The Georgetown Loop Railroad was one of Colorado’s first visitor attractions. Completed in 1884, this spectacular stretch of three-foot narrow gauge railroad was considered an engineering marvel for its time.
The thriving mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume lie two miles apart in a steep, narrow mountain canyon. To connect them, the railroad’s builders designed a “corkscrew” route that traveled twice the distance, slowly gaining more than 600 feet in elevation. It included horseshoe curves, grades of up to 4%, and four bridges across Clear Creek, including the massive Devil’s Gate High Bridge. The Colorado & Southern Railway operated the line for passengers and freight from 1899 to 1938, when it was abandoned.
In 1973, the Colorado Historical Society began restoring the railroad as part of its 978-acre Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park. A replica of the High Bridge was completed in 1984, in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its original construction.