|Charles McClure captures the excitement of the day, showing the 2-8-0 as it arrives at the new water tower at Sunset, about 1898. The recently constructed right-of-way to Ward climbs up the mountainside in the upper left of the image.|
For three years there was no rail service, with not enough mining activity to justify the capital expense and no investors in sight. In 1897 that began to change, with the incorporation of the Ward Smuggler Gold Mining Company and several other indications of increased activity.
After some tentative efforts to develop a 22-inch tramway between Ward and Boulder, comparable to the successful Gilpin Tramway, Investors from New York, Pennsylvania and Boulder filed papers of incorporation for the Colorado & Northerwestern Railway Company. It was to be a full 36-inch narrow gauge, and the announcement of its coming triggered significant additional investments in the Ward District.
Using some of the right-of-way of the defunct GSL&P, moving some sections above the flood zone, and extending it to Ward, the railroad was in Boulder County again.