TrainWeb.org Facebook Page
Colorado RR Museum

Adventurers in the Rockies

Chapter Twenty-two

ACT TWO

Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden

July 21, 2016

Thursday

by

Robin Bowers


Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent

Comments are appreciated at...yr.mmxx@gmail.com


 

Golden, Colorado

    Golden was settled in 1859 among the glacial deposits on Clear Creek. Its name recalls an early miner and the local preoccupation with gold prospecting. Golden rivaled Denver in importance for several years. From 1862 to 1867 it served as capital of the Colorado Territory.

    The Colorado School of Mines, founded in 1874, is among the oldest institutions devoted to mineral sciences and engineering. The school enrolls more than 3,000 students with the National Earthquake Information Center on the campus.

Coors Brewing Co.


4395


4393


4390

    Coors Brewing Co. offers 30-minute self-guiding tours of traditional brewing methods used in the Rocky Mountains since 1873. Visitors learn about the malting, brewing and packaging processes and then may sample products in the hospitality lounge.

4394


4398


4399


4401


4404

Our buses left the Georgetown Loop and drove to Golden and then traveled through the city to our next stop.


4615


4616

Colorado Railroad Museum History

Robert W. Richardson and Cornelius W. Hauck opened the Colorado Railroad Museum in 1959. Then, and now, our mission is dedicated to preserving for future generations a tangible record of Colorado's dynamic railroad era and particularly its pioneering, narrow gauge mountain railroads.

In 1964, the nonprofit Colorado Railroad Historical Foundation was formed to assume ownership and operation of the Museum.

The Alamosa Years 1948-1958

In the late 1940s when Colorado's narrow gauge railroad companies started going out of business, Robert W. Richardson began collecting rolling stock, railway records, and other pieces of equipment in an effort to preserve Colorado history. Bob's collection quickly outgrew the available space at his Museum in Alamosa, Colorado and in 1958, with the help of his friend Cornelius Hauck, Richardson moved the Museum to Golden, Colorado.

Many Colorado railroad companies closed down in the late 1940s and 1950s, when falling ore prices and increasing operating expenses made business unprofitable. The Uintah Railway Company closed in 1939, the Silverton Northern in 1942, the Rio Grande Junction in 1941, the Midland Terminal in 1949 and the Rio Grande Southern in 1951.

The Golden Years 1959-1978

Once in Golden, Richardson built a replica narrow gauge railroad station to serve as the main Museum building. With the help of volunteers he started laying track for 50 pieces of equipment and built a motel to help fund the Museum. The Iron Horse Motel was originally located where the roundhouse now sits.



4406

Growing the Collection 1979-1990

With the help of Museum trustee Cornelius Hauck, volunteers and railfans, Bob Richardson was able to purchase over twenty pieces of full-size rolling stock during this period. This included the Bob & Julie Shank collection from Durango, which brought in the rare and unique narrow gauge motor cars Geese Nos. 6 & 7. Encouraging its volunteer tradition, the Museum allowed volunteers to actively restore collection pieces.

The Expansion Years 1991-2000

Although Museum founder Bob Richardson retired in 1991, his legacy was just starting to grow. Recognizing the need to invest in infrastructure, the Board of Trustees started taking major financial steps to improve and expand the Museum. After hiring permanent full-time staff, the Museum built the Robert W. Richardson Railroad library in 1997, finished the track loop in 1999 and completed the roundhouse and turntable in 2000.

Into the Future 2001-Present

The Museum has experienced many positive changes since 2000. Interpretive signs have been installed around the property, the downstairs of the Museum has been remodeled into a temporary exhibit venue, restoration efforts continue at a renewed pace and the Museum continues to add historic pieces to its collection.


4407

    # 346 was giving train rides around the museum grounds during the day. Lunch period was broken into two groups and I chose the second seating. While waiting I walked around the campus looking at the equipment.

4408


4409

Colorado and Northwestern  2-8-0 #30 built 1898, narrow 36" gauge.

4446


4411


4412

The dome car monument that once was in Glenwood Canyon.
 
4413

D&RGW  2-8-0  318 built 1896 36" gauge.

4414


4415

Colorado and Southern rotary snowplow 99201.

4416


4417

    One of my first stops was to walk through business car #96. The Museum's CB&Q No. 96 was built in 1886 for Charles E. Perkins, president of the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad. It has two private bedrooms each with toilet and sink, a dining room that could double as a meeting room, a spacious observation parlor at the back, a kitchen and a shower. It has various berths which can sleep eight comfortably.

4422


4423


4426


4430


4433


4434


4438


4441

Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway 0-4-2T (cog) #1 built 1890 Standard gauge.

4443

Coors Brewing Company SW900 C988.

4449


4451


4452

A three track switch.

4453


4454


4462

CB&Q  4-8-4 5629 built 1940 standard gauge.


4458


4459


4460


4464

2-8-0 346 built 1881 36"gauge.

4466


4472



4477


4478


4456


4471

Galloping Goose 2 and D&LG 2-8-0 191.

4476

2-8-0 191 built 1880 36" gauge.

4479


4480

Washroom on car coach 5442.

4481


4485

Diner attached to coach # 5442.

4487


4491



4493

Kitchen and diner currently used on special occasions.

4494


4496

A great model train layout.

4499


4500


4504

American Oil 0-4-0T 1.

Lunch

4614

    At this time it was time to go to the covered seating room. Lunch was catered by a barbecued vendor and the food was good. So good that they were running low on some items and had to go out and get more supplies. These conventioneers really like their meals so food goes fast at these events.

    After lunch I resumed my tour of the grounds and waited for boarding time to ride behind a steam engine around the museum grounds. The trip makes three turns around the park.


4509

Colorado Central 2-8-0 40 built 1921 36" gauge.


4511


4513


4514

The steam train passes the No Agua water tank.

4516

D&RGW 2-8-0 318 1896 36" gauge.

4517

Rio Grande FP7A 5771.

4519


4520

Westside Lumber Shay 3-truck 14 built 1916 36" gauge.

4522

West Side Lumber Co. Shay 3-truck 12 built 1927 36" gauge.

4523


4529


4530

ATSF observation car Navajo.
4532


4540

Rio Grande FP7A 5771 and Rio Grande FP7B 5772.

4541

Colorado and Southern rotary snowplow 99201.

4544


4546


4548

0-6-0 4455 built 1920 standard gauge.


4551

Views inside the roundhouse.

4554


4557


4560


4563


4565


4566

Golden City and San Juan Railroad 3 and Uintah Railway observation car B-8.


4567

D&RGW  2-8-2 491 built 1928 36" gauge which shares train trips duty with 346.
4568

Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose 6.
4571


4572


4573

2-8-0 # 683 built 1890 standard gauge.

4574


4575

Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose 7.

4576




4577


4579


4582

D&RGW 2-8-0 683 built 1890 standard gauge.

4583

491 being kept warm.

4584

0-4-0T 1 standard gauge.


4586

Main Plaza and boarding area for train rides.

It was now time to queue up for my train ride. Soon it was time to board for a old time train ride behind a steam engine.

4588


4589

Very stylish in its day.

4590


4592


4594


4597

Graveyard.

4598

Georgetown, Breckenridge and Leadville  55-tonner 4.

4600

View of turntable and roundhouse from train car.

4602

Galloping Goose 7.

4604

Model train layout.

4605


4612

Outdoor seating and eating area.

Too soon it was time to board our buses and leave all this fine equipment. What a great visit it had been and enjoyed by all.

4617

Grain cars at Coors which is across the highway from the museum.

4619

We headed back to I-70 with very little traffic until we passed I-25.

4622

Denver skyline.

4628

As we crossed over the Union Pacific's 36th Street, we spotted UP 4-8-4 844, Rio Grande heritage unit 1989 and passenger cars. This caused such a stir that when everyone rushed to the right side, I thought we might tip. Although nothing happened, everyone was excited and stimulated. 

4630

We continued on to Denver's Stapleton area and the convention hotel. From here I walked back to my room at the Super 8 for the night. After dinner I make another stop at Sonic for their ice cream happy hour.





Thanks for reading.

Coming next- Chapter Twenty-three - Pikes Peak train ride and visit Cadet Chapel at the U.S. Air Force Academy


*** Return to last chapter Twenty-one ***

Return to Table of Contents

Return to Home Page

Very Fast Return to Top

Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Comments appreciated at .... yr.mmxx@gmail.com