The original Georgetown Loop Railroad was built by the
Georgetown, Breckenridge and Leadville Railroad (part of the Union Pacific)
and opened for service in 1884. The two-mile line connecting the mining towns of
Georgetown and Silver Plume just to the west was designed by UP chief engineer
Jacob Blickensderfer with a series of curves and bridges that reduced
the average grade to a manageable three percent. The scenic route
subsequently became a tourist attraction. The line was decommissioned
and dismantled by the Colorado and Southern Railway in 1938.
Reconstruction of the line as a tourist attraction began in 1973
(with track and tie donations from the UP) and a three-mile restored
segment reopened on 10 March 1984.