UPDATE: Pikes Peak Cog Railway Will Remain Closed for 2018

March 14, 2018

Featured photo by IG user: @azulox

We’ll continue to update this blog as we learn more about the future of the Cog Railway.

Update: March 14, 2018

After months of maintenance, research and deliberation, the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway has come to a difficult decision: The Cog will remain closed through the 2018 season. “We just need more time to make the best decision possible,” said Jack Damioli, CEO of The Broadmoor. After 126 years of operation, the time has come to reassess the overall infrastructure of the trains, the track, the depot, and the parking situation. “We’ve maintained a perfect safety record and it’s imperative to us that we keep it that way.”

The Obstacles of Working on the Cog:

There are a lot of different things to take into consideration when it comes to working on the Cog. The resources are very limited and all outside of the US for trains and replacement parts. The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway is one of two cog railways in the United States, and one of only 40 in the world. Couple that with the difficulties of track maintenance at 14,000 feet or worse, transporting replacement materials without roads for trucks or other maintenance equipment to access the more remote areas of track, and you’ve got one heck of a coordination puzzle to solve.

“This project has become like an onion, the more layers we pull back, the more we uncover. It’s really quite complicated and we need more time to make sure that we’re doing this properly. There are a number of entities that will need to be involved in order to make this a success, and that’s a huge undertaking.”

We agree 100% Mr. Damioli, and like onions, this has also brought a tear to our eye. We here at Pikes Peak Country Attractions are all rooting for you, and we’re eager for your return!

Statement from the Broadmoor’s Pikes Peak Cog Railway

After 126 years of operation, The Pikes Peak Cog Railway has decided not to reopen this spring for the 2018, or for the foreseeable future. Over the past several months, the railroad has undergone a major evaluation and it has been determined that the infrastructure and equipment has run its course. The railroad is in the process of determining next steps and action plans for the future.

For further information, please contact The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway directly at 719-685-5401.

From November 13, 2017:
For the first time in a decade, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway has closed for the winter season. It’s a choice that didn’t come easy for the attraction, but after an in-depth assessment, the team knew it was the right decision.

“We’re evaluating our entire operation,” says Spencer Wren, general manager of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. “We want to do comprehensive examination and maintenance on all of our tracks and trains this winter.”

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway has eight passenger trains that make the steady 8.9-mile climb to bring tourists and locals up Pikes Peak, where they can snap photos and wander the summit of the 14,115-foot mountain. Tourism has increased steadily in recent years, with the trains making a combined 1,500+ trips up the mountain in the last year alone. In addition to guests who pay at the station in Manitou Springs, the Cog Railway also takes Barr Trail hikers down when there is space available.

More Time to Focus on Maintenance

The constant trips put a lot of wear and tear on the trains and the tracks, particularly in the winter, where the conditions become harsher the higher the trains ascend. In fact, wear and tear increases tenfold when running the trains in the winter. This year, the Cog Railway decided to take a much-needed break to give the mechanics and repair team more uninterrupted time to work on maintenance, inspect the tracks and make repeated test runs. The early closure also offers the additional benefit of a few extra “warm” days for the crew to work before the snow begins to hit in earnest this winter.

Continued Dedication to Superior Safety

The Cog Railway has always had a strong focus on the safety of its passengers and crew and has the safety records to prove it. The decision to close early supports their commitment to providing their guests with a safe, enjoyable experience.

“We’re extremely proud of our record,” says Wren. “We intend to keep it exceptional, which is why we’ve made the choice to halt the operation for the season and focus on our maintenance.”

The Future of Cog Railway Winter Trips

During the closure, the team also plans to evaluate whether or not the winter closure should become a permanent routine. It wouldn’t be a new idea for the attraction. For the first 110 years of the Cog Railway’s existence, winter closure was the standard. It wasn’t until 2002 that the trains began to run year-round to accommodate increasing demand. During the downtime this winter, the attraction will determine if the benefits of winter trips outweigh the impact on the equipment and make a final decision about future seasonal closures.

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway has plans to re-open in the spring, but a permanent date has not been set just yet. Until then, guests are encouraged to drive to the summit via the Pikes Peak Highway (weather permitting).

For further information, please contact The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway directly at 719-685-5401.

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