad has seen record numbers as word spreads about this tourist train, particularly when it comes to staff!
“On a whim, we drove up to Leadville to ride the Leadville Colorado & Southern RR,” posted LCSR guest David Long on the train’s Facebook Page. “And we LOVED it!! The staff both on the train and in the station were extremely friendly and helpful. Got a history lesson in Colorado railroads and the mining booms that brought them here. Best of all — for a small up charge, we got to ride with Pat the engineer in the locomotive for part of the trip. Quite an experience and something you just can’t experience anywhere else!”
And the season’s not over yet. If you’ve rode the train before and looking for something a bit different, then consider their evening Stork Curve-Climax Special BBQ ride coming up on Friday, September 2. It’s an evening of award-winning BBQ,and incredible alpine views await your evening ride up the Arkansas River Valley to the end of the track, near the Climax Molybdenum Mine. Tickets are still available at $57/adults and $30/children. Please call to make reservations as seating is limited and this tour usually sells out. 719-486-3936 or 866-386-3936.
Next Saturday, August 27, the whistle will blow for a special fundraising tour. The Grapes and Grains on Rails Fundraiser for the Advocates of Lake County will be an evening ride and include some Elevation Beer, a sample of Colorado wines and appetizers. Tickets are still available at $40/adults and $30/children under 10 years and can be purchased by calling 719-486-3530. Proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence in Lake County. This special ride is one of many local fundraisers that the train partners with and another great example of local philanthropy!
One of the Leadville Train‘s most popular package is the zip and ride package. In the morning, your group will ride the train up high above the valley floor, letting you off at the Top of The Rockies Zipline crossing where you’ll be picked up and taken zip your way through the San Isabel National Forest down to base camp. This four hour tour is perfect for adults and children giving them an opportunity to see untouched wilderness and is available throughout the train season website.
If taking pictures is more your thing then you don’t want to miss The Photo Special Train Rides which take advantage of Colorado’s autumn beauty!
This tour goes all the way, an additional mile and a half, allowing you to see the full beauty of the Arkansas River Valley and will take 3 hours. Bring your camera and your jacket! And the best part? The cost is only the normal rate to ride the train! So grab your camera and other photography-loving friends and pick your date: Sept. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 with two different departure times of 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
The last day of the 2016 Train season is October 9. Until then it’s All Aboard! Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad is located at 326 E. 7th Street in Leadville. Call 719-486-3936 or 866-386-3936; online at Leadville Train.