CELEBRATING COLORADO’S RICH RAILROAD HERITAGE • JUNE 18TH-24TH, 2023
What is Colorado Railroad Heritage Week?
More than any other undertaking, railroads have transformed Colorado from a wild, isolated, sparsely populated and geographically challenging territory into a booming state filled with agriculture, extractive industries, manufacturing and large cities filled with arts and culture. To recognize this fact, the Colorado Railroad Museum is spearheading efforts each year to have Colorado’s Governor declare the last week of June to be Colorado Railroad Heritage Week.
Why this week? The first train arrived in Denver on June 24, 1870, accompanied by great celebration. Within just a few decades more than 2,000 miles of railroad tracks had been constructed along gorges, across roaring rivers, through tunnels and over high mountain passes until they reached almost every corner of the state. In May 2022, Colorado was recognized by the readers of USA Today for having four of the top 10 most scenic rail roads in the nation (No 1, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad; No. 2, Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad; No. 7, Georgetown Loop Railroad; and No. 10, Pikes Peak Cog Railroad).
“Few places in the world have as colorful a railroading history as Colorado, and this state has done a tremendous job of preserving that history for the enjoyment of residents and visitors,” said Paul Hammond, executive director of the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden. “We hope Rail Heritage Week will be a time for Coloradans to reflect on all that railroads have meant to our state, and make plans to ride an historic train or visit a rail heritage site or museum.”