Monday, February 16, 2009


While researching the C Class locomotives, I ran across some info on a particular C-19, number 345, one of the ten D&RG locomotives in the class. It was leased to the Colorado & Southern, and for a time sported a Ridgway smokestack assembly which was a unique feature of the C&S locomotives.

Thus 345, for a while, became a Rocky Mountain oddity... a locomotive with a Ridgway stack - a C&S icon - and a tender labeled "Denver & Rio Grande Western. Turns out the C&S leased three Class C-19's from the D&RGW, 343, 345 and 346.

I have pretty good dimensional and mechanical information on the C-19's(see 341 further below), so finding the photo of 345 in it's C&S livery prompted the below drawing.

(left-click to enlarge)

There are piping, tender and other small details that are different between the two locomotives, but I have no idea if these differences are the result of the D&RGW changing things, of whether the C&S altered many of these details to suit their own preferences during maintenance and repair.

Since I'm presently concentrating on the early years of 1870 through 1886 and the locomotives purchased and used during that period from the 25N to the first C-16's, these C-19 drawings are not a part of the project, out of sequence, done for the fun of it, and will probably never see the light of day again.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Turns out that a plantation in Peru had purchased a Vulcan 0-4-4-0 one year before the D&RG bought theirs, and a surviving photo shows that it was almost an identical twin to the D&RG's. The photo was in excellent condition, with good lighting on the under details. That gave me a lot more info for the drawing.

So, the results so far:

(left-click to enlarge)

This would be how it looked at delivery, all new and shiny with lots of pin striping everywhere.

Also got my hands on a photo of the D&RG Vulcan as it appeared some time after delivery, working La Veta Pass. Many modifications were made to the locomotive, the cab was "winterized", steps removed, pipes added and coal bunkers built over the top of the boilers.

That drawing is now complete, but I think I'll save it for the book.

Monday, February 02, 2009


In 1873, the Denver & Rio Grande Railway Company ordered their first Vulcan 0-4-4-0, an English made four-cylinder Fairlie design locomotive.

This photo, found on the Internet, is one of only three known photographs to survive.

Robert A. LeMassena's book, "Rio Grande To The Pacific", shows a similar photo taken at the manufacturers before delivery, but neither photo is of sufficient quality to make out almost any undercarriage details.

Makes my drawing of this oddity look pretty skimpy. I'll bet that - somewhere - in old dusty and almost forgotten photo collections, are pictures taken by all manner of folks in which this locomotive was in the background. Since the D&RG used this engine on the east side of La Veta pass, I'd wager that Colorado locals on outings and picnic jaunts took a few of those photos.

I'd like to get my hands on them(the photos) before they disappear forever, tossed out into the trash by some uncaring and uninterested offspring.