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Re: How's RGS #20 Comin?

October 24, 2011 10:45AM
Let me add some commentary about RGS 20. The locomotive was aquired by the Rocky Mtn RR Club and displayed at the Narrow Gauge Museum in Alamosa then at the CRRM in Golden. It was still owned by the Rocky Club. It was painted and lettered F&CC and Portland in Alamosa then repainted at Golden as RGS 20 with the sunburst herald. There was no mechanical rebuilding done to 20. Since 1978 I was the Rocky Club's equipment chairman as well as a CRRM volunteer. The tender was sandblasted and painted then relettered and the loco was repainted. The legendary John Bush later removed the asbestos using EPA guidelines and fabricated a new boiler jacket. A volunteer, Rick Greer, rebuilt the cab. During that time the boiler was "X-rayed" and ultrasounded. RGS 20 was still a prime exhibit at the CRRM and was not allowed to rust away, but was kept up cosmetically. The now defunct Rio Grande Modelers Club started a rebuild on the tender, they fabricated new end beams, decking and repaired a huge crack in the buffer pocket. Politics stopped the clubs' rebuild and Paul Luning, myself and others finished the decking, beams, draft gear etc. Then lowered the tank back on the frame. (tender has a steel frame which kept it more or less intact) Where this is going is, the locomotive was NEVER allowed to fall apart as it was one of the crown jewels in the CRRMs' (Rocky Clubs') collection. After the boiler was found suspect, fire box unusable and the middle set of drivers had a tendency to slide out into oncoming traffic the Rocky Club said 20 would never be rebuilt. The club did not have the financial capability to accomplish a rebuild. Several years ago the Rocky club turned over ownership of locomotive 20, RGS business car Rico and D&RGW caboose 0578 to the CRRM. Almost immediately an anonymous donor came forth and donated funds to rebuild 20. It now is at Strasburg, PA under the care of Linn Moedinger
and crew. I resent the comment by James infering that the Strasburg rebuild would not be to the standards of the F&CC. That was in 1899. The methods and technology used today by Strasburg far exceed 1899 standards. It is now legal to weld on a boiler. Strasburg recently rebuilt D&RGW 346, it is far better than when Baldwin rolled it out in 1881. Be satisfied when 20 goes around the CRRMs' 1/2 mile of track. At least it will be preserved, rebuilt to a high standard and OPERATED. How about a double header with 346?
FYI
Bill Gould
P.S. The CRRM would welcome donations to finish the rebuilding of RGS 20. Dirk Ramsey even donated rubles to the cause. 750 rubles, thats' about $1.98?
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How's RGS #20 Comin?

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