Loop Railroad is a narrow gauge heritage railroad located in the Rocky Mountains in Clear Creek County, Colorado
, in the United States
.The railroad operates summer tourist trains between the communities of Georgetown and Silver Plume, a distance of 2 miles (3.2 km). The railroad route is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) long and ascends an elevation of 640 feet (195.1 m) through mountainous terrain along with trestles, cuts, fills, and a grand loop.
The Georgetown Loop Railroad was one of Colorado’s first visitor attractions. This spectacular stretch of narrow gauge railroad was completed in 1884 and considered an engineering marvel for its time.
In 1959, the Centennial
year of the discovery of gold in Georgetown, the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park was formed by the Colorado Historical Society.The Colorado Historical Society’s chairman negotiated a donation of mining claims and mills, and nearly 100 acres (40 ha) of land.
Interest in restoration of the Loop segment as a tourist attraction in the 1970s led to reopening of the segment. Rail line construction began in 1973 with track and ties donated by the Union Pacific Railroad, and a new high bridge was built. The 3-mile (4.8 km) restored segment, opened on March 10, 1984, is at the upper end of the historic Colorado Central main line up Clear Creek
Canyon west of Golden
. The Georgetown Loop Railroad climbs approximately 640 feet (195 m) between the two towns.
The train ride includes an optional walking tour of the Lebanon
Silver Mine, located at the halfway point on the railroad, where visitors can walk 500 feet (150 m) into a mine tunnel bored in the 1870s, with guides pointing out rich veins of silver and relating the history of the mine.