On a Wildflower Excursion: Colorado Midland Railway's Finest
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Hear Mel McFarland as he takes us on a ride from Colorado Springs to South Park on the Colorado Midland Railway’s famous “Wildflower Excursion.”
Mel will tell the history of the train – would you believe that its purpose wasn’t originally to see wildflowers!
The Colorado Midland operated these popular excursions from 1887 until 1918. You will also learn more about the “Midland” itself.
In his presentation, Mel will include period photographs which he continues to discover and add to his collection. And, learn why there are few wildflowers left in the wild today along the Colorado Midland’s former route.
The first standard gauge railroad in the state built over the Continental Divide, construction of the Colorado Midland Railway began in 1886, building west from Colorado Springs (now Old Colorado City) through the mountains to New Castle.
From there, the Midland had trackage rights over the D&RG to Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction. It hauled coal, livestock, hay, wool, lumber, produce, other goods, and passengers before service ended in 1918.
It was possibly the largest rail abandonment in the world. The former roundhouse, over 130 years old, still stands at 21st and Hwy 24 and has been re-purposed into a brew pub and other retail businesses.
Mel McFarland is a retired teacher, historian, railroader, and well-known author of numerous railroad books and publications. His historical columns appear in Westside Pioneer, Fountain Valley News, Ute Pass Courier, and other newspapers.
INDIVIDUAL DATES & TIMES*
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Light refreshments are served after the program.
66 Lower Glenway Street, Palmer Lake, CO 80133