The Royal Gorge Railroad is the fast track to some of the most sweeping views in Southern Colorado. The train departs just blocks from the main street of Canon City. Passengers are rolled below the 1,000 foot granite cliffs of the Royal Gorge. The roaring waters of the Arkansas River below the Gorge are filled with rafters and kayak’s challenging the rapids. The ride is two hours and in the 24 miles in length.
The rail dates back to the 1870’s when the Denver & Rio Grande and Santa Fe railroads raced to build tracks through the Gorge to reach mining towns that had set up shop. But building here was no walk in the ‘canyon.’ The gorge is over 1,250 feet in places and it’s narrowest point is only 30 feet wide. With an opening so narrow, there was only room for one track, sparking a battle. The two rail lines raged in court for nearly two years. Finally an agreement was reached in 1880, allowing both access.
Starting in 1967 the rail became rusty the Union Pacific purchased the track in 1999 and resumed service for passenger to see the gorgeousness of the gorge.