Tour Date: 8 to 19 October, 2022Location: USA

We invite you to come join us for our autumn colours tour of Colorado and the colourful trains that make this state, popular with the railfans all around the world. This tour will present to you spectacular train rides into the Rocky Mountains pulled by steam, diesel and railcars. We also welcome back the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway of which has been closed for a couple of years and will reopen in 2022.

During our 12-day tour we will ride these colourful trains on the Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton, Royal Gorge, Pikes Peak Cog, Georgetown Loop, Leadville, Colorado & Southern plus visit several railroad museums. We will also visit three national parks. We begin our tour with a ride on Amtrak’s westbound California Zephyr Denver to Glenwood Springs running right through the heart of the Colorado Rockies.

This tour usually sells out so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Tour Manager: Chris Skow

From: London Heathrow plus other UK airport (indirect).

Availability

Tour Highlights


  • Legendary California Zephyr train
  • Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad
  • Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway
  • Royal Gorge Railroad
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park
  • Rio Grande
  • Cumbres & Toltec Railroad
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Durango to Silverton Railroad
  • Swiss built town of Ouray
  • Georgetown Loop Railroad
  • Tour Itinerary
  • Prices & Options
  • Booking
  • Gallery
  • Transport & Accommodation

DAY 1 Saturday 8 October, 2022

Our British Airways flight departs from London Heathrow at 14:45 (flight time to Denver is 9hr 40m). Also direct flights with United Airlines (at 11:25 and 14:50). Flights also available from Manchester (13:05 with Virgin via JFK) and from Glasgow or Edinburgh (via Heathrow or Chicago). Arrival in Denver and transfers to The Crawford Hotel located right at Denver Union Station. You can catch the Denver Light Rail from the airport right to Denver Union Station. Option to fly out earlier if you want a day or two to explore Denver.

It is also possible to join this tour direct from our “Spectacular New England in the Fall” tour with an inclusive flight from Boston to Denver.

DAY 2: Sunday 9 October (B,D)

We board Amtrak’s westbound California Zephyr No. 5 departing Denver at 10:05am and arriving Glenwood Springs at 3:58pm. Our coach will be waiting at Glenwood Springs to take us to Leadville and check-in at the Delaware Hotel which was built in 1886. In the evening we will have our “Welcome to Colorado” dinner.

DAY 3 Monday 10 October (B,L)

After breakfast we join The Leadville, Colorado and Southern excursion train (departs at 10:00am and returning at 12:30pm). Box lunch onboard the train. We depart Leadville at 12:45pm and travel to Como. Visit the South Park Rail Society’s roundhouse and their steam locomotive to be in operation for a charter. Afternoon drive to Colorado Springs and hotel check-in at the Quality Inn Garden of the Gods.

DAY 4 Tuesday 11 October (B)

We ride the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. First train of the day. Back in Manitou in time to explore downtown and get some lunch. In Colorado Springs we visit “Garden of the Gods” rock formations then travel to Canon City, where we visit the Royal Gorge Railroad workshops. Photograph the afternoon train arriving back in Canon City and then hotel check-in at the Quality Inn & Suites.

DAY 5 Wednesday 12 October (B)

Ride the morning excursion train on the Royal Gorge Railroad through the Royal Gorge. Then Travel Canon City to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Next, we travel to Alamosa with a visit to the San Luis and Rio Grande workshops and depot. Then we travel to Antonito to visit the yards and shop and catch the arrival of the afternoon train. Continue on to Chama, New Mexico and check-in at the Branding Iron Motel.

DAY 6: Thursday 13 October (L)

Morning visit to the Cumbres & Toltec workshops and yards as the crews make up our train and the regular train. Ride our charter train from Chama to Antonito with plenty of photo run-bys. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a 3 foot (914 mm) railroad running for 64 miles (103 km) between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico. Originally part of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad narrow gauge network. This line was purchased from the Rio Grande by the states of Colorado and New Mexico in 1970. After photographing our locomotive switching in the yard at Antonito travel on our road coach to Alamosa for check-in at the Best Western Alamosa Motel.

DAY 7 Friday 14 October (B,L)

Return to Antonito and board our charter steam photo train with a different locomotive for the run up to Oiser and return to Antonito. 2nd nights lodging at the Best Western Alamosa Motel.

DAY 8 Saturday 15 October (B)

Ride our coach Alamosa to Durango and continue on west to the small town of Dolores and visit The Galloping Goose Historical Society’s Museum. This was once part of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad. After our museum visit we then stop off at Mesa Verde National Park then return to Durango and check-in at the Best Western Rio Grande Inn.

DAY 9 Sunday 16 October (B)

Ride the regular steam train Durango to Silverton and return. At this railway you can experience life as it was in 1882. Family run it is dedicated to the preservation of history and there is no greater American historical treasure than the D&SNGRR. Voted the best train ride in the USA. The ride behind a historic engine chugging away traveling through the ruggedly beautiful San Juan National Forest while observing awesome mountain vistas is truly a thrill! 2nd night Best Western Rio Grande Inn.

DAY 10 Monday 17 October (B)

Travel on our charter bus Durango north to Red Mountain Pass at 11,075 feet and the famous “Million Dollar Highway” stopping in the Swiss built town of Ouray for lunch. After lunch we continue north to Ridgeway to visit the Ridgeway Railroad Museum which features the history of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad. Next, we visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. We then continue to Gunnison with a stop to photograph Cimarron Canyon Rail Exhibit. This exhibit includes steam locomotive DRGW 278, a 2-8-0 and some freight cars on the steel deck span trestle. At Gunnison we visit the Gunnison Pioneer Museum which includes railroad related items and a steam locomotive and train. Check-in at the Quaility Inn.

DAY 11 Tuesday 18 October (B)

Early morning departure from Gunnison arriving at Silver Plume midday. Visit the workshops and yards of the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Ride the train between Georgetown and Silver Plume. After our train ride we stop off in downtown Georgetown for lunch. We depart Georgetown mid-afternoon and travel to Golden for a visit to the Colorado Railroad Museum including riding our steam hauled charter train. Depart Golden late afternoon for the short trip to Denver and hotel check-in at the Holiday Inn Express downtown.

DAY 12 Wednesday 19 October (B)

Late morning hotel check-out and early afternoon visit to the Forney Transportation Museum on our way to the airport. Planned arrival at the Denver International Airport at 4:00pm and end of our tour. Our BA flight departs at 19:35.

Holiday prices per person

  • Full 12-day tour from Denver: £3,975
  • Return flight options from the UK from London or Manchester: Allow £500-£700

Options

  • Single use room supplement for full tour: £990
  • Flight upgrades to Business or First Class: POA

Deposit

  • £750 plus flight costs

Online Booking

Please note that you cannot book a flight inclusive trip on our website but if you select the flight option you prefer then we will contact you with the flight details and convert your booking into a flight inclusive package.

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We recommend you also check the FCO website for the latest travel advice https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Flights

BA219 14.45 Heathrow to Denver (direct)

BA218 19.35 Denver to Heathrow (direct)

Flights also available from Manchester (13:05 with Virgin via JFK) and from Glasgow or Edinburgh (via Heathrow or Chicago).

Hotels

The Crawford Hotel, Denver

Delaware Hotel, Leadville

Quality Inn Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

Quality Inn & Suites., Canon City

Branding Iron Motel. Chama

Best Western Alamosa Motel, Alamosa

Best Western Rio Grande Inn, Durango

Quaility Inn, Gunnison