With a new era dawning for the highest attraction of its kind in North America, here’s a look at the history of The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway:
1888: Wisconsin inventor and entrepreneur Zalmon Simmons visits Pikes Peak to inspect his telegraph insulators atop the summit. A hard two days on a mule gets him thinking about a more efficient and comfortable way to the mountaintop.
1889: Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Co. is founded and construction begins.
1890: Three steam-powered locomotives arrive from Pennsylvania’s Baldwin Locomotive Works. The train’s first passengers reach the summit a year later.
1925: Simmons sells the railway to Spencer Penrose, owner of The Broadmoor.
1938: The decade sees a shift from steam and coal engines. This year, a self-contained, gas-powered railcar is installed, believed to be the first of its kind.
1964: Where New York’s General Electric Co. was relied on for the gas fleet, now Swiss Locomotive Works enters the fold. The Switzerland company delivers two red railcars — the first in a series that sets the standard for the modern age.
1974: With tourism booming and operators looking for a train that could carry more than 200 people, Swiss Locomotive Works delivers a pair of diesel-hydraulic railcars. More eventually are added and used into the 2000s.
2018: After 126 years in service, the railway decides not to open for the season, following a major infrastructure and equipment evaluation.
2021: The railway returns with upgraded trains — and three new ones from Swiss manufacturer Stadler — along with a restructured cog track. The depot is also renovated.
Sources: Colorado Encyclopedia, Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway