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Last D&RGW n.g. "Freight", Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

December 05, 2018 07:37AM avatar
Good Morning -

December 5th 1968 dawned clear and cold in Alamosa, Colorado, as the locomotives were being readied for the last narrow-gauge freight to head west.  This wasn't a freight in the normal sense – as there was no revenue freight aboard – but an equipment move.  The three passenger cars used for the NPS Special twelve days previously and engine #473, overhauled in Alamosa following its movie work in 'Butch & Sundance', were being returned to Durango for use on the Silverton Train the following year.  Engine #481, also overhauled in Alamosa earlier in the year for possible use on The Silverton, was being pulled dead-in-train, and a gondola loaded with tubes and flues and two or three carloads of locomotive parts and shop tools were also in the train, along with several empty boxcars to provide extra braking on the steep descent from Cumbres to Chama.  Fortunately for us, Ernie Robart was there to catch the action on film.

The cold weather meant plenty of condensing steam was visible as the road engine #483 and helper #473 were prepped, coupled to their short train, and headed out of town:
681205a20+23+24+30.jpg
Photos copyright © 1968, 2018 by Ernest W. Robart - All Rights Reserved.

Here the train has just rounded the curve of the mainline leg of the wye on the west side of Alamosa and is heading toward the South Yard, visible in the distance:
681205a31.jpg
Photo copyright © 1968, 2018 by Ernest W. Robart - All Rights Reserved.

"The Whole Enchilada" a little way out of town:
681205a39.jpg
Photo copyright © 1968, 2018 by Ernest W. Robart - All Rights Reserved.

Number 481's main and eccentric rods had been removed for the trip to Durango:
681205a40.jpg
Photo copyright © 1968, 2018 by Ernest W. Robart - All Rights Reserved.

Mount Blanca Crestone Needle looms behind as the train passes the Yard Limit sign a mile or so farther on:
681205a41.jpg
Photo copyright © 1968, 2018 by Ernest W. Robart - All Rights Reserved.

Above caption corrected 12/07/18 per an e-mail from Ernie.  He climbed several 14-ers in 1969 when no n.g. freights were running, but didn't get to the top of Crestone Needle until 1987.  He had climbed all 54 of Colorado's 14-ers by 1992.

(To be continued.)

- El Abuelo Histœrico, Greengo y Curmudgeoño de los Locomoturas Viejos y Verdes,
aka Der Grossväterlich DünkelOlivGrünDampfKesselMantelLiebHabender




Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2018 01:20PM by Russo Loco.
Subject Author Posted

Last D&RGW n.g. "Freight", Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968 Attachments

Russo Loco December 05, 2018 07:37AM

Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to La Jara - Dec. 5, 1968 Attachments

Russo Loco December 05, 2018 07:48AM

Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

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Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

Charlie Mutschler December 05, 2018 07:59AM

Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

BrianJ December 05, 2018 08:33AM

Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

Russo Loco December 05, 2018 10:46AM

Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

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Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

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Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

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Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

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Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

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Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

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Re: Last D&RGW Train, Alamosa to Durango - Dec. 5 & 6, 1968

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Re: Last D&RGW N.G. Train, Romeo to Antonito - Dec. 5, 1968

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Long lunch?

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Re: Long lunch - and lazy afternoon . . . smileys with beer

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