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There was--and still is--considerable admiration for Europe in Colorado. Towns like Manitou Springs (in the 1900s) and Telluride (today) were specifically set up to compete with Alpine resorts, complete with Spas at hot springs, casinos, and "European" restaurants.

Indeed, the first time I came across a photo of the Argentine Central was the scanned-in version of some 70-year-old tourism brochure (which I failed to locate now) comparing the sights of Colorado with that of Switzerland. Now I know Switzerland, first-hand, yet I tended to agree, at least on potential if developed like the Swiss equivalents have been.

This was after, a decade ago, I saw a travel-o-documentary about the Rio Grande line across Moffat Tunnel, which impressed me, but compared to the lost stuff I found later on all the B&W photographs on the web (say the ghostdepot.com site), it's just dime-a-dozen... Now, if only...

...a mountain ressort/observation dome had been built atop Argentine Peak, some switchbacks had been replaced with spiral tunnels and direct trains from Denver had been arranged...

...the Rio Grande narrow-gauge system had been taken over by the state of Colorado and strategically maintained...

...the Denver, South Park & Pacific had electrified its mainline...

...the Rio Grande Southern had built panoramic cars...

...then the Jungfraubahn, the Rhätische Bahn, the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn or the Montreaux-Oberland Bernois would be looking with envy today, I think.

[Respectively: a half-finished mountain railway, a narrow gauge network consolidated by a canton, and two other busy narrow gauge railways making profit mostly with tourist transport.]

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 03:45:26 PM EST
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