The Colorado Central, later to become the Colorado & Southern, began laying rail from Golden to Blackhawk in 1872. By 1886 population and mining activity around Central City had increased to the point that a more efficient and economical means of transportation was needed. That year the Gilpin Tramway Company was organized to carry gold bearing ore from the mines above Central City to the reduction works in Blackhawk and, via the C&S, to Golden and Denver. Capitalized at $60,000.00, the line would be 2' gauge and built as inexpensively as possible. The Tram operated until 1917 when the gold became too unprofitable to extract and practically all the mines had been abandoned.
Our layout is set in 1912 while the railroad was still showing a profit and had been purchased by the C&S. It is double decked with the mines above Central City on the upper level connected by a helix to the mills in Blackhawk and the C&S on the lower level. The C&S runs from Blackhawk to Golden to make the connection with the outside world. The standard gauge CB&Q interchanges here with the C&S.