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Creede residents vote against a tourist train

Brief by Central Staff

Tourism – June 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Many mountain towns would be eager to get another 400 visitors a day, but Creede isn’t one of them.

The visitors would arrive by rail on the 21-mile line from South Fork to Creede, which the Durango-based Denver & Rio Grande Historical Foundation plans to purchase from the Union Pacific this summer. Freight service ended in 1985 when the last of Creede’s mines closed.

The plan is to convert it back to narrow-gauge and run steam-powered tourist trains that would disgorge passengers for an hour or two in Creede each summer day.

At issue in this year’s town election was a non-binding referendum, and voters were against the train by 103-52.

“We do not want to turn into a Silverton,” town manager Sandra Wright said. Mayor B.J. Myers said “It would be great fun to have a train if it didn’t overwhelm the community.”