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An engineering feat: Rebuilding the Pikes Peak Cog Railway – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-07-09 07:57:14 –

Manitou Springs, Colorado — The old-fashioned journey that has entertained visitors for 130 years has begun again, but it has never been easier to revive the Broadmoor Manitou and The Broadmoor Manitou Railways.

The train was closed in 2018 and underwent a complete refurbishment that cost three years and millions of dollars, not to mention knowledge and decisive determination from around the world.

Nine miles from the Manitou Springs depot to the summit of Pikes Peak, the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railroad is an engineering feat today and when it was first built in 1889.

Bryant Nelson, project manager for Stacy and Whitbeck, said:

The Manito and Pikes Peak Railroads opened in 1891 under Zammon G. Simmons, the inventor of the Simmons Beauty Rest Mattress. After losing money for years, he sold it to Broadmoor Hotel owner Spencer Penrose for $ 50,000.

Gear quickly paid to attract tourists from all over the world, but more than a century later, over $ 100 million was needed to meet current technical standards.

California-based company Stacy and Witbeck was ready for the challenge, but the project will be the most challenging to date.

“We are a contractor specializing in railways and railway-related projects,” Nelson said. “Every project has challenges, but there are multiple challenges: how to get people to where they work, how to get materials to where they work, staging materials. Just understand the logistics of how to do it. “

The track is a combination of a central rack rail and side running rails. Each part of the rail is 40 feet long and weighs 800 to 1,200 pounds. And before installing it, all the parts had to be pulled up into the pile.

“We use a combination of trailer and tracked truck to carry this material up the hill,” Nelson said.

And transporting up the hill is as difficult on a truck as it is a worker.

“All the equipment that climbs the hill climbs the hill nine miles without a break,” Nelson said. “It was a challenge for all the equipment we had. Transmissions, turbos and many lessons were burned out.”

Nelson said the challenges get bigger as the track gets longer.

“From the movement of the equipment to the effort it takes to move the tie, it’s completely different every thousands of feet. Just go out and measure, and you’ll get winds, extreme weather storms, lightning, and more. It increases functionally, “he said.

There was also the issue of wildlife.

Engineers crossed roads with a variety of wildlife while working on the Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railroad.

“A lot of wildlife,” Nelson said. “There are lots of bears, moose, lots of deer, foxes, bobcats, lots of marmots, lots of marmots breaking into equipment, damaging wires, stealing people’s lunches.”

But Broadmoor Manitou and The Broadmoor Manitou are just as unique as the challenge. It is one of the only two rack railways in the United States and is the tallest railway in the world.

“The difference between cogs and sticky rails is that the cograil uses the central cograil to drive the train, while it rubs against the wheels of a standard sticky train run rail,” Nelson said.

In the steepest case, the train clicks on a 25% gradient.

Three new trains were ordered from Switzerland and four old trains were refurbished. Tracks have also been converted from double offset rails to single rails or strab systems.

“It should be a lot smoother than the old one,” Nelson said. “It will be much smoother than the old one.”

Gears climb mountains at 12 mph, descend at about 8 mph, and take about two and a half hours to make a round trip.Details and tickets can be found at

An engineering feat: Rebuilding the Pikes Peak Cog Railway Source link An engineering feat: Rebuilding the Pikes Peak Cog Railway

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