Railroads are focus of historical society’s meeting on Thursday | VailDaily.com

Railroads are focus of historical society’s meeting on Thursday

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Trains are no longer a common sight in Eagle County. However, a century ago, railroads played a prominent role in the mining economy and the development of local communities.

A historic railroad will be the focus of the Eagle County Historical Society’s annual meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at the ambulance building in Edwards (1055 Edwards Village Blvd.).

One of the lesser-known historic railroads was the Colorado Midland Railway Co., which was incorporated in 1883 with the intent of providing a transportation link between Colorado’s Front Range and the mining camps of the Roaring Fork Valley. The Midland was, in fact, the first standard-gauge railroad extended over the Continental Divide from Colorado Springs to Leadville. The tracks continued on to Aspen and Grand Junction. By 1920, the Midland Railroad was gone from the Western Slope.

Railroad Historian Mel McFarland will share the history of the Midland Railroad with a slide show and talk. McFarland is an author, artist and retired middle school teacher who has written a number of railroad books, including “The Midland Route,” “Colorado Midland Guide Book” and “Colorado Rail Annual No. 17.” He also works as chief conductor of the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway (the Cog Railway) in Manitou Springs.

A brief business meeting will be held at 6:45 p.m., followed by the railroad program at 7 p.m.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Refreshments will be served. Any interested person is welcome. Questions may be directed to Events Coordinator Marion Laughlin at 970-328-1098.

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