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“Nice Views Rude Conductor”

Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Ranked #1 of 2 Tours in Manitou Springs
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: For more than a hundred years, this railway, the highest "cog" railroad in the world and the highest train in the U.S., has been transporting passengers to the summit of Pikes Peak.
Broomfield, Colorado
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Nice Views Rude Conductor”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2013

My husband and I decided to take the Cog Train up to Pike's Peak as part of our 10 year wedding anniversary. We thought it would be fun and unconventional way to celebrate since we had never done it before and live in Colorado a few hours away. The actual ride was fine, nice view and being on top of Pike's Peak at 14,000 feet was a bit surreal, we got some very nice pictures. Unfortunately on the way down things went in the toilet pretty fast. The conductor had collected our tickets when we boarded for the way up. He tore off the end of the ticket and I thought we were good to go, apparently they collect it again for going back down again and I no longer had the rest of the cardboard piece as I threw it out at the top inside the cafe area along with other snack type trash that we were discarding. When I saw he was coming through on the way down again to recollect the rest of it, I was horrified because I realized that I had made a mistake and was supposed to hang onto the other end of it. I apologized profusely and told him I didn't realize we still needed that and showed him my receipt ( thank god I had it) that clearly showed the date and the amount we paid for a round trip ticket for 2 people. He was having none of it, he made a scene, reprimanded me in front of the other passengers and said he would "let it slide just this once" otherwise I would have to walk down ( 8 miles in the snow people) or pay another 22.00. Very unprofessional in how it was handled. Isn't that the point of having a receipt? The other passengers were not impressed either, he made a jerk of himself in front of several people. Needless to say, it ruined the ride down and almost ruined our anniversary. Would I take the train again? Not if Mel the conductor is running it I won't.... He said he announced it at the beginning of the trip, but we could not really hear what he was saying over the loud speakers, other people were talking and down him out. 3 stars for the ride considering the rudeness of the conductor. BE SURE YOU KEEP EVERYTHING THEY GIVE YOU EVEN FOR THE RIDE DOWN OR MEL WILL LET YOU HAVE IT.

Visited April 2013
3 Thank JLWW65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Barling, AR
Level Contributor
47 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Loved It!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2013

There's something to be said for a "Cog" Train. While waiting for it to leave, I read about how it worked on the sign, and actual size cog that is used for the train.

On 4/14/12, we departed on the 1:20 pm. The staff was up front with us about not being able to go to the top due to 3' of snow across the track, and high winds, and offered to refund a portion of everyones' purchase. That was fine with us. We proceeded up the mountain slowly - which is wonderful for taking pics from the train itself. One of the most interesting things we saw was an "Ice Waterfall". Everyone on the train went out of their way to take photos of it. We took them on the way back down.

We just barely made it above the tree line before stopping. But, the viewpoint, even from there, had the entire train ooooing and aaaaing. We were stopped on the 25% grade, just seconds from where the train would have continued around the curve ahead of us. We could easily see the winds and the 3' of snow over the track as it appeared that the track simply "vanished". To the right, everyone jumped out of their seats to take pics of the amazingly gorgeous view. Even though we did not get to the top, you can still take amazing pics.

When we returned, a woman in the souvenir store asked me, "Are you coming back?" It was obvious that they felt sad that they couldn't get us to the top. I told her, "Yes. Our daughter lives in the area, and we would return, because we had every intention of getting to the top." She further warned that sometimes there is rain, and high winds even in the summer time. But, that didn't deter us, and when I repeated we would be back, she finally cracked a timid, but happy smile.

All in all it was a great ride, and the views were only what one could even dream of seeing. I have also been through the Alps, and on top of Ludspitz in Germany. We were unable to see any vistas as it was cloudy on the day we went. But, on Pike's Peak, that would be rare indeed. It was equal to, or better than the mountain in Germany just because you could see forever and forever.

Summary: 1. Make sure you purchase tickets BEFORE you ever leave your house to be assured a seat. Take no chances, because the train fills up fast. The price of the tickets was worth the view alone. You will have to purchase a parking pass of $5, and the lot is directly across from the building. It's not easily posted, so you have to make sure you look well. Just show them your Res #, and there is no prob.

2. Also, make this note...many people HIKE up the Manitou Incline (including our daughter), and they are allowed to park in this same lot, now. You will see so many people walking up it, you will be reminded of ants going back and forth from their own mountains.

3. TAKE WATER on the train with you, and take regular sips. This will help if you are subject to altitude sickness. The higher you go, the dryer it is. Hydration is the key.

4. If you are pregnant, you might want to not go this time around. It is a bit bumpy and jerky.

5. Also, grab a little snack as well to help keep you comfortable - such as a candy or energy bar. Make SURE you have eaten before climbing on if you are not going all the way to the top. his is critical. Check to see if the concession at the top of the Peak is operating as well.

6. My husband has back and neck probs, but it did not effect him in any way. I cannot vouch for others.

7. TAKE YOUR CAMERA - NOT A CELL PHONE!!!! Believe me. There WILL be a diff, and you WILL regret it if you don't!

8. It is well worth your time and money, and to see the beauty of this country.

9. It is also one of 54 Colorado "14ers", so if you are active in climbing mountain, check into it.

10. Read up on your history of the mountain as well. Makes it more fun. It was renamed for Zebulon Montgomery Pike from his expedition in 1806.

Well, that about does it! Hard to summarize in a few words. Go, have fun, and know you are seeing a view you will never forget!

Visited April 2013
4 Thank Smiley4554
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Great experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

Even though we were unable to go all the way to the summit, I still enjoyed the ride. The views are fabulous and I think it is much better and safer than driving especially if one is not used to driving on those type of roads. We were taken to 12,129 feet which is called Windy Point. While on the train you can lower the windows so we were able to feel the temperature difference from the bottom of the mountain to the point we were taken. On the way down there was a point that the train stopped to allow the use of restrooms and to take pictures. My family and I got to have a snow ball fight and make a snow angel. This was very fun for us being that we are from Houston and don't get to experience this type of weather. We were offered a refund since the train wasn't going all the way to the summit and they also offered us a discounted price. I am glad I took the discounted price. I highly recommend this to anyone visiting the area.

Visited April 2013
Thank Yoli1992
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
Level Contributor
672 reviews
167 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
“Very Cramped and Watch the Weather before Going”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

In all fairness to the railroad they did offer to refund our tickets, but this day they did not make it all the way to the top. I would suggest taking the refund in the future as the trip was very cramped and although the view is breathtaking it is difficult to see unless you are on certain sides of the train. The best side is the 3 seat side facing the front of the train (heading up) and the very front seats would be the best (no one across from you). Also when you reserve they let the computer assign seats which left our train almost empty in the back cars, while everyone in the front was crammed in the people in the back had run of the back of the train. Be warned that it gets warm inside the train and you are going to be crammed in there for over an hour. I think if you could get the front or the very back (front on the way back down) it would be worth doing this again and ONLY if I could make the entire assent.

Visited April 2013
Thank heumanntouch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shreveport, Louisiana
Level Contributor
256 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Best Path to the Top”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2013

Money well spent for the experience and the views of a lifetime. I have driven up the road to the top and it is not anywhere as enjoyable as taking the Cog Rail. Clean, efficient and easy.

Visited May 2012
3 Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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