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The Colorado Central Reaches Central

Men in suits and hats standing in front of a steam locomotive.  Mountainous Central City behind, including the Teller House.
Colorado Central reaches Central City – Denver Public Library Western History Collection – Z-3389

146 Years Ago
The May 22, 1878 Colorado Transcript announced that the Colorado Central Railroad had reached Central City. That was a major milestone for the Golden-based railroad.

Westward growth of the Colorado Central Railroad

The Colorado Central had been completed from Denver to Golden in September of 1870. It was convenient for Golden to have rail transportation to Denver, but the real objective for the Colorado Central was to reach the rich mining towns in the mountains. The mountain line enabled Golden to sell our goods to the mountain towns, and to carry their ore to smelters in Golden and Denver. It was a boon to Golden’s economy and growing industrial base.

pen and ink drawing of locomotive with coal tender and freight cars with Golden and Castle Rock in the background.
Promotional lithograph for the Colorado Central Railroad - Denver Public Library Western History Collection item X-9836

The railroad had been built as far as Black Hawk by 1872, but a nationwide depression from 1873-1878 put a 5 year halt on continued expansion. When the depression finally eased, the Colorado Central quickly finished the lines to Central City, Idaho Springs, and Georgetown.

Thanks to Dan Abbott for his books, Colorado Central Railroad and The Gilpin Railroad Era. Thanks also to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866.