Bachmann Trains Royal Gorge Ready-to-Run HO Train Scale Train Set
Powered F7-A and F7-B locomotive
Smooth side coach and Full-dome passenger car
63" x 45" oval of snap-fit E-Z Track
Power pack and speed controller
Illustrated instruction manual
From the Manufacturer
Colorado's oldest scenic line combines rich history, spectacular views and stylish accommodations into a train that takes you on a 24-mile journey through the 1,000 Feet deep Royal Gorge. Passengers travel alongside the Arkansas River on a ribbon of rail for an up-close nature show deep in the canyon, observing bald eagles, blue heron, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and flora native to the gorge.
The Royal Gorge Route Railroad is a heritage railroad located in Cañon City, Colorado.
The railroad transits the Royal Gorge on a 2-hour scenic and historic train ride through the Royal Gorge on what is considered to be the most famous portion of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. The 1950s-era train departs the Santa Fe depot in Canon City daily.
In the late 1870s miners descended on the upper Arkansas River valley of Colorado in search of carbonate ores rich in lead and silver. The feverish mining activity in what would become the Leadville district attracted the attention of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, each already having tracks in the Arkansas valley. The Santa Fe was at Pueblo and the D&RGW near Canon City, Colorado, some 35 miles west. Leadville was over 100 miles away. For two railroads to occupy a river valley ordinarily was not a problem, but west of Canon City was an incredible obstacle - an obstacle that would result in a war between the railroads in the race to the new bonanza.
West of Canon City the Arkansas River cuts through a high plateau of igneous rocks forming a spectacular steep-walled gorge over a thousand feet deep. At its narrowest point shear walls on both sides plunge into the river creating an impassible barrier. On April 19, 1878, a hastily assembled construction crew from the Santa Fe began grading for a railroad just west of Canon City in the mouth of the gorge. The D&RG whose end of track was only ¾ of a mile from Canon City raced crews to the same area, but were blocked by the Santa Fe graders in the narrow canyon. By a few hours they had lost the first round in what became a two-year struggle between the two railroads that would be known as the Royal Gorge War.
The D&RG crews tried leapfrogging the Santa Fe grading crews, but were met with court injunctions from the Santa Fe in the contest for the right-of-way. The D&RG built several stone "forts" (such as Fort DeRemer at Texas Creek) upstream in an attempt to block the Santa Fe. Grading crews were harassed by rocks rolled down on them, tools thrown in the river and other acts of sabotage. Both sides hired armed guards for their crews. Rifles and pistols accompanied picks and shovels as tools. The railroads went to court with each trying to establish their primacy to the right of way. After a long legal battle that ended in the U.S. Supreme Court, on April 21, 1879, the D&RG was granted the primary right to build through the gorge that in places was wide enough at best for only one railroad.
The Santa Fe resorted to its larger corporate power and announced it would build tracks parallel to and in competition with the existing D&RG lines. The bondholders of the D&RGW, fearing financial ruin from this threat, pressured the management of the D&RGW to lease the existing railroad to the Santa Fe for a 30-year period. This created a short-lived truce in the struggle. The Santa Fe soon manipulated freight rates south of Denver to favor shippers from Kansas City (over its lines to the east) to the detriment of Denver merchants and traffic over the leased D&RGW lines. During this period the Santa Fe constructed the railroad through the gorge itself. The D&RGW, however, continued construction in areas west of the gorge still trying to block the Santa Fe.
After months of shrinking earnings from their leased railroad, the D&RG management went to court to break the lease. An injunction from a local court restraining the Santa Fe from operating the D&RG on June 10, 1879, sparked an armed retaking of their railroad by D&RG crews - war in earnest in the old west. Trains were commandeered, depots and engine houses put under siege, bullets flew and a few men died. A final peace in the war came after the intervention of the Federal courts, and the railroad "robber baron" Jay Gould who loaned the D&RG $400,000 and announced the intention to complete a rail line in competition to the Santa Fe from St. Louis to Pueblo.
On March 27, 1880, the two railroads signed what was called the Treaty of Boston which settled all litigation, and gave the D&RG back its railroad. The D&RG paid the Santa Fe $1.8 million for the railroad it had built in the gorge, the grading it had completed, materials on hand and interest. The Royal Gorge War was over. D&RGW construction resumed, and rails reached Leadville on July 20, 1880. Passenger train service began in 1880 and continued through 1967. Rio Grande continued freight service through the gorge as part of their Tennessee Pass subdivision until 1989, when the company merged with the Southern Pacific Railroad, and the Southern Pacific name took control of the gorge line. In 1996, the combined company was merged into the systems of the Union Pacific Railroad. The year after Union Pacific purchased Southern Pacific and Rio Grande, the railroad closed the Tennessee Pass line, silencing the tracks in the gorge.
In 1998, the Union Pacific Railroad was persuaded to sell the 12 miles of track through the Royal Gorge in an effort to preserve this scenic route. Two new corporations, the Canon City & Royal Gorge Railroad (CC&RG) and Rock & Rail, Inc. (R&R), joined together to form Royal Gorge Express, LLC (RGX) to purchase the line. Passenger service on the new Royal Gorge Route Railroad began in May 1999. Train movements are still controlled by the Union Pacific’s Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha, Nebraska.Except for this section of track, the Tennessee Pass line has been dormant.
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