Is the Pikes Peak Cog Railway vital or is it time to let it go?

Editor's Note: 'Our Colorado' stories help natives and newcomers navigate the challenges related to our rapidly growing state, including real estate and development, homelessness, transportation and more. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at OurCO@TheDenverChannel.com. See more 'Our Colorado' stories here

DENVER – We continue our commitment to telling stories that are important to Our Colorado and we know that can depend on whether you are a newcomer or a native. 

When we heard about the uncertain future of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, that got the attention of longtime Coloradans. Newcomers may be asking, "What is a cog railway and why should I care?"

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway has been a Colorado tourist attraction dating back to 1891. Stretching almost nine miles, it chugs to the summit of Pikes Peak and back.

The owner, the Broadmoor Hotel, is reviewing whether it should stay or go for good. 

"We want to run a five-star, five diamond operation, including the railroad, we need to take a look at the next step," said Hotel President and CEO Jack Damioli.

Here’s where the natives got restless. Jennifer Coxsey told Denver7 the cog railway "adds personality to our state."

Beth Anderson calls it "a wonderful tourist attraction."

Bobbi ET describes the railway as "history and vital to the economy."

Is it really vital or is it time to let a Colorado thing go? When was the last time you took your family there?

Right now, we know the Pikes Peak Cog Railway isn’t opening this spring as Coloradans have come to expect -- and it could stay closed for the next three years while the owners study it. 

Speaking to Denver7, owners say the equipment is tired and the railroad has "run its useful life." To which Meme O’Brien wrote to us and said "overhaul and keep it. Why do great things need to be destroyed?  Just because they don’t want to deal with it?"

Yet as we deal with the growth of our colorful Colorado, when do we walk away from the old and make way for the new? Do we progress or preserve? Just for the record, not one Coloradan reached out and said they agree with the owners’ plans.

Here’s something else to consider when thinking about this piece of Colorado history: The elimination of the railway could mean major traffic problems.

It takes tourists from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak. With it gone, that could mean a 50 percent increase in traffic on the Pikes Peak Highway.

Print this article Back to Top