Monday, March 31, 2008

RGS 20 Restoration Coming Along

As readers can see on this thread, the restoration of Rio Grande Southern engine 20, donated to the Colorado Railroad Museum last year by the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club, continues at Strasburg. In February, steam mechanics fashioned the door sheet (photos), the part of the boiler that forms the back end in the cab. The door hatch has been cut and the door cover itself will be put on later.
Seeing an old, storied steamer come back to life will indeed be magic! I imagine that the museum will likely put her in service next to D&RGW #346, which will be something special, but I also hope the museum will seek and find opportunities for RGS #20 to make her way beyond their loop to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad or the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic. It's quite possible that D&RGW #315, RGS #20 and mudhen D&RGW #463 could all be steaming soon on the same rails at the same time. Richardson, Perry and the other early preservationists would be proud, if not a little envious of the railfans to live in these coming days. Without their efforts, we would certainly lack many of the steamers and much of the rails to run them on. The years of 2008 and 2009 look very promising indeed.

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