Wednesday, June 8, 2016

the oldest operating steam locomotive in Colorado

In the roundhouse of the Colorado Railroad Museum is 3ft gauge number 346, built by Baldwin in 1881 and ran for the D&RG until 1947. While on loan to the Colorado & Southern in 1936 it was wrecked in a runaway on Kenosha Pass and was rebuilt by Chicago Burlington & Quincy's Denver shops. Purchased in 1950 by Museum founder Bob Richardson, No. 346 is the Museum’s premiere operating engine and runs regularly during steam-ups.

As for locomotive number 491 on the left, this is the largest operating narrow gauge steam locomotive in the western hemisphere, and is a true “Colorado original” having been built entirely in Colorado during the spring of 1928 through a cooperative effort between the Stearns-Roger Manufacturing Company of Denver and the D&RGW Denver Burnham Shops. It ran for the D&RGW until 1963 when it was donated to the Colorado Historical Society (now History Colorado) and placed on display at the Museum on loan in 1985. Locomotive no. 491 was donated by History Colorado to the Museum in June 2013 and was returned to service in August 2014.

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