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Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm

<img src="colorado.durangosilverton.jpeg" alt="Durango and Silverton steam train"/>

Colorado Steam Spectacular

Colorado not only has stunning mountain scenery but is home to a host of incredibly scenic railroads. This very special and unique tour at Fall Foliage time features no less than eight railways including FOUR DAYS OF SPECIAL STEAM CHARTERS, plus railroad museums, National Parks, and a journey on Amtrak's "California Zephyr" through the heart of the Rockies. Travel with an expert Railtrail Tour Manager who has had over 30 years' experience of escorting tours to the USA.

View Dates & Book

13 days from £3995

 

DEPARTS

Friday 1 October 2021

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Special steam charter Colorado Railroad Museum

  • Special steam charter Como Roundhouse

  • Two days steam freight charter on the 64-mile Cumbres & Toltec Railroad

  • Ride the Durango and Silverton steam train

  • Steam over the 97ft high Devils Gate Bridge

  • Travel by train through the 1,000ft deep Royal Gorge

  • Rail to the summit of 14,000ft Pikes Peak

  • Amtrak ride through the heart of the Rockies

  • Great Sand Dunes National Park

  • Mesa Verde National Park

  • Incredible mountain scenery

 

Also included in your Tour Fare:

  • 12 nights’ hotel accommodation with private facilities

  • Breakfast each day (excluding 07/10/21) plus 4 packed lunches and 1 dinner

  • All excursions and admissions as detailed

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

 

 

 

DAY 1

Friday 1 October 2021
Join the group at our hotel for the next two nights at the centrally located Holiday Inn Express in Denver.

DAY 2

Saturday 2 October 2021
Today we have free time to explore the fabulous city of Denver independently using local trams and buses with our included transport pass. Alternatively, we can ride on the vintage Platte Valley Trolley (payable locally) which is within walking distance of the hotel or we can accompany our experienced tour manager to see heavy freight trains in action or visit the famous Caboose Hobbies at Lakewood. Tonight, we get to meet our fellow passengers and enjoy a group dinner.

B, D

DAY 3

Sunday 3 October 2021
After breakfast we leave our hotel and transfer by private coach to the Colorado Railroad Museum at Golden on the outskirts of the city. We have time for a look around the comprehensive and excellent collection before we have a special steam charter train around the museum grounds with plenty of opportunity for photographs. A packed lunch will be provided before we depart by private coach climbing into the mountains to Georgetown for the incredible 3ft gauge loop railway. This last and extremely difficult section of the former Colorado Central line, completed in 1884, consists of a spiral and impressive 97ft high Devils Gate curving viaduct plus steep grades from Georgetown up to Silver Plume, 600ft higher, to tap into the silver reserves in the area. We watch the early afternoon train climb from the station and over the viaduct before riding the next train to Silver Plume. We hope to have a workshop tour at Silver Plume before heading further into the Rockies by road to the former silver mining town of Leadville at over 10,000ft altitude - the highest city in the USA. Tonight, we stay at the historic Delaware Hotel built in 1886, where all the bedrooms are decorated in a Victorian style.

B, L

DAY 4

Monday 4 October 2021
This morning we ride the standard gauge Leadville, Colorado and Southern diesel train through the San Isabel National Forest, affording great views over the Arkansas River Valley. We enjoy a two and a half hour round trip with a packed lunch provided on board. We then transfer to Como for the South Park Rail Society's 1881 South Park & Pacific RR stone roundhouse and a special steaming of their 3ft gauge Baldwin No.4 of 1912. In the late afternoon we continue by road to Colorado Springs and check in at our overnight hotel the Quality Inn Garden of the Gods.

B, L

DAY 5

Tuesday 5 October 2021
Today we ride the recently rebuilt 9-mile long diesel operated Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the fifth highest railway in the world to the summit of Pikes Peak at 14,115ft. Grades as steep as 1 in 4 (25%) are encountered. Afterwards there is free time to explore downtown Manitou and enjoy lunch at leisure before visiting the strange rock formations in the area known as "The Garden of the Gods". We continue by road to Canon City for our afternoon excursion on the Royal Gorge Railway. The former D&RGW route traverses an extremely narrow 1,000ft deep gorge of the Arkansas River where at times the track is cantilevered over the river itself beneath the Royal Gorge Bridge. Following our fascinating day, we stay overnight at the Quality Inn Canon City.

B

DAY 6

Wednesday 6 October 2021
We travel by road from Canon City via the remarkable Great Sand Dunes National Park, a huge area of dunes some rising to around 750ft on the edge of the San Luis Valley surrounded by wonderful mountain scenery. At Alamosa we visit the workshops of the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad, a standard gauge freight line. We then continue, on to Antonito in time to watch the arrival of the 3ft gauge Cumbres & Toltec steam hauled train before heading over the 10,230ft La Manga Pass to Chama, where we overnight stay at the Branding Iron Motel.

B

DAY 7

Thursday 7 October 2021
After a morning visit to the loco shed of the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad we join our special steam hauled freight charter train for a superb full day of photo run-bys through stunning scenery over the 64-mile line to Antonito. As well as crossing the regular steam passenger train the route features a climb to over 10,000ft at the Cumbres Pass, trestle bridges, ledge running, tunnels, and wild west scenery plus, at this wonderful time of year we can see the vivid orange and yellow Fall Colours of the Aspen trees. During our journey we can sit back, relax, and enjoy our packed lunch that is provided on board. On arrival back at Antonito we travel by road to Alamosa and arrive at our hotel for the next two nights, the Best Western Alamosa Inn.

L

DAY 8

Friday 8 October 2021
Today we enjoy more steam but with a different locomotive. For our journey this morning one of the original smaller 125-year old engines is at the head of our steam special freight train. We travel on a return trip through the semi-scrub scenery and the inaccessible Toltec Gorge to Osier and have a packed lunch to enjoy on board. Once again, we have numerous great photo opportunities with even more run-bys.

B, L

DAY 9

Saturday 9 October 2021
We transfer by private coach over the 10,500ft Wolf Creek Pass and the historic town of Pagosa Springs, past Durango to the small town of Dolores - home to the "Galloping Goose Historical Society Museum". These ingenious railcars were built from old trucks and buses in order to retain some sort of passenger services on the narrow gauge lines in later years. After a break for lunch we visit Mesa Verde National Park for their amazingly preserved cliff dwellings of which there are over 600 some dating back 1500 years. We then transfer to our hotel for the next two nights, the Best Western Rio Grande Inn Durango, ideally situated just a five minute walk from the narrow gauge station.

B

DAY 10

Sunday 10 October 2021
After breakfast we ride the steam hauled 3ft gauge train from Durango on another day of spectacular scenery over bridges, ledge running on the "high line" 200ft above the Animas River and through remote canyons to the historic mining town of Silverton. We have free time for lunch and to take a stroll around the many fascinating turn of the century buildings before returning by train to Durango.

B

DAY 11

Monday 11 October 2021
We travel by road over the "Million Dollar Highway" (there two version of why it is called that: one is the cost of building it, the other the amount of gold discovered in the dirt) but it ranks as one of the most spectacular road journeys in the USA taking you over three 10,000ft plus mountain passes. We stop at Ouray for lunch before continuing north calling in at Ridgeway Railroad Museum, the Black Canyon loco at Cimarron and Gunnison Pioneer Museum. Tonight, we stay at the Quality Inn Gunnison.

B

DAY 12

Tuesday 12 October 2021
This morning we transfer by road to Glenwood Springs where we board Amtrak's "California Zephyr" for a 7-hour ride through the heart of the Rockies to Denver's Union station. On board we enjoy the best of the scenery from the huge windows of the Superliner Lounge car. Snacks and drinks are available to purchase on board during our journey. There is no need to take our luggage with us today, it will go directly by coach to our hotel and will be waiting for us when we arrive at the Holiday Inn Express, in Denver

B

DAY 13

Wednesday 13 October 2021
We enjoy a leisurely morning to relax and have the option to use a local transport pass for buses and trams, ride past UP and CSX freight yards, or get some last minute shopping. We meet at the hotel in the early afternoon to transfer by private coach to the Forney Transportation Museum where they have one of UP's huge 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" locomotives. If you are staying on in the USA or if you have booked your own flights this is where you say goodbye to the main Railtrail flight inclusive group and make your own way to Denver Airport. Have a great flight.

B

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

HOTELS

Holiday Inn Express, Denver

Situated in the heart of the Mile High City, explore downtown Denver by walking just one block to the 16th Street Mall with over 100 options for dining, shopping, entertainment, and attractions. The modern bedrooms have TV, telephone, Wi-Fi, iron/ ironing board, hairdryer, air-conditioning, and tea /coffee making facilities. The hotel has a lobby restaurant serving a buffet breakfast and gymnasium.

 

Delaware Hotel, Leadville

Located in Leadville and built in 1886, The Delaware Hotel combines Victorian elegance with "Old Wild West" excitement and is the town’s only remaining grand hotel from the "glory days" of the strike-it-rich era of the late 1880’s. Nestled amidst the tallest peaks in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the Delaware Hotel is an interesting mix of part museum, part gallery, and part country inn. The bedrooms are decorated in a Victorian style combined with modern comforts and offer TV, telephone and W-Fi. The hotel has a characterful restaurant and bar.

 

Quality Inn Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

With Pikes Peak as a backdrop, the Quality Inn Garden of the Gods offers stunning mountain views and is conveniently located within walking distance to restaurants and bars. The modern air-conditioned bedrooms offer TV, coffee maker, Wi-Fi, and iron/ ironing board. The hotel has a restaurant serving buffet breakfast and outdoor swimming pool.

 

Quality Inn & Suites, Canon City

Canon City is tucked away in a valley surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains and the Quality Inn offers a great base from which to explore the local area. The comfortable bedrooms offer Wi-Fi, refrigerator, hairdryer, and iron/ ironing board. The hotel has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, bar, and restaurant.

 

Branding Iron Motel, Chama

Nestled in the Rio Chama valley at the Southern tip of the spectacular Rocky Mountain Range, the motel offers the perfect location to hear the engineer’s whistle announcing the arrival and departure of trains from the historic Chama depot on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, America’s longest and highest narrow gauge railroad. The spacious air-conditioned bedrooms offer TV, Wi-Fi, and coffee maker.

 

Best Western Alamosa Inn, Alamosa

Located in the San Luis Valley, Alamosa is a great base to visit the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Historic Railroad and Great Sand Dunes National Park. The air-conditioned bedrooms offer TV, safe, and tea/ coffee making facilities. The has a breakfast restaurant and indoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi and is located within walking distance of shops, bars, and restaurants.

 

Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn, Durango

The historic centre of downtown Durango, Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, restaurants, bars, and shops are all conveniently located within walking distance of the hotel. Bedrooms are well equipped and have hairdryer, coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, and Wi-Fi. The hotel offers a breakfast restaurant, bar, and indoor pool with hot tub.

 

Quality Inn, Gunnison

Situated in the centre of Gunnison, close to the historic downtown and attractions, bars, and restaurants. The traditionally decorated bedrooms offer Wi-Fi, TV, mmicrowave, refrigerator, hairdryer, coffee maker, and iron and ironing board. The hotel has a breakfast restaurant, indoor swimming pool with hot tub and gymnasium.

 

FARE

From London Heathrow Airport:

Standard Economy seats on British Airways

£4695

Upgraded flight seats on British Airways

On Request

Join & Leave at Denver (Ground Only Fare)

£3995

Single Traveller Supplement

£975


 

12 nights’ hotel accommodation with private facilities

Breakfast each day (excluding 07/10/21) plus 4 packed lunches and 1 dinner

All excursions and admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

GUARANTEED FARE

 

 

All passengers must have a ESTA for entry into the USA.  The official website for your ESTA visa's is https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ 

 

How can I apply?

 

Official guidance says to submit your application at least 14 days prior to travel. But you can do this when you feel necessary.

 

Apply online via the official ESTA websiteopens in new window. Allow up to 72 hours for a response, though your application may be processed instantly.

 

Make a note of the application number so you can check your ESTA status or update your information.

 

Make your ESTA payment – it currently costs $14 (around £10) if you do it directly via the ESTA website. . If you're refused entry to the United States you'll only be charged $4.

 

View your application status – once your ESTA is approved, it’s valid for two years and you can make multiple trips back to America during this time without having to reapply.

 

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

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Contact Us

Railtrail Tours Limited
21 The Smithfield Centre, Leek
Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 5JW
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