Last updated: 10 December, 2022 9:32
Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Ry. (16 Aug. 1901)
-> Can be seen at the Hathi Trust Digital Library as First Page, Source 1, or First Page, Source 2 editions.
August 16, 1901
(pages 126->130)
The Railway Age

I procured the coloring of the images, source was Graytoned.

Colorado is famous for many railroads of astonishing engineering and marvelous scenery. The latest addition to the number, the Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District, now in operation about four months, although it has no Royal Gorge and no Georgetown Loop, and although its main line is only 45 miles in length, rivals all of its predecessors and neighbors in boldness of conception, in excellence of construction and in at tractions for tourists.

Map of Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway.
Map of the C. S. & C. C. D. Ry. Route.

As a business proposition it is proving unexpectedly successful. The accompanying maps and views, selected from the large collection of photographs and drawings in the office of Mr. A. C. Ridgway, the general manager, by Mr. George R. Simmons, chief clerk and purchasing agent, supplemented by views taken by the light of an electric headlight during the night of July 29 by Mr. Simmons and a representative of The Railway Age, shows realistically the character of the Rocky Mountain slopes, gorges and summits traversed by the new line.

The Ascent of ''St. Peters Dome''—Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway.
The Ascent of St. Peters Dome Range,
Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway.

A peculiarity in the location of the line is that instead of following gulches and water courses it crosses them and makes its way up the mountain sides on an even grade.

Hitherto the Cripple Creek district, the most important gold mining region in the United States, has been reached from the east by two railway lines—by the Colorado Midland and the Midland Terminal from Colorado Springs, via Divide, and by the Denver & Rio Grande and the Florence & Cripple Creek from Pueblo, via Florence.

The Midland Terminal, the Florence & Cripple Creek and two minor companies are now combined in the Denver & Southwestern. The Midland Terminal enters the Cripple Creek district from the north and the Florence & Cripple Creek from the south.

The Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District, of standard gauge, called locally "the Short Line," which, indeed, it is in reality, runs from Colorado Springs as nearly due west as may be, between the two older approaches to the mining camps. The distance from the union station of the Denver & Rio Grande and the Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District at Colorado Springs to the summit of the eastern most range of the Rocky Mountains, is 21.4 miles; from the summit to Cameron, at the eastern base of Hoosier Pass, 18.1 miles; and from Cameron over Hoosier Pass to Cripple Creek, 6.3 miles—in all 45.8 miles from Colorado Springs.

A fraction of a mile of trackage south from the Colorado Springs station is secured from the Denver & Rio Grande.

The altitude of Colorado Springs is 6,158 feet and of Fountain Creek, in the railroad yard, from which begins the rise to the summit, about 6,076 feet. From this point the line rises in 21 miles 3,841 feet, to 9,917 feet at the summit, by an even grade of 3.8 per cent compensated for curvature, making the average grade 3.56 per cent.

Stated after the manner more familiar in the East, the grade is approximately 185 feet per mile uniformly for the entire distance of 21 miles. From the summit to Cameron comes a succession of undulating grades of 2 per cent maximum, the highest point, exactly 10,000 feet, and hence the real summit on this part of the line, being reached about 3 miles beyond the summit, so-called.

Trains at Hoosier Pass—Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway.
Trains at Hoosier Pass on C. S. & C. C. D. Ry.

The altitude of Cameron is 9,993 feet. From Cameron the line ascends by a 3½ per cent grade to the summit of Hoosier Pass, at 10,360 feet above sea level, and thence descends by a 3½ per cent grade to Cripple Creek, the elevation of the station in that city being approximately 9,500 feet.

The altitude of Hoosier Pass is about the same as that of the Denver & Rio Grande's Tennessee Pass over the continental divide west of Leadville.

As the illustrations show plainly, and as the grades suggest, the road throughout is little more than a succession of curves. All told, 65½ per cent of the line is curved and 34½ per cent is tangent. The average curvature per station is 7 degrees 11 minutes, and the maximum curvature 16 degrees.

In the 21 miles from Colorado Springs to the summit the longest tangent is 4,000 feet. West of the summit, through a broken country, a larger proportion of tangent is found, and the maximum curvature here is 14 degrees. All of the curves are spiraled, and so far as possible 200 feet of tangent was interposed between curves in opposite directions.

The line has 16 timber trestles on the eastern division and 18 on the western, the longest, over West Beaver Creek, 3 miles east of Cameron, where the Short Line going west meets the Midland Terminal, being 500 feet long and 88 feet high and on a curve.

View at Trestle No. 15-A {Source Said; 'Trestle No. 11.']
View at Trestle No. 15-A (Branch of Mill Creek)

All of the trestles are of frame bents, with pile or masonry foundations. The uprights invariably are of 12 by 12 inch yellow pine or red spruce, and the remainder of the timber is Oregon fir. The trestles are of six-post instead of the more common four-post construction.

The method of construction is brought out clearly in the accompanying view of bridge No. 11, on the east side of the range. The location of a higher stretch of the track appears in the illustration on the mountain side for above the ridge.

One of Nine ''bores.''
Train out of 1 of 9 "bores" on C. S. & C. C. D. Ry.

Nine tunnels penetrate projecting spurs or ridges, the longest 500 feet in length. Three of them have no timbering and four have timber at the portals only, the other two being timbered throughout.

All of the cuts are through solid rock. No earth excavation whatever had to be provided for in the specifications. The longest cut is 1,000 feet, the depth being 63 feet. The most extensive embankment measures about 30,000 yards, as per slope stakes. It is 125 feet high on the lower side and about 30 feet on the upper side, and the filling is 20 feet wide at the top.

Contrary to what might have been expected, no snow sheds are required. The deepest snow fall in the winter of 1899-1900 was 5 feet, and that amount is seldom reached. The fall last winter was very much less than this.

The track is of 75-pound steel rails, manufactured by the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company at Pueblo. Tieplates are used on all curves, and the ties, of southern pine, are spaced at the rate of 3,130 per mile. Double spiking was employed on curves.

The road uses split switches and has a few spring frogs. For the curves all of the rails were curved at the mill by means of a steam rail curver. An alignment card was provided by the engineering department, and every curved rail was marked to go just where it was needed. In this manner perfectly true curves were secured.

At sidings laid on grades derailing switches of an improved type have been introduced, to insure the highest attainable safety. The track is ballasted already, virtually throughout, with disintegrated granite. An abundance of this admirable material for ballast was found on the line, and no road in the country, new or old, has a better track in this respect. Cost of maintenance will be at a minimum.

For equipment the company has six 85-ton Schenectady consolidation engines and two 65-ton double end switch engines, with one more of each to be added to the list this summer. The engines were illustrated in The Railway Age of March 1, 1901.

The passenger cars, with high-backed seats and all other modern fittings, were supplied by Barney & Smith. The freight equipment includes 25 flat cars, 50 coal cars and 125 box cars, all of 60,000-pound capacity, from the American Car & Foundry Company.

The first stake on the preliminary survey was driven on May 19, 1899, and the final location was completed on March 4, 1900. The first division, from Colorado Springs to the summit, was located by Mr. T. L. Waggener, chief engineer, and the second division, from the summit to Cameron, by Mr. L. D. Blauvelt, division engineer.

A Typical Mountain Cut.
A Typical Mountain Cut.

The arduous character of the work performed by these gentlemen and their associates need not be described to anyone familiar with the conditions of railway building in the Rocky Mountains.

Actual construction began about 4 miles west of Colorado Springs on January 4, 1900, and the line was completed into Cripple Creek on March 27, 1901, and was opened for business on April 8. In addition to the main line, as described, some 25 miles of branches and spurs to mines are operated or under construction, including the former Cripple Creek District Electric Railway, operating a double line, the "low line," and the "high line," between Cripple Creek and Victor, 7 miles.

Work has been in progress the last three months on a branch 5.8 miles long from Cameron to Victor. From this branch will extend spurs to all of the mines in the district, some of them 2 or 3 miles in length. This branch will give access to Victor for the steam trains, and shorten the distance from Victor east by the saving of the electric mileage between Victor and Cripple Creek.

The Cripple Creek Line by Electric Headlight.
The Cripple Creek Line by Electric Headlight.
The Cripple Creek Line by Electric Headlight.
The Cripple Creek Line by Electric Headlight.

The engineering staff engaged in the construction of the road from Colorado Springs to Cameron included T. L. Waggener, chief engineer; H. I. Reid, division engineer, first division; L. D. Blauvelt, division engineer, second division; and as resident engineers Robert Craig (since deceased), W. A. Allen, Benjamin P. Howell, W. G. Geiger, W. A. Peck and G. M. Bacon.

From Cameron to Cripple Creek, over Hoosier Pass, H. R. Carpenter had charge as chief engineer and C. L. Milton as assistant.

The illustrations will convey a good impression of typical Rocky Mountain scenery. The view of the line on the eastern slope, climbing the side of Saint Peter's dome, makes plain the general layout. From almost every point on the eastern face of the range the vision extends eastward over 100 miles of the great plains.

Colorado Springs, close at hand, resembles a miniature checkerboard. At certain points the smoke of the factories of Pueblo can be discerned in the distance. The most famous landscape view is that from Point Sublime, some 6½ miles from Colorado Springs, where the line, having gradually climbed the mountain slope that from Colorado Springs appears to be an impenetrable barrier, turns suddenly westward along the northern wall of North Cheyenne Canyon, hundreds of feet above the outlet of the stream at Broadmoor.

The view at Hoosier Pass herewith presents Pike's Peak in the background, and on the left a bare slope covered with piles of rock thrown out from adjoining prospect holes, such as distinguished almost every square rod of the entire Cripple Creek district.

The "Short Line" is owned almost exclusively by Colorado capitalists, and chiefly by those interested in the mines of the Cripple Creek district. Indeed, about 75 per cent of the shipping mines are represented in the ownership. The management thus appears to be sure of a fair share of the traffic of the district, the chief items of which will be coal and general merchandise inward and ore outward. It has in addition good passenger business. In both departments the traffic so far has surpassed anticipations.

The company is capitalized at $1,200,000 of common stock, $800,000 of 5 per cent preferred stock, $2,000,000 of first mortgage 5 per cent bonds and $1,000,000 of 5 per cent second mortgage bonds. The actual cost of construction and equipment of the main line and terminals was approximately $3,400,000.


This page, and this site is the work of me, Linda Irene Tingvik, and all text & pictures unless otherwise stated, is the property of me.
All copying, hot linking, Whatever, should be sought permission for, Before doing it!
If you see something that should not be here, is wrongly marked, or have anything to add, please write me.