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Jim Larkey | profile | all galleries >> Colorado Ghost Towns, Winfield, Vicksburg, & Douglass tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Colorado Ghost Towns, Winfield, Vicksburg, & Douglass

Railroads were requested by the people of Leadville for a long time before they finally got one. Then, within a matter of a few years, they obtained three railroads. On July 22, 1880, the Denver and Rio Grande was the first railroad to reach Leadville. The Denver South Park and Pacific Railroad (narrow gauge) was approaching Leadville by 1884, and the final part of the track was laid in the dark of the night in February of that year. The Colorado Midland Railway (standard gauge) did not run lines into Leadville until August 31, 1887. The Colorado Midland had the most difficult time running their rails into the Leadville quadrangle. One problem was that the routes that were the easiest places to lay rails had already been taken by the other railroads. The second problem was that the Colorado Midland was a standard gauge train, so it needed more space to run the tracks. Curves were broader, bridges and tunnels had to be larger, and the total expense was considerably greater.

The most complicated part of the Colorado Midland Railway line was the section westward from Leadville across the Continental Divide to Aspen. To cross the high mountains of the Continental Divide, a major tunnel, the 2,061-foot-long Hagerman Tunnel at 11,528 feet altitude, was constructed in 1887 just south of Hagerman Pass. In addition, a very long curved wood trestle, the most elaborate and spectacular in Colorado, called the Hagerman Trestle, was built along the eastern approach to Hagerman Pass and Hagerman Tunnel; it was 1,084 feet long, 84 feet high, and 200 degrees in curvature. Snowfall in 1899 was so great that the Hagerman Tunnel could not operate and was shut down. It was replaced in October 1899 by the newly acquired Busk-Ivanhoe Tunnel, which was 575 feet lower (at 10,953 feet). It saved 575 feet of climbing by the trains, as well as 13 snowsheds and 12 bridges and trestles. The Busk-Ivanhoe Tunnel was called the Carlton Tunnel after 1921.

Immediately after the railroads became available for passenger and freight service into Leadville, prices on many sales items dropped, some items formerly unavailable became easy to obtain, travel became convenient and reasonable, and the cost of shipping freight decreased markedly.
(Information from Ormes, 1963)
Linda's New Place, Winfield
Linda's New Place, Winfield
Jim's Place, Winfield
Jim's Place, Winfield
Old School House, Winfield
Old School House, Winfield
Somebody Sneak'n-A-Peek?
Somebody Sneak'n-A-Peek?
Sure 'Nuf
Sure 'Nuf
Winfield Cemetery, Circa 1885
Winfield Cemetery, Circa 1885
7-Month-Old Georgina Katharina Aude, 06/04/1886-01/24/1887
7-Month-Old Georgina Katharina Aude, 06/04/1886-01/24/1887
Winfield, Located in Clear Creek Drainage, Cross Mountain in Background
Winfield, Located in Clear Creek Drainage, Cross Mountain in Background
Broadway St. The Only Street and Main St. in Vicksburg
"Broadway St." The Only Street and Main St. in Vicksburg
Mouth of Carlton Tunnel, formerly Busk-Ivanhoe Tunnel, Elev 10.953'
Mouth of Carlton Tunnel, formerly Busk-Ivanhoe Tunnel, Elev 10.953'
Remains of Douglass City, Formerly a Work Camp of Italian Workers Who Built the Tunnel & RR
Remains of Douglass City, Formerly a Work Camp of Italian Workers Who Built the Tunnel & RR
Douglass City, Formerly 8 Saloons
Douglass City, Formerly 8 Saloons
Douglass City
Douglass City
Opal Lake, Near Douglass City
Opal Lake, Near Douglass City
Opal Lake, Near Douglass City
Opal Lake, Near Douglass City
Old Colorado Midland Railroad Bed Approaching East Side of Hagerman Tunnel
Old Colorado Midland Railroad Bed Approaching East Side of Hagerman Tunnel
Hagerman Tunnel, Elev 11,528' with Continental Divide Skyline Above
Hagerman Tunnel, Elev 11,528' with Continental Divide Skyline Above
Hagerman Tunnel, in the Snow, Built in 1887
Hagerman Tunnel, in the Snow, Built in 1887
Turquoise Lake, Elev 9869'
Turquoise Lake, Elev 9869'
Old Railroad Map, Courtesy USGS
Old Railroad Map, Courtesy USGS