Touring (and Arguing) The Great Railroad War

By Forrest Whitman Lots of the railroad history around Central Colorado is fun to discuss and argue about. The great railroad war (1878-1890) was a fierce fight. The contenders were General William Jackson Palmer’s Denver and Rio Grande Railroad versus the Santa Fe Railroad led by William Barstow Strong and Thomas Nickerson. The reader is […]

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Reviews: The Second Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas

Lynn E. Wickersham, Editor Colorado Bird Atlas Partnership Reviewed by Forrest Whitman The second edition of the Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas is out and it is stunning. This is the bible for birders, but also a lovely book in and of itself. The illustrations by Radeaux are almost worth the price of the book. The […]

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Book Review – Early Days in South Park: Parked in the Past

By Laura Van Dusen Vandusenville Publications, 189 pages ISBN 978-692-72310-4 Reviewed by Forrest Whitman Sooner or later, if you live in Colorado, you’ll drive through South Park. It’s a lovely ride in its own right, but this book will keep the motorist seeing it all in a fresh way. Van Dusen, long-time writer for many […]

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All Aboard the Southwest Chief from Pueblo?

By Forrest Whitman “A review by BNSF Railway of needed infrastructure improvements to support that service would be complete before Christmas,” said Ray Lang of AMTRAK. He gave that quote at a Southwest Chief Commission meeting to the Colorado Association of Railroad Passengers. The folks in Pueblo have worked for several years to make passenger trains […]

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Book Review: Lost Ghost Towns of Teller County

Reviewed by Forrest Whitman By Jan Mackell Collins History Press, 2016 ISBN 878.146713.512.2 This author has done a commendable job of researching the lost ghost towns around Cripple Creek and other Teller County locations. Her attention to detail is excellent. The book might entice one to try and find some of the sites, or what […]

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The Lariat Loop: An Engineering Marvel at Texas Creek

By Forrest Whitman Readers of Colorado Central have probably driven right next to the roadbed of a spectacular railroad loop without noticing it. Even today, the Rio Grande’s Texas Creek extension gives us spectacular views of a line built around the mountainside and up to the sky. Getting a view and photo of its high […]

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The Caboose – A Ghost Railroad and a Reborn One

By Forrest Whitman Freight Train Wayne and I were talking with a group of Jicarilla Apache folks in their supermarket recently. We were in Dulce, New Mexico and were wondering how we’d get any further on our quest following a ghost railroad. That ghost was the Denver and Rio Grande Western narrow gauge.

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Tips For Running for Small Town Mayor

by Forrest Whitman First: Never run against a dog. Ol’ Woody mopped up the floor with me at our debate through his psychic dog interpreter. I never should have defended the city code enforcer. Second: Ask first if you can run. My victorious opponent landed the old-guard oligarchs early. He sure knew who to ask […]

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Book Reviews – The Railroads of Leadville, Colorado

SILVER RAILS: The Railroads of Leadville, Colorado By Christopher James Sierra Grande Press ISBN 978-0-9670867-2-6 Reviewed by Forrest Whitman This is the book I want for Christmas. I’ve read many books about railroads and railroading, but this one stands out. Many of these rail books have great pictures of a historical era or region. Others […]

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The Caboose

by Forrest Whitman I recently took a lovely walk up the old Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad grade to the Orient mine in the northern San Luis Valley. It’s a spot anyone can visit on their own. Just stop at the Valley View Hot Springs office and sign in. Graded in 1881, this narrow […]

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Book Reviews – Simply Nora: High Heels and Diapers

Simply Nora: High Heels and Diapers by Theodore Marquez Club Lighthouse Publishing ISBN 978-1499648430 Reviewed by Forrest Whitman This is a tender book about a mother, written by her son. It reads like a Christmas card or high school scrapbook. Theodore Marquez was born and raised in Del Norte, Colorado. Nora, his mother, had 24 […]

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The Caboose

by Forrest Whitman Train Day is coming May 9, and at least 20 of us from Colorado Central territory will be on the Southwest Chief train that day. We’ll meet other Chief fans along the way and spend the night in Las Vegas, New Mexico. There will be partying on and off the train. We […]

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A 1933 Farm Program Aids a Town Via Tech Jobs

By Forrest Whitman One thing is constant in my small town: bitching about the local economy. I’m accustomed to hearing the same old complaints. Plenty of folks at our coffeehouse call it a permanent recession resulting in low wages with no break in prices. I’ve got a couple of coffee bets out that something new […]

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Reviews – Edward Wynkoop, Soldier and Indian Agent

Edward Wynkoop, Soldier and Indian Agent By Nancy Oswald #7 in the “Now You Know” series for young scholars by Filter Press ISBN: 978-0-86541-184-5 Reviewed by Forrest Whitman Cotopaxi author Nancy Oswald does a nice job of presenting this historical Colorado figure. Some young scholars will recognize that Wynkoop Street down by Union Station in […]

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