Railroads

At its peak, the gold camp was served by three railroads and two electric trolley systems.  The narrow-gauge Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad came up from Florence through Phantom Canyon, climbing 5,000 feet in 40 miles.  Called “The Gold Belt Line,” this train ran three times a day until 1912, when its roadbed was washed out by a flood.Railroad-photo

The Midland Terminal, a standard-gauge railroad, ran from Colorado Springs over Ute Pass, through Gillett and Victor, on its way to Cripple Creek.  The trip was 55 miles long, and passengers could choose from four trains that ran each day.  The Midland offered freight service as well, but closed in 1949 when a new mill opened near Victor.

The Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District Railroad was called “The Short Line.”  It started in 1901, and featured the most direct route between Colorado Springs and the gold camp, following a route that is Gold Camp Road today.

The camp’s trolley systems were electric trains.  One ran from Cripple Creek to Victor; the other connected the two towns and also served the communities of Elkton and Anaconda.  Both systems shut down in 1922.

Two electric streetcar systems – the Low Line and the High Line – offered service day and night to Cripple Creek and Victor and the biggest mines.

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