COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway located in Colorado Springs plans to reopen to the public in May of 2021 after a $100 million restoration project to overhaul the tracks and the cog trains.
The railway has unveiled a new website that gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the renovations taking place on the high-altitude railroad – with bonus live streams available from The Broadmoor and Seven Falls.
"We closed in October of 2017 and the initial thought was to do heavy maintenance for a couple of months, maybe as long as a year," said Ted Johnston, assistant general manager of the railway. "It got to the point when we were looking into heavy maintenance when it became apparent that it would be more cost-effective to replace everything brand new."
Johnston said they worked with researchers and talked to experts in Switzerland, where most cog railways are located, who told the team that their equipment was outdated and better technology is available.
The Pikes Peak railway's shop guys, who are also the train's engineers, have been refurbishing four more older rail cars to ride the tracks.
"They are super excited for the reopening, even more excited with the fact that they are all doing the work and they're thrilled to be a part of it," said Johnston.
Johnston added that many tourists don't know that the railway is closed, but they are looking forward to the reopening.
"I've been contacted by families taking road trips through Colorado and were shocked when they saw the closure for a year," he said. "Many families said they ride the train every year – I even received a call from a family who wanted to bring their mother, who turns 80 this year, so I invited them to bring her back for her 81st birthday."
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