It’s Saturday morning and I arrive early to set up the video camera to record the RGS Galloping Geese move onto the Turn-Table to start their parade around the track. The crowds were amazing so I was sure glad to have my VIP pass to get in Cab Rides and not be stuck way back in line. I would take Cab Rides in #1, #4, #5, and #7 around the loop and it #2 on the side track. Since #6 was also on the side track and I took a wonderful Cab Ride in #6 in 2010 I skip #6 this round.
The VIP’s will also use the UP Diner Car as our own private base-camp…
Now for that History I promised within the Day #1 blog, here is what the Colorado Railroad Museum says
Galloping Geese will be waddling around the track of the Colorado Railroad Museum for Goose Fest.
Goose Fest features rides throughout the day on select geese. This gaggle of “geese” showcases the “Galloping Goose” Museum exhibit highlighting all the historic details of these unusual rail vehicles.
Our Depot General Store has a great selection of Goose merchandise on hand and Mother Goose will join us Sunday for story time.
About the Galloping Geese
The Galloping Geese are a series of seven railcars that ran on the Rio Grande Southern (RGS) Railroad from 1931–1952. They helped accommodate travel by rail in the remote and isolated regions of far southwestern Colorado. They traveled a stretch of rail over 160 miles long that ran from the town of Ridgway, Colorado on the north to Durango, Colorado on the south.
The RGS called these unusual vehicles Motors, using them as less expensive alternatives to operating steam engines. The Geese retained the automobile engines and bodies from the original cars, mounted over a frame that included attached cargo boxes.
They get the unique name “Galloping Goose” because the uneven railroad track made them “waddle” when they traveled. Also, the air horn sounded more like a “quack” compared to the regular steam locomotive whistle. Lastly, the Goose was run with its hoods flared open to facilitate greater engine cooling and looked like a goose straining for airspeed. This was necessary because the altitude made the water boil off quickly. The geese would frequently stop at water towers along the way to “take a drink” and fill up their water tanks.
The Colorado Railroad Museum owns Geese No. 2, 6, and 7; the Galloping Goose Historical Society in Dolores, Colorado owns No. 5; the City of Telluride, Colorado owns No. 4 (which has just been restored back to service) and Karl Schaffer, from Ridgway, Colorado has built a replica of No. 1.
After an exciting day of taking Cab Rides and taking tons of Video and Still photographs of them running around the track the museum closes to the public and the geese are put back to bed at the Roundhouse. Our day though is not over, it’s time for our Formal Dinner so back to the UP Diner car we go to have what else for dinner, Goose! Donald Tallman (Executive Director) will server all our meals; what a host!!!!!!!
Our night is still not over as we head back outside (where it’s much cooler) to listen about the history of the RGS Galloping Geese from who else, Stan Rhine. He had a few things to also give the CRRM Library which were absolutely historically priceless on the RGS Geese. Thank You Stan, it was an honor to meet you for the first time and also thank you for signing my copy of “Tin Feathers, Wooden Trestles and Iron Men”