This summer, steam-powered stories abound in Golden

Column by John Akal
Posted 5/29/19

Many times in this column, I have mentioned how our town of Golden truly was a part of what is considered the “Wild” West. In it’s beginnings it was a place where every kind of character out of …

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This summer, steam-powered stories abound in Golden


Many times in this column, I have mentioned how our town of Golden truly was a part of what is considered the “Wild” West. In it’s beginnings it was a place where every kind of character out of Hollywood Central Casting actually passed through or set up residence for a while. Back in the day, it was a really raucous place.

But eventually it settled down and became a very respectable little town, complete with a university and at one point was the territorial capital.

So at this point in my narratives, I usually launch into some historical story about all of that, but this time I am going to let someone else be the story teller. I’ll just set the stage a bit.

Some of the things we had in abundance here in Colorado were railroads. They crisscrossed the state, went up into the mountains, hauled people and lots of freight. There were mining trains, logging trains, Galloping Gooses and pretty much every size, gauge and configuration a train could be. They were an essential part of our history and there are literally volumes written about their history filled with loads of amazing stories.

Well, this weekend, The Colorado Railroad Museum will be presenting Wild West Days on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will be featuring robberies, rascals and rides while telling the story of Colorado’s railroads. It’s one of perseverance, daring and ingenuity. Basically it’s the story of settling and taming the Wild West and they will have plenty of people there to tell the stories.

One of the highlights will be The Great Train Robbery and will feature a whole slew of outlaws, lawmen, ladies and gentlemen as professional actors bring the 1880’s Colorado railroad experience to life with train robberies and gun fights over lovely damsels. Also, Blacksmith Sam will be on hand giving demonstrations all weekend plus Sunday storytelling with a group called the Legendary Ladies.

Celebrate the Wild West Days during the Colorado Railroad Museum’s 60th Anniversary summer. You can listen to the songs and tall tales of cowboy poetry as folks reminisce about the old west. Also catch a ride behind a real historic steam locomotive.

Admission for Museum Members and Children under 2 is free, $5 for Children (2-15), $15 for Adults, and $10 for Seniors (over 60).

Now, if you truly want to immerse yourself in that kind of experience, The Colorado Railroad Museum has something truly special cooked up for the evenings on the same weekend. It runs from 5-7:30 p.m. on June 1 and 2 and is a separate event in itself.

A company called The Traveling Mystery Show will be returning again this summer and will be presenting a rootin’, tootin’ live theater production they call Robbery at the Railroad. They invite you to go back to the Wild West with this interactive, outdoor experience that includes a ride on a real steam train complete with the afore mentioned robbing, gunfights and outlaws but this show brings you into the act with clues for you to solve an actual mystery. It’s an Old West mystery train ride.

In this 2 1/2 hour interactive event you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time because if you come to the show, you’re in the show, so dress the part. Tickets for this show run $55 and include 2 drink tokens and also gives you access into the Railroad Museum’s activities on that day if you come prior to show time.

The Colorado Railroad Museum is located at 17155 W. 44th Ave in Golden. For more information and to order tickets go to or call them at (303) 279-4591.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at


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