A project whose goal is to put back into action the Pikes Peak Cog Railway in Colorado may see the beginning of work late this summer.
The railway, inaugurated in 1881, was put out of commission earlier this year after it was determined that the tracks taking it from downtown Manitou Springs to the equally legendary Summit House at the top of Pikes Peak were in need of extensive repairs.
Now, members of the Manitou Springs City Council have preliminarily agreed to reduce the excise taxes the city charges for tickets on the train, a measure that will save the Oklahoma Publishing Company, owner of the train, up to $500,000 a year.
The council also voted in favor of eliminating some $1.1 million in city capital investment taxes for the project.
Efforts to launch a track upgrading and replacement for the railway have been fueled by the schedule for the $50 million construction of the new Summit House, which is expected to be completed by the spring of 2020.
The railway rebuilding will not only include the laying of new tracks, but could also result in the demolition of the Manitou Springs depot, along with the construction of a replacement facility.
The train route between that depot to the summit is just under 9 miles in length, but due to Pikes Peak’ elevation of 14,000 feet, it is the highest in the country.
By Garry Boulard
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