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Massive snow plow from Switzerland clears cog railway up Pikes Peak

From Switzerland to Colorado Springs, the new snow plow can cut through 4,200 tons of snow per hour.

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — The new snow plow of the The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway (MPPR) has made its first pass up the legendary Colorado mountain.

The new rotary plow, named Unit 30, is part of the $100-million renovation of the cog railway that travels from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pikes Peak.

The new snowblower, which has the capability of cutting through snow drifts up to 10-feet tall and 20-feet wide, was produced by Zaugg in Eggiwil, Switzerland. The blower's 47.2-inch diameter cutting reels can cut through 4,200 tons of snow per hour and have the ability to blow snow 50 to 100 feet off the line, said MPPR. 

Since October 2017, the railway has been undergoing a renovation of its tracks, cogs, railcars, and depot to create a new and improved journey to the summit.

Tickets are on sale now for those interested in being among the first to experience the scenic nine-mile trip aboard the new cars to the 14,115-foot National Historic Landmark of Pikes Peak this spring and summer.

The cost for standard admission is $58 for adults and $48 for children 12 and under for advance e-ticket purchases or $59.50 at the depot ticket window. To get your preferred dates and times, advance tickets are strongly recommended.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Originally built in 1891, the historic railway is the highest railroad in America, the highest cog railway in the world, one of Colorado’s top attractions, and one of the nation’s most unique experiences.

Credit: Patrick Braess

“The Cog is an important part of Colorado and the West’s heritage,” said Ted Johnston, assistant general manager of the railway. “We’re excited to re-open the railway for the public to experience and enjoy this scenic American adventure that has such a rich history. We’ve been working on this project for three years, and we are very excited to take our first trains and passengers up the mountain.”

Once at the top, guests will be able to enjoy the new fully-accessible, environmentally sustainable Pikes Peak Summit Complex. Construction on the complex, which began in late 2019, is progressing with an anticipated opening in early summer 2021, according to the City of Colorado Springs. 

The summit of Pikes Peak is now closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic until Sunday, May 23.

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