COBWEB CORNERS: A Pueblo-to-Springs track record

By Mel McFarland

       In October 1901 the Colorado and Southern made its fastest trip to Colorado Springs from Pueblo. The track used was the Santa Fe's. Today we can easily drive from Colorado Springs to Pueblo in about 45 minutes, even in the worst weather, but what did a train do?
       The occasion was a special train bringing Pueblo officials of the Woodmen of the World to Colorado City's dedication of the organization's new meeting hall.
       The Colorado Springs station on the Santa Fe, 42 miles north of the Pueblo station, was normally traveled in an hour and 15 minutes, including a stop at Fountain. The trip was the C&S's trial run of a new express service to Denver. The locomotive was a big new passenger engine, Number 322, recently added to the railroad's equipment.
       In Pueblo the locomotive picked up three coaches and a baggage car, along with several officials of the C&S. It left Pueblo's Union Station at five minutes to seven in the evening. The train crew, as well as the passengers, were highly excited in anticipation of the trip.
       The trip is uphill all the way. It did not stop until it reached the Santa Fe yards in Colorado Springs. The fastest time was clocked between Pinon and Hull, about where the Nixon power plant is located today, at 70 miles an hour. This speed had never been attained on this section of track.
       At Colorado Springs, a Colorado Midland locomotive took two of the cars to Colorado City for the carriage trip to the new building. The rest of the train continued on to Denver at normal speed. The trip to the Springs had taken 42 minutes, a mile-a-minute speed!
       Before that, the Pueblo-to-Springs record had been 55 minutes, by a Denver and Rio Grande train rushing firemen to the big Antlers Hotel fire that burned much of Colorado Springs in 1898.