Historic Cog Railway Car Finally Transported From Woodand Station

$10,000-Plus Spent on Moving Expenses to Make Room For New Mega Development

Trevor Phipps

Ever since the Woodland Park’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) accepted the free Manitou Springs Cog Railway Car, the vintage vehicle has sparked controversy among residents and community leaders.

Even with an apparent new home for the cog outside of the downtown corridor, secured by a detailed relocation process that was completed recently, this saga isn’t going to end anytime soon. However, the car could be open to the public at the new location site off Hwy. 67 in the near future.

Many residents and former DDA board members maintain that the cog car’s first home at Woodland Station, in the heart of the downtown area, was the perfect spot for what they hoped would become a mini-visitor attraction and even an event venue. Others, though, argued that it didn’t relate to the city’s history, and that it needed to go to make room for a new multi-use development.

After five years of debate, the controversy surrounding the cog car has come to a physical halt as the vehicle was moved to a new location earlier this month. The new land owner of the Woodland Station property paid more than $10,000 to move the cog car to its new location at the Centennial Trailhead, off Hwy. 67.

However, the new move has stirred a mini-outrage on social media outlets, with many residents now questioning the original land deal between the city and Saddle Club, and the current direction of the Downtown Development Authority Board. The move has come under fire. At the same time, many laud the possibility of a new anchor development project occurring at the Woodland Station area, a reality that hasn’t been realized in Woodland Park for several decades.

The exact date of the move was never officially announced ahead of time, but many knew that the cog car was slated to be moved sometime this month. During the morning of June 12, local social media pages started getting posts about how a crane was removing the cog car from its location at Woodland Station in downtown Woodland Park.

A Detailed Process

The process started at 7 a.m. that Wednesday morning and it took a crane costing somewhere in the seven figures and crew of around a dozen workers. In order to move the cog car that weighed several tons, the first chore of the crew was to load the crane with enough counterweight to prevent the crane from becoming airborne when attempting to lift the cog car.

Once the crane was set and prepared, the cog car was removed from its tracks and lifted onto a semi-truck trailer. The crew then loosened the tracks and railroad ties and used the crane to place them on a separate truck and trailer rig.

A section of Midland Ave, just east of Hwy. 67, was then closed to enable the trucks and crane to access the cog car’s new home in the parking lot of the Centennial Trailhead. Over the past few months, the city footed the bill to prepare the cog car’s new home, equipping it with a custom-made concrete slab.


The crane then had to be re-set with the counterweights, before the trucks carrying the tracks and cog car were moved to the new location. The crane set the tracks first to a small audience that had gathered around to watch the process. While the tracks and railroad ties were being lifted, the tracks bowed and curved before being placed onto the concrete slab.

After the tracks were placed in the exact spot, the crane hooked up to the cog car and lifted it onto the tracks. The cog car is expected to be open to the public soon.


The cog car is owned by the Ute Pass Historical Society and Pikes Peak Museum, which plans on using the car as an event venue to help with their mission of preserving and educating the public about local history. “We will do our best to preserve it and share it, which is our mission as a museum and the Ute Pass Historical Society.” Donna Finicle, the head of the Ute Pass Historical Society and Pikes Peak Museum told KRDO. “We understand why people are upset about this because the family wanted it and expected it to be in the location off of Hwy. 24.”


A Lengthy Controversy


The cog car was first moved to the Woodland Station property in 2019 by a former DDA board, which wanted to share it with residents and passers-by at the location near Bert Bergstrom Park. The late Duane Carter paid around $12,000 to move the cog car, and in return the DDA named it after his late wife Myrna to serve as a memorial.


But then over the past five years, the Woodland Park City Council ousted several previous DDA board members and appointed an entirely new board. The new board then approved the sale of the Woodland Station property to the Tava House developers for around $800,000.


Once the Tava House developers secured the purchase of the land, they made the decision to pay to move the cog car because it sat in the spot where the developers had planned to place the front door of their steakhouse, culinary school and event center. But as soon as it was announced that the cog car would be moved, members of the late Carter’s family fought back saying that the DDA promised his family that the cog car would stay on the Woodland Station property forever as a memorial for their late mother.


Doug Carter and his siblings even found previous newspaper articles saying that the cog car would stay at the Woodland Station property, and that the Tava House developers would somehow incorporate the cog car into their development plans. The Carters even circulated an online petition around the community that gathered 677 signatures from people saying that the cog car should stay at the Woodland Station property.


After the cog car was moved, the new location garnered mixed reactions from residents who were sad about the move. Others, though, embraced the cog car’s new location and contend that it’s part of the price of progress, with a new development forthcoming.  Now that the cog car has been relocated, the Tava House developers plan to break ground on their new development at Woodland Station.