The Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad has its' roots in a collection of bankrupt railroads assembled as the Colorado & Southern in 1898. The line between Leadville and the mine at Climax is a remanent of the narrow guage Denver, South Park & Pacific. The tracks, in fact, remained narrow guaged until pressure of World War II traffic demanded that it be updated to standard guage. When the Climax mine shifted to trucks the railroad was no longer needed. A portion of the line was rescued to serve as today's tourist route.
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Mountain, Town, and Railroad
All three have existed here for more than 100 years. As Colorado's highest peak, Mount Elbert provides the backdrop for Leadville which was the richest mining camp in Colorado. As such Leadville was a destination for the state's three most agressive railroads, i.e., the Rio Grande, the Colorado Midland, and the South Park.