Large Scale Central

Cross-Country Road Trip - Fall 2024

With retirement schdeuled for the very near future, Marilyn and I are planning a nearly cross country road trip this coming fall. We will be leaving from Western CT traveling through the Southern tier of New York state with our first stop just East of Buffalo to spend a few days with my brother and Sister in-law. After that it will be Westward to Denver with numerous stops along the way. Our route and dates are still to be determined, but here are a few places we hope to get to…

Jane & Andy’s for the September or October op session.
Littleton, CO (Denver suburb) to visit my youngest & his family.
Cumbres & Toltec for one of the fall excursions
Durango & Silverton - This one is a maybe - low on the priority list.
If I’m up for the long drive, Nevada Northern in Ely Nevada

The plan is to break the trip up into 5 or 6 hour travel times broken up with two or more nights at each stop. We will be bringing our dog, so all accommodations will need to be dog friendly. As long as the weather is cool, she is fine sleeping in the car while we explore. Unless we can leave her at my son’s for a few days, I don’t think we can do the 8 hour ride on the C&T.

I’m looking for suggestions on sites (RR or otherwise) to see along the way. I don’t mind deviating from the shortest route in order to visit a location. What might you suggest?

Georgetown Loop, Pike’s Peak. Colorado Rail Museum.

Jon, 315/425 has been chartered for a couple of photo charters in the fall. One is thru Pete Lerreo( Sp) and another is with the Friends of the C&T, In the fall and summer the C&T Does some 1/2 day trips to Cumbres and back or such, Ck there website.

I’ll be around for several things late summer into fall with 315/425. Let me know of your tentative travel dates…and I will do what I can, and maybe the nickel tour of the shops…

I second the Colorado Railroad Museum in Greeley. Spectacular.

Swing by and pick me up !

No problem, so long as you can share the back seat with our dog and don’t need to be home for a month!

Thanks John.

We’ve done the loop at least three times and the CO Railroad museum twice. We rode Pikes Peak Cog and the Royal Gorge train last year. I’ve been to C&T twice, last time in 2021 and Durango once in 2000. Cumbres in the fall is a bucket list item.

Lerro runs great charters. I’ll check out his website, but it might be sold out already. They go fast!

As soon as I have dates figured out I’ll drop you a message.

If you don’t want to go back the easy way, I once stayed at the :point_right: Izaak Walton Inn :point_left: but you might be kept awake by railway freight operations and Amtrak.

We stumbled on to :point_right: this place :point_left: in Nevada

Thanks Bill. Carson City is just a bit too far West for this trip. If we get as far West as Ely, NV for the Nevada Northern that will be about it. Ely is about 10-11 hours West of Denver which will be our Western base. If I win the lottery we’ll ride teh Rocky Mountaineer from Denver to Moab then rent a car to drive to Ely, then back to Denver.

Looks spectacular, but I think he was referring to the CO RR Museum in Golden, CO, across the valley from Coors Beer!

You should talk to Jerry Bohlander. He used to head off in the camper trailer to Nevada for Marty’s RR weekends (remember those?) He always takes a train or two in the truck and he stopped everywhere!

Personally we stopped in CO on the way back from Hawaii (the flight went via Denver,) and the wife said “didn’t you want to stop and see the trains in Denver?” So we did.

I got some suggestions from Kevin Strong in Denver. The Forney Museum is spectacular. A small Forney in the entrance, and a Big Boy along one wall. Lots of fun RR stuff, and even more fun cars, motorbikes, wall presentations of flapper costumes, lots of stuff. Even your wife will love it!

CO RR Museum in Golden is worth a visit - I hope it won’t be “Thomas” weekend as it was when we visited!

We drove to Durango via Leadville (10,250 ft!) one day, which was amazing. There’s a few artifacts in the Leadville station. We couldn’t work out why the 3’ gauge line south from Leadville was in good shape and had proper light signals. All sorts of fun - lunch in a small town where the old D&RG tracks were visible across the main street.
So I don’t know why you’re skipping Durango - presumably because you’ve been before!

Ah, you are so right. The one I’m talking about is the Colorado MODEL Railroad Museum: in Greeley.

Huge HO train layout. Worth the detour.

I’ve ridden before and chased a few years ago. Lodging during high season (including fall) is out of sight price wise. In 2021 we stayed in a somewhat affordable chain motel. It was filthy and they charged us extra for an in-room safe we never used!

Chama, on the other hand has pretty sparse lodgings but the experience is 10 times that of the D&S which is very commercial. Not knocking the D&S, it’s a great scenic ride, but if I can’t do both, the choice would always be the C&TS.

And yes, the drive from Denver to Durango is awesome. There is lots of old railroad grade that can be driven in a passenger car. So far, we have only done Boreas Pass from Como to Breckenridge. Kevin Strong has done most of them and will be my info source for that part of the trip.

Thanks Jim. That sounds like a good destination to take the grand kids. They live just south of Denver and Greenly is definitely within day-trip range.

Has anyone been to the Age of Steam Roundhouse? If so, is it worth the trip?

It looks like it could be almost "on the way"if I deviate South at Cleveland and then use I-70 going West.


Have not been to Age of Steam but will be part of available tours at this years narrow gauge convention in Sept. and i plan to go (visit some old friends). sound like i have been close by already as i typically head west from here over the mountains of Vermont into Albany, then either southern tier (I-87?)or I-90, then cut south on a connector that takes me down to Columbus and 1-70. i am all about missing as many tools as possible.


Have you been to EnterTRAINment Junction in Ohio? Heard and seen videos and it looks like a great place. There is a large train museum about an hour west of Chicago that is huge. When I find the name I will post it here.

Jon, Illinois Railway museum

I’m hoping my wife is up to walking around it when we are in Chicago this summer

Thanks Pete. I’ve heard of the Illinois RR Museum. They have a few very unique pieces including the only remaining parts of GM/EMD’s Aero Train streamliner that had a front windshield that looked like a '56 Chevy!

For this trip I think Chicago is a bit further North than we will be traveling, but I’ll keep that one on the list for the future.

Depending on where EnterTrainment Junction is, it might be close to the route that will take us through Ohio. I’ll check it out.