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The Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 begins ... (pics)

July 07, 2012 06:56PM avatar
Hi, All -

As noted on [ngdiscussion.net], the cosmetic (at least for now) restoration of engine #483 has begun at last.  As can be seen in several of the photos posted below, there are a LOT of parts missing from #483, which has been severely cannibalized in recent years to keep her sister K-36 engines running, but judging by the huge number of posts concerning #483 that have appeared here in the past few years there are an equally large number of fans of #483 interested in her preservation and eventual return to operation.

With four K-36's currently operating on the C&TS, and another four running on the D&SNG, why all the interest in #483?
Without going into too much detail, let me summarize her unique role in the history of both the D&RGW and the C&TS:
  1. Going back many many years, #483 was the favorite K-36 among D&RGW engine crews, IIRC - with #484 being a close second.   (Or vice-versa??)

  2. #483 was one of the few K-36's equipped for passenger service; she often pulled the San Juan when a K-28 was not available, and was used on many of the three-day Alamosa-Durango-Silverton excursions in the late fifties and early- to mid-sixties.

  3. #483 was the helper on the last westbound revenue freight on the D&RGW from Alamosa to Chama on 08/28/68,* pulled the last revenue freight from Chama to Durango on 08/29/68 and the last D&RGW freight to Farmington on 08/31/68.

  4. After being used briefly for movie work in September, 1968 (for which she received the atrocious red and gold "Scarlet Harlot" paint that we recreated for the C&TS' 40th Anniversary in 2010), she pulled the National Park Service Special from Durango to Alamosa in November, 1968 - the last D&RGW passenger move over Cumbres Pass.

  5. #483 assisted #473 in moving #481 and a short train that included cars of flues and other locomotive parts from Alamosa to Chama on December 5, 1968.  #483 (and a caboose?) returned from Chama to Alamosa the next day - the very last D&RGW train over Cumbres Pass.

  6. On September 1, 1970, #483 was turned over to the C&TS by the D&RGW; by evening Ernie Robart had re-lettered her tender from flying Rio Grande to CUMBRES AND TOLTEC SCENIC RAILROAD (with a 'Toltec Gorge Route' herald) and she had been fired up for service the next day.**   (Ed Stabler was the hostler that night.)

  7. During the fall of 1970, #483 was the only engine in service on the C&TS; she pulled several trains of equipment from Antonito to Lava, Big Horn, Sublette, Toltec Siding, Osier, Cumbres and Chama to free up the single track at Antonito so that construction of a rudimentary yard could begin. She also pulled the C&TS first fan trip - The Governors' Special - in early October, 1970.

  8. Along with #484, #483 pulled several of the C&TS first revenue passenger trains in 1971 and 1972, the first C&TS dinner trains in the summer and fall of 1972, and the first photo freight - The Toltec Rattler - on October 22, 1972.  By the mid-1970's #483 was simply worn out; she was set aside by 1977 and has not operated for the past 35 years ...

With the above in mind, for several years fans of #483 have urged that she be restored, and have at least twice established fund-raising efforts for this. The money raised in the first effort was used to remove asbestos from #483 and #492 to help prevent further deterioration of their boiler shells, and in 2011 the approximately $4,500 raised in the second effort was traded to The Friends for completion of a special P-R project.***  In exchange for these funds, The Friends have taken on responsibility for the preservation and restoration of #483. The current project was originally scheduled to begin in 2013, but was moved forward to 2012 due to the desire of both the Railroad and the Village of Chama to have an engine on display to help attract customers to the C&TS.

The Friends' Work Session 'C' of this year did not attract enough new attendees to allow restoration of #483 to begin, so our first small effort actually began with the five volunteers who turned out to help with #483 during Session 'D'.  Our intended team leader, Mike Thode, had been hired by the C&TS, so - with the help of John Engs of The Friends - it was decided to limit our work to an initial clean-up effort.

Only one of us had previously attended a Friends work session; this year while her husband Scott was working on the sheep car restoration Karen Stover undertook the painstaking job of restoring the window sashes and cleaning the cab interior; the rest of us - four first-timers - spent our energy removing paint and rust from the exterior with wire brushes and (beginning Wednesday) pneumatic scalers.

Here's what #483 looked like on the morning of 06/25/12:
2012-06-a.jpg

The badly-damaged right-side door was removed early on to facilitate scaling the front of the cab; the windows and cab curtains were severely deteriorated as well:
2012-06-b.jpg

Here's Larry Farrell wire-brushing the rear of the cab, while son John works on the front; wire-brushing the fireman's side of the cab revealed several layers of paint and movie make-up - including the notorious Tuscan Red and traces of gold lettering from 1968:
2012-06-c.jpg

The engineer's side on Tuesday after wire-brushing away chips of loose paint and the worst of the rust. The next day Karen evaluated the condition of the engineer's window and eventually removed it for major surgery; she then worked on the sill while Thómas Madrid removed paint and rust from the front of the cab:
2012-06-d.jpg


(To be continued.)

- Russ

  * For pics see [ngdiscussion.net], [ngdiscussion.net], [ngdiscussion.net] and [ngdiscussion.net].
 ** For pics see [ngdiscussion.net], [ngdiscussion.net], [ngdiscussion.net] et seq, and [ngdiscussion.net].
*** For further details see [ngdiscussion.net] et seq (especially [ngdiscussion.net]), and [ngdiscussion.net].



Edited 19 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2017 12:08PM by Russo Loco.
Subject Author Posted

The Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 begins ... (pics) Attachments

Russo Loco July 07, 2012 06:56PM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics) Attachments

Russo Loco July 07, 2012 06:59PM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

Roger Hogan July 07, 2012 07:57PM

Re: Restoration of #483 - Thank YOU, Roger!! ... thumbs upthumbs up

Russo Loco July 07, 2012 08:32PM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

John Cole July 07, 2012 08:42PM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

C. Llamas July 08, 2012 07:48AM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

John Cole July 08, 2012 08:05AM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

C. Llamas July 08, 2012 10:08PM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

John Cole July 08, 2012 11:10PM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

Will Gant July 09, 2012 07:03PM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

Jason Rose July 09, 2012 05:50AM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

C. Llamas July 09, 2012 06:41AM

He's Back!!!!!!

Rich Muth July 09, 2012 07:19AM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

Greg Scholl July 09, 2012 09:50AM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

John Cole July 09, 2012 09:59AM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

C. Llamas July 11, 2012 07:36AM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

Greg Scholl July 11, 2012 08:35AM

Re: Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 ... (more pics)

hogger42 July 08, 2012 03:58PM

Re: The Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 begins ... (pics)

Mark Yeamans July 07, 2012 10:17PM

Re: For Mark...

Earl July 08, 2012 03:15PM

Re: The Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 begins ... (pics)

Greg Raven July 08, 2012 09:26AM

Re: Restoration of #483 Should Continue ... thumbs upthumbs up

Russo Loco July 08, 2012 12:46PM

Re: The Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 begins ... (pics)

hank July 08, 2012 10:34AM

Re: The Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 begins ... (pics)

Russo Loco July 08, 2012 11:28AM

Re: The Restoration of D&RGW / C&TS #483 begins ... (pics)

guymonmd October 05, 2017 08:04AM



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