When you think of Colorado steam what comes to mind first? For most people it
would be either the Durango & Silverton or the Cumbres & Toltec
tourist railroads. If you were hoping to see these, I am sorry to disappoint
you. I have not been to either. Howevev, I have visited many other steam
locomotives in Colorado. Many of the photos shown here were taken during my
visit to Colorado back in 1993.
I am starting off by showing you a locomotive in Cheyenne, WY. This is Big Boy 4004. It is displayed in Holliday Park on US 30
in Cheyenne. Cheyenne is also the home for Challenger 3985 and Northern 844
(plus a few others). I understand
that there was a flood in this park a few years ago and 4004 was partially
Forney Transportation Museum, Denver
Big Boy 4005 is on display at the Forney Transportation Museum. Notice the
red firebox on this Big Boy. I don't know why it is painted red. The Forney
Transportation Museum is mainly an automobile museum. However, they have
four steam locomotives on display:
the Big Boy, a C&NW 4-6-0, an 0-4-4 Forney, and inside, a narrow gauge
0-4-0 from Denmark.
Since my visit, the Forney Transportation Museum has moved to a new location
at 4303 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO. Backshop Enterprises managed the move
with the help of numerous contractors as well as the BNSF, UP and the FRA.
They have also had all their equipment
porfessionally repainted back to their proper colors and
lettering. Several RR historical societies helped with this effort.
Colorado Railroad Museum
The Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden (near Denver) has a large collection of
steam locomotives (see my steam list for details). This photo shows their
largest. It is CB&Q Northern 5629, built in 1940 and retired in 1956. It has
sister locomotives in three other cities
in the U. S. Peaking out behind 5629 is B-4A Consolidation 191. 191 is a
typical narrow gauge engine of 1880. It was built for the Denver, South Park &
Pacific (later renamed Denver, Leadville & Gunnison). According to a museum
brochure, it is the oldest locomotive in Colorado.
The photo on the left also has two locomotives in it. D&RGW C-19 Consolidation
346 is in the front. Built in 1881, it is the oldest operating locomotive in
Colorado. Currently, 346 is their only operating locomotive. Behind it on the
same track is D&RGW C-18 Consolidation 318. 318 is up on blocks getting a
major overhaul. The photo on the right shows a better view of 318.
This is Denver & Rio Grande 583, a class C-28 2-8-0. 583 is the sole
surviving standard gauge D&RG steam locomotive. Since this photo
was taken, the museum renumbered this locomotive to 683.
Rio Grande Southern No. 20 and Standard Oil 1.
In 2004 the Georgetown Loop Railroad ceased operations. At that time, their
steam locomotives were relocated to the Colorado Railroad Museum. The photo
to the right shows No. 12 and 14 (under steam) at the new museum
roundhouse. The photo on the far right shows locomotives No. 40, 12, and 14.
Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad
Cripple Creek, a gambling town, is nestled back in the mountains. The
CC&V NGRR has four locomotives: two 0-4-4-0s and two 0-4-0s. The first
picture shows the two 0-4-0s. Number 2 (on the left) is under steam.
Number 3 (on the right) is a "tank" engine and is named "Vista
Grande". The second picture shows one of their 0-4-4-0s. It is also
Georgetown Loop Railroad
The Georgetown Loop Railroad runs between Georgetown and Silver Plume
along I-70. The main visitors center is in Georgetown while the
locomotive shops are in Silver Plume. These two towns are separated
by only a couple miles. However, Silver Plume has an elevation that is
over 600 feet higher than that of Georgetown. A spiral was built into
the railroad line connecting the two towns in order to minimize the
grade. The first two pictures show 3-truck Shay number 12 pulling a
train over a portion of this spiral named the Devil's Gate Viaduct. The
other two pictures show locomotives 12 and 14. The above photos were
taken back in the early 1990s.
The Devil's Gate Viaduct is 300 feet long and over 100 feet high. In
1939 the original loop was dismantled and the bridge sold for scrap.
I-70 was planned to cut right through this area. A great deal of
effort caused I-70 to be re-routed in order to preserve the "Loop"
railroad grade. The line from Silver Plume to Georgetown was rebuilt
and completed in 1975. The Viaduct was rebuilt and completed in 1984.
This West Side Lumber 3-truck Shay has been on display at Silver Plume
for many years. The photo on the right was taken in June, 2000 by Roger
Kirkpatrick. In 2005 this locomotive was moved to an unknown location.
This former International Railways of Central America class B-4G
narrow gauge 2-8-0 was brought up from El Salvador in 1973.
It spent several years at operating at the Georgetown Loop
Railroad. In April, 1999 it was loaned for a short while to the White
Pass & Yukon in Skagway, Alaska. The photo on the left was taken
at Silver Plume in June, 2000 by Roger Kirkpatrick after it returned
from Alaska. Since 2004 this locomotive has been stored at the Colorado
This former International Railways of Central America class B-4G narrow
gauge 2-8-0 was brought up from El Salvador back in the early 1970s to
operate at the Central City Narrow Gauge Railroad. It was relocated to
the Georgetown Loop Railroad in 1978. This photo shows it on display in
Georgetown back in the 1990s. In February, 2001 restoration efforts had
begun on this locomotive in the Silver Plume enginhouse. According to
reports, its boiler had been removed from the frame and sent to Denver to
be torn down, inspected, rebuilt, and reflued. The cab had been removed
and was awaiting other repairs. The drivers had been removed and were sent
to Durango for turning. Today this locomotive is located at the Colorado
In 2003 or 2004 No. 8 was displayed at the former location of No. 44 in
Please visit the current Georgetown Loop Railroad web site for current
photos and information.
These three 0-4-0T locomotives are all in the
city of Fort Morgan. They were all owned by the Great
Wester Sugar Company of Fort Morgan. They were built by Davenport.
There are a few other Great Western Sugar Company locomotives. They are:
This 0-4-0T was built in 1929 (construction number 2148). It is displayed
at the Great Western Sugar Company in Fort Morgan. I do not know the engine
number for this locomotive. Photo, April, 2000 courtesy Roger Kirkpatrick.
- 0-4-0T in storage at the Great Western Sugar Co., Ovid, CO. (Davenport 1929 #2150)
- 0-4-0T #13 owned by Ken Kafka, Co Rd 88, Pierce, CO (Davenport 1928 #2089)
- 0-4-0T #2121 displayed in the City Park, Sterling, CO (Davenport 1928 #2121)
- 0-4-0T #2123 displayed at the Midland Railway, Comet Industries, Baldwin, MO (Davenport 1928 #2123)
- 0-4-0T last seen at the Great Western Sugar Plant, Bayard, NE (current location unknown) (Davenport 1924 #1998)
- 0-4-0T displayed in Mitchell, NE (Davenport 1924)
- 0-4-0T in storage at Wood River, NE (Davenport 1924 #2003)
- 0-4-0T #7(2267) displayed at 1880's Town, Murdo, SD (Davenport 1939 #2267)
- 0-4-0T in storage at the Great Western Sugar Co., Lovell, WY (Davenport 1927 #2090)
This 0-4-0T was built in 1923 (construction number 1950). It is locomotive
number 17. It is displayed in City Square Park in Fort Morgan. Photo,
April, 2000 courtesy Roger Kirkpatrick.
This 0-4-0T was built in 1930 (construction number 2176). It is locomotive
number 41. It is displayed in the so-called Riverside Park which wraps
around the Mort Morgan Power Plant (seen in background). Photo, April,
2000 courtesy Roger Kirkpatrick.
Other Colorado Steam
C&N class B-4F consolidation number 30 is displayed with a few cars in
Central Park in Boulder. As it is not protected by a fence it looks
like it is in pretty rough shape. In May, 2000 it was being cosmetically
Colorado & Southern class B-4E consolidation number 71 is in Central City.
It was restored to operational order in 1987 and ran until sometime in 1989.
It is in good mechanical shape (possibly operational) but rusting away. It
is currently unknown whether or not a new place to run it will be found.
Since this picture was taken, 71 has been moved to the Cour d'Alene Mine in
Central City and then later moved down the hill to Harvey's Wagon Wheel Casino
and displayed with Colorado & Southern Adams Express Company car number 20. Central City
was undergoing major construction while I was there. It seemed like every
building was being converted into a casino. Much of the right-of-way where
71 used to run has been torn up so it is highly unlikely that 71 will ever
run again, at least in Central City. I don't know how they are able
to move this locomotive around. The town is very "hilly". Notice the spark
arrester on the smokestack.
D&RG class T-12 ten-wheeler number 168 is on display in Antlers Park in
Colorado Springs. As you can see, this locomotive has been
restored to immaculate display condition.
C&S class B-4C consolidation number 60 is displayed nicely in Harold
A. Anderson Park in Idaho Springs. It can be seen from I-70 as you drive
past the town. Notice the spark arrester on the smokestack. No. 60
was built by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works in 1886. No. 60 began her
career on the Union Pacific owned narrow gauge Utah and Northern Railroad as
No. 263. In 1890, the Union Pacific transferred U&N locomotives No. 260 -
265 to its Colorado-based Denver, Leadville, and Gunnison Railroad, where
the original engine number was retained until the Colorado and Southern
assumed operation of all Colorado-based Union Pacific narrow gauge lines.
This included the Clear Creek Branch. At this time the C&S renumbered
all of its narrow gauge engines and No. 263 became No. 60. Information taken
from plaque displayed near No. 60.
C&S consolidation number 641 is on display near the LC&S depot in
Leadville where a tourist train runs (powered by a diesel).
At the time of this photograph, D&RG consolidation number 433 was on
display in Palmer Lake (about halfway between Denver and Colorado
Springs). It has since been moved to the Colorado Central Station Casino
in Blackhawk, CO and renumbered "71" (the real C&S #71 is on display in
Central City at the Coeur d'Alene mine). 433 sits on display almost
exactly where the east end of the original C&S narrow gauge yards ran up
the canyon. 433 is a beautiful locomotive in terrible mechanical shape
according to Floyd Cothran's inspection several years ago when another
party was interested in possibly restoring it to operation. It is probably
important to know that 433 was used in Central America and never ran on
This is a narrow gauge Kopper Mine Company 0-4-0T is displayed at the Salida
City Park. From the photo I can't quite make out what is said on the
plaque: Donated To The Salida Museum in Memory of ____ _____ 18?? to ??63.
Photo courtesy Roger Kirkpatrick.
Four of these Manitou & Pikes Peak cog locomotive are left, #1 in Golden,
#2 in downtown Manitou Springs, #4 (operational) at the M&PP
railway, and #5 on display at the base station at M&PP. As you can
see, the wheel arrangement for this locomotive is 0-4-2. It is also built
so that the boiler is level as the engine sits on an incline. Notice the
wacky linkage that is used to transfer motion from the cylinder to the two
(front) drive wheels.
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