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  • Writer's pictureChef Bob Aungst

Epicurean Adventures with Chef Bob

The Broadmoor-Manitou Cog Train

Destination: Boarding the Cog Train

We invite you to embark on an unforgettable journey with us, aboard The Broadmoor Manitou Cog Train. Nestled in the heart of Colorado within Pikes Peak National Forest. The forest covers 1.4 million acres, which is large enough to fit the entire state of Delaware inside of its borders.

This iconic train takes you on a breathtaking adventure through the majestic landscapes of the Rocky Mountains. Join us as we explore the destination, share captivating stories, provide helpful travel tips, and savor delightful food reviews along the way.

There are only 2 cog railways in the US, and less than 50 in the entire world. The highest and longest is Pikes Peak, with an average grade of 12% and a highest grade of 25%.

The steepest is at Mt. Pilatus, with a grade of 48%!! I have been blessed to have experienced BOTH! The only other US cog railway is in New Hampshire on Mt. Washington. I am adding that one to my list!!

Travel Stories: Ascending the Rockies

As I boarded The Broadmoor Manitou Cog Train, I could feel the excitement building. My journey began with a gentle climb, winding through the lush forests and revealing stunning vistas. The chugging of the cogwheel and the crisp mountain air created a sense of anticipation.

As we climbed higher and higher, I wondered if there have ever been any accidents on this cog railway, and it turns out there was! There was an accident on the Pikes Peak back in 1967. The Cog Railway's engine was overturned after hitting a misplaced mechanism on the sidetrack. Out of sight, the passenger car lying on its side crashed and undiscovered. The accident killed 8 people and hurt 70. There have been zero incidents since.

Along the same thought, ‘what would happen if the cogs break’ came rushing to my mind…fear not! Cog trains have 3 brake systems - 1 dynamic and 2 air systems. The dynamic system works just like the cruise control on your car and the air systems use hydraulics to stop the wheels from turning, much like the brakes on your car. If all those fail, don’t worry, the springs will eventually stop you…. Colorado Springs… The rest is all downhill from here!

Travel Tips: Making the Most of Your Cog Train Experience - Insider Tips

Before you embark on your Cog train adventure, arm yourself with my insider tips:

  1. Plan your trip ahead of time if possible. Book a trip early in the day and purchase the “Engineers View” upgrade. It’s only a few dollars more and affords you a front row seat. It gives you the very best photography options, as well as access to the actual engineer driving the train. I was able to ask all sorts of questions and get a great deal of first hand knowledge. If unable to get an Engineers Seat, try to get a window seat on the left side of the train. That will put you on the best side of the train for photos and video.

  2. Arrive early…. Parking is challenging and there is a charge (it was $15 during my visit). Read the email you receive when you purchase your tickets and click on the “Things you need to know” link. You really do need to know them!!

  3. Bring a pullover, jacket or coat. No matter the time of year, it’s cold up there. There have been many days when the weather in town has been in the 80’s and the temperature at the summit has been in the 30’s and windy. It’s madly unpredictable. Unless you intend to purchase souvenir hoodies, sweatshirts and jackets at the gift shop, which are super cool, by all means bring something to keep you warm up there. I promise you’ll think this is rubbish until you get half way up and the temperature starts dropping. Then you will thank me!

  4. Water. Bring a refillable water bottle. Your body loses 1 liter of water on both the ascent and descent at Pikes Peak. That's 2 liters of water lost in 3 hours! Your body is 60% water, drink a full litter before you ascend, fill it up at the top and drink another one on the way down.

  5. Be aware of your time at the summit!! It’s very easy to lose track of time when you are exploring such an amazing place. You only have about 40 minutes to take pictures, make videos, use the restroom, refill your water bottle, grab a snack and visit the gift shop. You will be told a specific time that the train will leave and it WILL leave! On average, one person is left behind each week and has to wait for the next train AND pray there is room for them on it. It’s all fun and games until you’re stuck on top of the world!

Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a train aficionado, or simply seeking an extraordinary experience, The Broadmoor Manitou Cog Train is a destination that will captivate your heart and soul. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the breathtaking landscapes of the Rockies. It was my pleasure to showcase this amazing destination with you.


About Chef Bob Aungst

With over 30 years in the hospitality industry, Chef Bob Aungst has masterfully navigated some of the most prestigious stages in the culinary world. From orchestrating events like the Kentucky Derby and Presidential Inaugurations to serving esteemed dignitaries, including four U.S. Presidents and members of the Royal Courts, he and his team focus on creating unique and memorable dining experiences with extreme attention to detail for every guest served. From in person events to virtual culinary live streams, CB handcrafts each one for a truly “WOW” experience.

For the coffee lovers, check out >> ask me how you can secure your own branded line of premium coffee for sales enablement, gifting, or marketing promotions!

In addition, Chef Bob also offers temporary and seasonal culinary and chef staffing services through the League of Extraordinary Chefs. His roster of highly-skilled chefs and front of house hospitality professionals service top resorts, dude ranches, vacation destinations, hotels, convention centers, and large scale sporting events around the world.


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