The railroads around Purgatory Peak were conceived in the euphoria of the mining boom of the late 19th century when deposits of several heavy metals, including gold and silver, had been discovered. The booming American economy created ever-increasing demands and pack horses were simply not quick enough to deliver. And so the Denver and Colorado Western was born.
It’s now the late 1930’s and times are hard. As for the railroad – it just keeps plodding on. Nothing much changes in this part of the world … unless it has to!
Purgatory Peak was selected for the area to model, not for its scenic beauty (it has none), nor for its significance as a milestone in railway history (as if!). It was simply chosen because getting to this point (the highest) not only on the original railway but also on the model, had been sheer purgatory!
The upper level was the original “Denver and Colorado Western” line but has long since been by-passed by subsequent improvements to the system following acquisition by the “D&RGW”. The mines served by the improbable zigzag are struggling following the Great Depression but, despite their best efforts, the “D&RGW” have not been able to dispense with the branch (under the mine) to Oblivion.
For the technical information and more background search the web for Purgatory Peak Model Railroad or see: http://sites.google.com/site/purgatorypeakmodelrailroad