Colorado Photography of the American West

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23 May 2010

Railroad Brakeman

Brakeman of Georgetown Loop RailroadLast summer we took a day trip to Georgetown, Colorado to experience riding the old steam locomotive train of the Georgetown Loop. The historic Georgetown Loop Railroad is a narrow gauge train that was completed in 1884. The three-foot wide track covers the two mile distance between Georgetown and Silver Plume, and gains an astounding 600 feet in elevation. The scenery was spectacular especially when crossing the Devil’s Gate High Bridge.

Besides the breathtaking scenery I was fascinated with watching the train's brakeman go about his activities. The brakeman's primary job was to assist with braking the train when the engineer wanted the train to slow down. His duties also included making sure the couplings between the cars were secure, and signaling the train during switching operations. Remember when you were a kid and waved at the guy in the caboose and he waved back. The brakeman did that too. Who doesn't like this guy!

Brakeman of Georgetown Loop Railroad
The railroad brakeman in his colorful blue shirt and jaunty conductor's hat represents a bygone era of the Georgetown Loop Railroad.
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A brakeman signals the train in the rail yard of the Georgetown Loop

A brakeman signals the train in the rail yard of the Georgetown Loop
Train Signals
The brakeman of the narrow gauge locomotive signals the oncoming train engineer at Georgetown, CO.
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  1. We actually spent the night in Georgetown once about 7 years ago and fell in love with the old-fashioned charm! You have really captured it, Julie!

  2. Oh, Julie!!!!!!! The sound of that whistle, and the puff-puff-puffing of the steam engine gave me chills all the way down to my toes! I'm NOT kidding! Not to mention some tears in my eyes - this is incredible! I love your photo of the brakeman, too, with the orange lenses of his sunglasses complementing the yellow wooden (wooden, right?) car in the 2nd photo. What a fantastic adventure this must have been! I'm SOOOO jealous...but happy that you shared this experience with us! Wow! Going to go watch that video again - wow!

  3. Congratulations I liked very much

  4. Beautiful photography and I do love trains. My garden is turning into a jungle LOL. Red Raspberry right now and peaches are doing very well. Hot and muggy in Ohio, The High Country of Colorado sounds pretty good


Contemporary photography of the cities, landscapes, flora and fauna of the American West.
Julie Magers Soulen Photography