2008-01-14

Gene Autry's Mudhen Comes Closer To Serving the C&TS Again

Gene Autry's Mudhen, #463, is a K-27 class Mikado that was used by the Rio Grande on her narrow gauge lines and one of two left in existence. Her sister engine is #464 currently working on the Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, Michigan. Since Gene Autry, the "singing cowboy," donated it to Antonito and then the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic, it has seen use on the 64 mile line between Chama and Antonito. However, since 2002, the engine has been sidelined with a broken rod.

The engine recently took a big step toward restoration when the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec won a $300,000 grant to get it back in running condition. The total cost of the restoration is around $900,000 and the Friends group has commitments for $250,000 above the grant. A lot of variables likely are still blank but the engine could be back in the lineup by 2010, according to the article.