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  Trip Report: Fifty Years of the Colorado RR Museum - Chapter 1
  Fifty Years of the CRRM
Saturday Morning, 11-Jul-2009
  From: Fifty Years of the Colorado RR Museum Dates: July 11, 2009 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 1
Having been up until 2 the night before, I strolled into the museum just a few minutes before festivities were to start. Here's RGS 7 leaving the turntable lead for the main loop.
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Photo 2
Presentation of the colors by Boy Scouts of America Troup 613, followed by the national anthem, as sung by CRRM Executive Director Donald Tallman (middle on the platform).
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Photo 3
After a brief introduction by Bill Robie, President of the CRRM's Board of Trustees (and the guy on the far right), a face that should need no introduction took to the podium to give an all-too-brief history of the CRRM. The man, of course, is museum co-founder Cornelius Hauck. It's just too bad that Bob Richardson couldn't have also been with us that Saturday.
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Photo 4
Museum Executive Director Donald Tallman. He bills himself as the museum's first "non-railfan" director (since 2006), but has learned the railroading stuff and seems to be doing an excellent job running the museum.
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Photo 5
After Don came a few local politicians to add their remarks. From right to left: State Senator Betty Boyd, Jefferson County Commissioner Kathy Hartman, Jefferson County Commissioner Faye Griffin, and Mayor of Golden Jacob Smith.
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Photo 6
In honor of the event, the USPS was offering two commemorative postal cachets. Trustee Larry Dorsey holds up two enlarged versions while Golden Postmaster Juliette Joy-Rodriguez talks about them.
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Photo 7
At the conclusion of the speeches, eight of the museum's operational pieces were paraded around the loop. RGS Goose 2 lead the parade, breaking through the "50th Anniversary" banner held by Bill Robie and Donald Tallman.
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Photo 8
Following Goose 2 around the loop is D&RG 2-8-0 #346, pulling 1881 Rio Grande 2-axle caboose #49. Dave Schaaf, the narrator for the equipment parade, looks on from the podium platform.
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Photo 9
Next up is Goose 6
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Photo 10
Next up is Plymouth gas engine #3, built in 1948 for US Gypsum and better known around the museum as "Pee Wee". While the first three pieces have been no strangers to the main loop, Pee Wee out on the mainline is a really rare sight - usually it's only used to pull/push stuff around the shop area anymore.
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Photo 11
Following "Pee Wee" is former Algoma Steel/EBT/DSNG GE 45-tonner #4. Again, it's a diesel that at least I don't see out on the mainline much. (Then again, if I'm headed up there, it's generally a steam up day...)
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Photo 12
Who let maintenance in the way? Oh, it's just a Fairmont car as the seventh piece of equipment roving the loop.
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Photo 13
Goose 7 passes the platform and Dave. It's appropriate, given his narration of Richard Luckin's new Goose documentary, Tin Feathers & Gasoline Fumes.
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Photo 14
And bringing up the rear is D&RGW 50, the only narrow gauge diesel that the Grande actually owned. After some twenty five years at CRRM in a non-operational state, today marks its official return to operation. (It's been out on a few test runs over the last few weeks, however.)
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Photo 15
50 was built by the Davenport Locomotive Works for the Sumpter Valley RR in 1937. The Grande picked it up used in 1963 for use in the Durango yard. It's powered by a 160hp Cat diesel, connected to the wheels via a clutch and mechanical transmission.
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Photo 16
50's backside, as it makes its way around the loop.
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Photo 17
One of 50's strangest features is the air compressor, mounted outside the engine shroud on the conductor's side.
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Photo 18
Just another view of 50 making the loop
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Photo 19
And a final shot of 50, passing the recently completed water tank.
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Photo 20
Since I realize all my oohs and aahs for the Grande's only NG diesel are probably looked upon as heresy by some, here's 346...
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Photo 21
And 346 on the back side of the loop, with D&RGW GP30 3011 in the background.
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Photo 22
346 was pulling D&RG caboose 49 for the parade around the loop. 49 is an authetic 1881 Rio Grande narrow gauge 2 axle caboose. Note that it's still got link-and-pin couplers, and how it's attached to 346 (if you ever wondered why some knuckles have that slot...)
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Photo 23
Four pieces of equipment, all moving and all visible in the same shot on the east side of the loop.
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Photo 24
Another shot of Pee Wee #3 in its rare foray onto the main.
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Photo 25
#4 out on the main, as well...
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Photo 26
D&RGW Pile Driver OB was also moved to the museum recently, after the rainy Friends charter on the C&TS a month or so ago. Unfortunately, along the way, it struck an overpass. I've heard rumors that CDOT failed to update clearance information for a new lift of asphalt, but I haven't heard any "official" reason. At least the damage is minor, and limited to the roof and walkway.
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Photo 27
A closer look showing some signs of the damage above. I'm sure the damage will get repaired in short order, and it in no way should impact OB's operation at the museum in August.
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Photo 28
On a completely different note, the painting of UP 4455 has gone very well, and it's looking much better than it did six months ago (or even back in May).
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Photo 29
As I was on my way out, RGS 6 was busy giving a genuine RGS experience - it broke down. It had stalled and apparently they couldn't get the engine to start again.
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Photo 30
CRRM #3 and a Goose wait near the front grade crossing for RGS 6 to clear up after the breakdown.jpg
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Creative Commons License This work is copyright 2009 by Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net), but licensed under a Creative Commons License. I encourage others to consider CC or other Open Content-style licensing of their original works.

All photographs in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 40D using a Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS/USM.