Silver Rails: The Railroads of Leadville Colorado tells the story of four railroads, the Denver & Rio Grande, the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe, the Colorado Midland and the Denver South Park & Pacific, as they battled the mountains, weather, finances and each other to access the wealth that was pouring from Leadville's mines. This is also the story of the laborers, railroaders and empire builders who endured avalanches, fires, accidents, angry stockholders, financial ruin and even murder to build and operate the railroads that helped put the "magic" in the Magic City of Leadville.
Invaluable reference work detailing, year by year, what rail trackage was built in Colorado. This includes not only the construction of railroads but also of industrial sidings. Begins in 1867 with the laying of 8.9 miles by the Union Pacific and concludes in 1964 with 14.6 miles of abandonments by the ATSF and the Denver & Rio Grande. Each entry provides the name of the railroad, the location, the number of miles of track, the gauge, and a brief description. The chronological format allows the reader to see readily the overall development of the railroad system in the state, to see the relative pace of construction (and contraction) over the years, and to find out what each railroad was building at any particular time.
Although steam engines were seldom used for everyday train transportation by 1960, they live on in the minds of those fortunate enough to have experienced them and in the many museums and steam-powered excursions throughout the country. They are especially active in the West, where master photographer Joel Jensen has, for more than twenty-five years, documented these well-restored and maintained veterans in their natural settings doing what they used to--hauling both passengers and freight and delighting rail fans of all ages. This timeless collection takes us back to the end of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth, with captivating images evoking the past. Essays by John Gruber, the president of the Center for Railroad Photography, and Scott Lothes, the project director for the center, help to put these wonderful photographs in context.