Colorado Central Railroad

Colorado Central Railroad

Colorado Central Railroad

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The Colorado Central Railroad was a U.S. railroad company that operated in Colorado and southeastern Wyoming in the late 19th century. Originally founded in the Colorado Territory in the wake of the Colorado Gold Rush to ship gold from the mountains, it eventually expanded from its initial Golden–Denver line to form a crucial link connecting Colorado with the transcontinental railroad and the national rail network. The history of the railroad throughout the 1870s was driven at times by a fierce struggle between local interests, led by W.A.H. Loveland, and outside investors of the Union Pacific Railroad led at times by Jay Gould. The early struggle of the company to build its lines was a major part of the early competition between Denver and Golden for supremacy as the principal metropolis of Colorado.

The company built the first rail lines up connecting historic Colorado mining communities such as Black Hawk, Central City, and Idaho Springs. Through a series of reorganizations and acquisitions, it eventually became part of the Colorado and Southern Railway. Although its historic mountain lines were dismantled by the mid 20th century, its connecting lines on the Colorado Eastern Plains survive as active lines of BNSF Railway.


The railroad was chartered as the Colorado and Clear Creek Railroad Company on February 9, 1865 by Loveland and other entrepreneurs in the town of Golden, which at time was the capital of the Colorado Territory. Loveland and his...
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