The Georgetown Loop (45 minutes west of Denver-runs between Georgetown and Silver Plume) was built in 1884 to run from Denver to Silver Plume. It was abandon and then rebuilt as a tourist train with a new high bridge in 1984. A Shay ran for many years, and the original Colorado and Southern No. 9 (2-6-0), built by Cooke Locomotive in 1884 was rebuilt several times, converted to oil, equipted with a snowplow and started to run on the Loop once again in 2006.
Home of Three Galloping Geese
Built from old cars, seven "Galloping Geese" were built to haul mail and limted passengers from Ridgeway to Telluride between 1931 and 36. The CRRM is home to three of them
Goose Number 2 was first run in August 1931. It is a Pierce Arrow 80 body with a Buick 6-cylinder engine. It is currently being restored.
Goose Number 6 was built in 1934 from a Pierce Arrow 36 body with a Pierce 6-cylinder engine. It was used as a work car and switch engine.
Number 6 is also currently being restored
DL&G No. 191 -- Denver Leadville Gunnison 2-8-0 built in 1880 and it is the oldest Colorado locomotive originally built by Baldwin for the Denver South Park & Pacific railroad
Chicago Burlington Quincy No. 5629 -- Built in 1940 this 4-8-4 weighs 461,000 lbs., holds 18,000 gallons of water and 27 tons of coal
Denver Rio Grande No. 683 -- This 2-8-0 was built in 1890
Rio Grande Southern No. 20 -- This 4-6-0 was built in 1899
Standard Oil No.1 -- A saddletank switch engine used in Casper Wy
The Sundown and Southern Railroad dream came to an end on July 20, 2002. Don Drawer's Fort Lupton, Colorado railroad was auctioned off by his son Brian, following Don's death in 2000. A large collection of rolling stock and equipment went on the block. This included 21 freight cars and a caboose, a 50,000 gallon water tank, 70 foot turntable and 3.5 miles of track. The Baldwin 2-8-0 and tender, which was used to haul bananas in Guatemala, was purchased ($62,800) to be restored as a static display in Breckenridge Colorado with hopes for full operational restoration in the future.
The Toltec, located in South Central Colorado (Antonito) and North Central New Mexico (Chama), is America's longest and highest narrow gauge steam railroad. It's 64 miles of track provide a ride through the San Juan Mountains crossing the Colorado New Mexico boarder 11 times. Historic depots, water tanks, track side phone booths, great trestles, tunnels, historic cars and engines abound. I recommend you pay the extra bucks and ride the parlor car.
Engine No. 463 -- a K-27 "Mudhen" 2-8-2
Baldwin Locomotive Works built 15 of these units starting in 1903 numbered 450 to 464. Engine 463 was once owned by Gene Autry and was featued in "Indiiana Jones and the Last Crusade." 463 was completely restored by the C&TS and returned to regular service there in 1994 and 464 is operating at the Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, Michigan -- they are the only ones remaining. The K27ís were the first "big" engines operated on the D&RG, Engine weight is 136,650 lbs. and they had better hauling power and were normally used on the steeper mountain grades. These engines are affectionately named the "mudhens" because they would often derail on lightweight rails and scoot across the ties like a waddling hen!
Engine No. 463 Head on
Engine No. 487-- a K-36 2-8-2
Baldwin built ten K-36s in 1925 numbered 480-489. The heaviest narrow gauge (187,100 lbs.) ever built and all still survive.
The D & S, travels between Durango and Silverton Colorado through 45 miles of spectular mountain scenery. Tour the roundhouse, yards, machine shop, car shop and see the turn-table in action. You can do this year-round. Founded in 1881, it has been promoted as a scenic route for passenger travel since the start.
Engine No. 478
On the TurnTable after a run, positioning for an ash dump. This Mikado, Class K-28 was originally built by American Locomotive Co in New York in 1923. The D&SNG rebuilt it in 1989.
On the TurnTable heading for the first run of the morning
Heading out of the inside yard to hook up for the morning run. 480 was retired from service on the D&RGW in Alamosa in1964. In May 1981, it was hauled by truck to Durango and after extensive rebuilding, it was returned to service in July 1985. The 480 series are Class K-36. Built by Baldwin in 1925 they weigh 143 tons loaded with 36,200 lbs of tractive effort.
Engine No. 482
Sitting in the Silverton Yard after steaming up from Durango
Engine No. 486
This Class K-36 (K designates the wheel arrangement, a 2-8-2, and the 36 indicates the tractive effort, 36,000 lb.) was built in 1925 by Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia PA. Total weight with loaded tender is 143 tons. It was rebuilt by the D&SNG in their Durango shops in 2000 at a cost of $250,000 plus 10,000 man-hours.
Engine 486 pulled a 12 car consist the day we rode in the Alamosa Palor car, originally built in 1880.
Engine No. 493
This engine sits in the Silverton yards. The K37 is the youngest of the steam engine classes from the old days. These were rebuilt by the D&RGW in the Denver Burnham shops in 1928 from standard gauge 2-8-0 locomotive boilers. Baldwin provided new 2-8-2 frames and wheels for the conversions. Numbers 490 through 499 were assigned to the ten engines of this class. The D&SNG owns No. 493, 498 and 499. However, these engines are not in service. They are on display in the roundhouse at Durango. 495, 496, 498 and 499 are on display in Antonito, CO. Engine 497 is the only surviving K37 in operation and is found on the C&TS.
This is a locally made model of a "Galloping Goose" residing in the rail yard in Silverton.
A view down the tracks
130 foot Wrought-Iron Deck-Truss bridge built in 1886 (strengthen in 1988) across the Animas River at milepost 471.2
The Museumís narrow gauge train consists of the D&RG Engine #268, a flanger, a gondola, a boxcar, a livestock car and a caboose.
A D&RG Water Tank, which was moved in 1971 from Marshall Pass, and the D&RG depot, also moved from Sargents in 1975, are situated along side the track
D&RGW Engine # 268 (Cinderella) was built by Baldwin in 1882 as a Class C-16 2-8-0. It worked in Gunnison for 73 years (1882-1955) until the last fire was put out July 1 1955. The current paint scheme was completed for the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1949.
Ridgway Railroad Museum
Ridgway Colorado is the original home of the "Galloping Goose" railbus from the famed Rio Grade Southern Railroad. The RGS Motor (Goose) #1 was first run on June 1, 1931. It was built in Ridgway in a successful effort to keep the US Mail contract and satisfy the Common Carrier Obligation to provide passenger service without having to run expensive steam passenger trains. These rail motors were immensely successful and kept the railroad operating for 20 years. But owing to their success at the time, and their remarkable route, the Galloping Geese are now famous and the object of devoted followers all over the world. Geese numbers 2 through 7 all survive to this day. Numbers 1 and 2 were Buick based, Nos. 3-7 were Pierce-Arrow based.
The original RGS No. 1 was built in the Ridgway shops in 1931 from a 1925-45 or very early 1926-45 (Master Six Touring car). There were no drawings, just a lot of hayseed creativity. For a total cost of less than $850, it was finished on June 1, 1931 and went into service that month between Telluride and Dolores Colorado on a 130 mile daily roundtrip schedule. The new No. 1 was recreated with great attention to the details of the original by Karl Schaeffer and moved under its own power on June 1, 2000.
In August 2003, we visited the UP Steam Shops in Cheyenne Wyoming. Reed Jackson, Shop Supervisor, gave us a great tour of the shops, roundhouse and turntable. The Challenger was in the shops for routine maintenance.
Engine number 3985 is the last of the famous Challengers, currently the largest and most powerful running steam engine in the world. 105 were built at over 122 feet long weighing in at over 1 million pounds. Number 3985, built in 1943, was in regular service until 1957 and rebuilt in 1981.The Challengers were designed for fast freight service, but occasionally pulled passenger trains. No. 3985 originally burned coal and pulled a tender with a 32-ton capacity. In 1990, it was converted to use No. 5 oil. The top speed of No. 3985 is about 70 miles an hour.
The awesome Challanger with its nose open
At the controls of the Challenger
In Front of the Rotary Snowplow
Engine 844 - Last of the Steam Engines. Hailed as Union Pacific's Living Legend and Ambassador of Good Will, it was originally delivered in 1944. It was completely rebuilt in 1996. the engine is widely known among railroad enthusiasts for its excursion runs across the coutry and especially over Union Pacific's fabled crossing of Sherman Hill between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming.
Engine 951 - No. 951 was one of 69 E-9 locomotives once owned by Union Pacific. Built in 1955, it pulled such famous trains as the City of Los Angeles, City of Portland, City of San Francisco and the City of St. Louis.
Colorado Live Steamers
A visit to the Colorado Live Steamer's Annual Open House was made Sept 16, 2006. Photos from that event are show below. Sorry, we didn't get names or credits and everyone had a great time!!