Colorado Steam Locomotives

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.

Casino, Black Hawk

Denver Rio Grande 433. 1992 Wes Barris photo.

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 Black Hawk, CO and renumbered "71 Colorado Central" (the real #71 is on display in Central City at the Coeur d'Alene mine). 433 sat 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 should be known that 71/433 was used in Central America and never ran on D&RG.

Central Park, Boulder

Colorado & Northwestern 30. 1992 Wes Barris photo.

C&N class B-4F consolidation number 30 was placed on display with a few cars in Central Park, Boulder in 1952. In 1992 it looked to be in pretty rough shape. However, in May, 2000 it was sent to Uhirich Locomotive Works to be restored to operating condition for use on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Later it was decided to only do a cosmetic restoration. It is now on display at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden.

Casino, Central City

Colorado Southern 71. 1992 Wes Barris photo.

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. In 1992 it was in good mechanical shape (possibly operational) but rusting away. Since this picture was taken, 71 had 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 in 1992. 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.

Colorado Springs

Denver Rio Grand 168. 1992 Wes Barris photo.

D&RG class T-12 ten-wheeler number 168 was once on display in Antlers Park in Colorado Springs. As you can see, this locomotive had been restored to immaculate display condition. In 2015 it was acquired by the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and is being restored to operating condition.

Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek & Victor 2 and 3

Cripple Creek, a gambling town, is nestled back in the mountains south west of Colorado Springs. The CC&V NGRR has four 24" gauge locomotives:

  • Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-4-0 1 (from Germany)
  • Henschel & Sohn 0-4-0T+T 2 (from Germany)
  • H. K. Porter 0-4-0T 3 (from Zacatecas, Mexico)
  • W. Bagnall 0-4-4-0 4 (from South Africa)

The photo to the right is of the two 0-4-0 locomotives (#2 & #3). Number 2 (on the left) is under steam. Number 3 (on the right) is a "tank" engine and is named "Vista Grande".

Cripple Creek & Victor 4

This photo shows the 0-4-4-0 Meyer type mallet from South Africa. It used to work at the Reynolds Brothers Sugar Plantation. It was operational in 1993. In 2019 it is undergoing restoration.

Forney Transportation Museum, Denver

Union Pacific Big Boy 4005. 1993 Wes Barris photo.

The Forney Transportation Museum is mainly an automobile museum. However, they have five steam locomotives on display:

  • A Danish 0-4-0
  • UP Big Boy 4005
  • C&NW 4-6-0 444
  • An 0-4-4T Forney
  • A 15" gauge Cagney 4-4-0

Back in 1993 the Big Boy was on display outside the Forney Transportation Museum. 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.

Great Western Sugar Company, Fort Morgan

GWSC 41, April, 2000 Roger Kirkpatrick photo.

Two Great Western Sugar Company 0-4-0T locomotives are displayed in the city of Fort Morgan. They were built by Davenport. There are a few other Great Western Sugar Company locomotives. They are:

  • GWSC 7(2267): CN# 1871 of 1921 is displayed at 1880's Town, Murdo, SD.
  • GWSC 17: CN# 1950 of 1923 was displayed in Fort Morgan but later moved to Gering, NE. (photo, April, 2000 Roger Kirkpatrick photo)
  • GWSC 29: CN# 1990 of 1924 is displayed in a park in Mitchell, NE
  • GWSC ??: CN# 1998 of 1924 is displayed at the Great Western Sugar Plant, Bayard, NE.
  • GWSC 1:CN# 2003 of 1924 is storage by Lenneth Layher, Wood River, NE
  • GWSC ??: CN# 2089 of 1928 is owned by Ken Kafka and displayed on Co Road 88 in Pierce.
  • GWSC ??: CN# 2090 of 1927 is displayed in a park near the Great Western Sugar Co., Lovell, WY.
  • GWSC 13: CN# 2148 of 1929 is displayed at the Great Western Sugar Company in Fort Morgan. (photo, April, 2000 Roger Kirkpatrick)
  • GWSC ??: CN# 2121 of 1928 is displayed in the City Park of Sterling.
  • GWSC ??: CN# 2123 of 1928 was once displayed at the Midland Railway, Comet Industries, Baldwin, MO then moved to Miami Kansas Tramway, Wellsville, KS.
  • GWSC 4109: CN# 2150 of 1929 is displayed near the high school in Ovid
  • GWSC 41: CN# 2176 of 1930 is displayed in Riverside Park which wraps around the Mort Morgan Power Plant.

Georgetown Loop Railroad, Georgetown

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.

West Side Lumber 12 going over the loop. Wes Barris photos.

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. Most of the line from Silver Plume to Georgetown was rebuilt and completed in 1975. The Viaduct was rebuilt and completed in 1984.

International Railways of Central America 44. Wes Barris photo.

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 1996. 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. In 2019 this locomotive is dismantled at the Colorado Railroad Museum.

West Side Lumber 14. 1996 Wes Barris photo.

This West Side Lumber 3-truck Shay had been on display at Silver Plume for many years. In 2005 this locomotive was moved to the Colorado Railroad Museum.

West Side Lumber 8, 1996 Wes Barris photo

West Side Lumber 3-truck Shay was put on display in Georgetown around 1996 replacing IRCA 44. Some time around 2010 it was moved to Cannon City.

IRCA 40. 1996 Wes Barris photo.

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. Since 2004 this locomotive had been stored at the Colorado Railroad Museum and then again in Silver Plume.

Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden

Chicago Burlington & Quincy 5629. 1996 Wes Barris photo.

The Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden (near Denver) has a large collection of steam locomotives (see my steam list for details). This photo is of 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 USA. After retirement, 5629 may have spent some time in Lincoln, NE as a stationary boiler. It was donated to the NRHS in 1963 and then donated to the museum. However, it was displayed across 44th Ave from the museum before being moved into the museum grounds.

Denver Rio Grange Western 346. 1992 Wes Barris photo.

D&RGW C-19 Consolidation 346 was built in 1881. It is the oldest operating locomotive in Colorado. in 1993 346 was their only operating locomotive. In 2019, two additional steam locomotives are operational.

Denver Rio Grande Western 318. 1996 Wes Barris photo.

D&RGW C-18 Consolidation 318 was up on blocks in 1993. Since then it received a very thorough cosmetic restoration.

DSP&P 191. 2011 Anthony Wessel photo.

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). It is the oldest locomotive in Colorado.

Denver Rio Grande 583. Wes Barris photo.

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.

RGS 4-6-0 20 & Standard Oil 0-4-0 1). 1996 Wes Barris photo.

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. This photo shows locomotives No. 40, 12, and 14.

This photo shows No. 12 and 14 (under steam) at the new museum roundhouse.

Harold A. Anderson Park, Idaho Springs

Colorado Southern 60. 1992 Wes Barris photo.

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. She 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.

In 2019 it was announced that there is an interest in restoring 60 to operational condition.


Colorado & Southern 641. Wes Barris photo.

C&S consolidation number 641 is on display near the LC&S depot in Leadville where a tourist train runs (powered by a diesel). It was one of the last operating C&S steam locomotives.

Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway, Manitou Springs

Manitou & Pikes Peak 5. 1992 Wes Barris photo.

Four of these Manitou & Pikes Peak cog locomotive survive.

  • 1 at the Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden (photo, photo)
  • 2 in downtown Manitou Springs on Manitou Avenue
  • 4 is stored operational at the Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway
  • 5 once display at the base station at M&PP, now displayed at the Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs

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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Wes Barris