Tag Archives: Rio Grande Southern
We are invited to an early (4:45A) opening to catch the Geese at sunrise; let’s say I didn’t make it but I was in at 6:45A to take a few more shots of the group as well as individual shots of each. Here is my pick for this final blog entry of the Colorado Railroad Museum Goose Fest 2012…
Don will also treat us to a private inside showing of two other special cars here at the museum. Video camera rolling as I walk through these two cars. Here is the outside and you will have to wait for the Youtube video to come out to see the inside…
Again, I want to thank Don and the Colorado Railroad Museum for hosting this event along with the other organizations that contributed. And for Knot’s Berry Farm – SHAME ON YOU! for not allowing RGS #3 to come to this extremely important historical event. Maybe next time you will step up and help make history happen…
For all you folks that attended and stood in those long lines, this VIP pass was worth every penny…
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”
For the past three days as part of a VIP package I have been at the Colorado Railroad Museum for a special fund-raising event know as Goose Fest which highlights the Rio Grande Southern (RGS) Galloping Geese. On Day #1 (Friday) I took advantage of not only coming to see the famous engines together for the first time but to also take in the museum as a whole.
Here is just a tiny example of the type of equipment that call the CRRM home…
There is also a wonderful Library here and if you need information on Narrow Gauge railroads this is the primary facility to come to. As I get closers to retirement I too hope to help work here at the library helping to bring it into the digital age.
I will also take photographs & video of the Galloping Geese getting setup in fount of the Roundhouse / Restoration facility. The original plan for Goose Fest 2012 was to have all seven (7) of the RGS Engines together for the first time but at the 11th hour Knott’s Berry Farm pulled RGS #3 from this historic event. Here is a shot of six (6) of the seven (7) all lined up in order in numerical order…
After a wonderful day, and the museum now closed to the public, the Colorado Railroad Museum treated the VIP’s to an informal dinner in the museum giving us a chance to get to know each other. We are also treated with a showing of TIN FEATHERS, GASOLINE, AND FUMES about these historic engines.
With dinner ate, we head back outside to a Night Photo session of the RGS Engine in front of the Roundhouse. My simple Point-n-Shot was not meant for this type of photography but I will run the video camera at the same time to catch this unique experience. Those with better 35mm / Digital cameras I’m sure got some wonderful shots with the help of strobe lights that were setup for this photography special.
Time to go home after spending nearly 14 hours at the CRRM and download Day #1’s images and videos and get ready to get up early for Day #2. I will give more history about the engines in the next blog entry…
Latest YouTube Video Upload. Raw material Taken on May 9, 2010 at the Colorado Railroad Museum during Goosefest 2010. The main highlight of this video is a Cab Ride in Rio Grande Southern #6.
In 1934 Goose #6 was built from the body of a Buick sedan and a Buick engine. She runs on two trucks, the rear one is powered. Most of the parts used to build #6 came from Goose #1 which had just been scrapped. Number 6 replaced the steam-powered work trains on the railroad, she never saw regular passenger service.
Later, #6 was rebuilt with Pierce-Arrow body and engine. Today she is preserved at the Colorado Railroad Museum and is still operational.
Today we depart Cortez and head for Montrose for the night. Our drive will take us through Mancos, Dolores, Rico, Lizard Head Pass, Trout Lake, Ophir, Telluride, Vance Jct., Placerville, Dallas Divide, and Ridgway. Yes, we are following nearly the entire route of the Rio Grande Southern today taking lots of photos along the way.
Our first major stop of the day is an Mancos to locate and photograph the depot…
We will pass back through Dolores where we visited the Depot there along with Galloping Goose #5 but they are closed today which is why we rushed to get their yesterday. So, onto Rico to find and photograph the Water Tank.
From there we head over Lizard Head pass (10,222 ft) and we are in luck to find Lizard Head Peak not completely covered in the clouds.
Note the Peak in the RGS Logo!!!
From here we head down to Trout Lake to find the Water Tank on this side of the pass.
The road is on the actual RGS roadbed and it looks to be in good shape so we will head up the road a way to find the trestle…
As we head down the canyon we will find an overlook where we can photograph the RGS roadbed across the canyon from the highway near Ophir. No time today to try to get to the Ophir Loop but you can spot the roadbed easy from here.
Turning off the highway, we head up to Telluride for lunch as well as find and photograph the depot here as well.
We once again head back to the highway and look for a turn-off that will get us the where Vance Jct. once existed and see if we can find the Coal Shoots as we have no other information on its location. We had given up hoping finding it after driving up the dirt road awhile so we turned back to the highway and through the tress we spot it and record the GPS location and get a few shots from the road; too far to hike over to it today.
Then, up to the Dallas Divide Summit (8,970 ft). There was a large trestle near here that sadly was lost to time a few years ago. The only thing left near here now is the old Stock Yard used in loading/unloading into the RGS Stock Cars.
We reach Ridgway and stopped at the museum where there is various pieces of RR history to enjoy including Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose #1 and #4. Here is just a wide view of the area as I will save the close up shots for the full trip report.
With that we have reached the end of the RGS line and head towards Montrose. We heard there was an antique store that has a few D&RGW Boxcars / Stock Cars so we keep a look out for it on the way towards town. Yep, there they are, three of them including the Stock Car; all being used to hold other antique items in them as part of the store.
Once we get into Montrose itself we will also track down the D&RGW depot that is here as well.
Well, not a bad Ghostfanning version of Railfanning as we found everything we set out too given what time we had before heading on to the hotel and find someplace to eat dinner…
Before leaving Grand Junction where we have spent the last two nights we head back to get some daylight shots of not only the Depots but other railroad structures I had not yet photographed before. Thanks to directions from Ben the night before I got some great shots!
We leave Grand Junction and head towards Whitewater via US50, then turn south on 141 taking the Unaweep Tabeguache Byway. We will take a short detour on Forest Access Divide Road up towards Uncompahgre Plateau ( 38°50’0″N / 108°34’41″W) for some great shots up and down the valley.
Once we reach the area near Gateway the geology turns RED ( 38°40’32″N / 108°58’39″W) which is how Colorado got its name (Color Red). What a beautiful byway, a must drive if you are ever in this area!
We will also stop to get some great shots of the Hanging Flume ( 38°23’54.00″N / 108°48’34.00″W) which was an engineer marvel for its time. I can’t imagine what it took to build this thing on the side of a cliff for as long as they did.
We will turn onto 145 near Naturita, CO and head towards Placerville, CO and turn up the pace to get to Dolores, CO to get to the depot before it closes and get shots of Rio Grande Southern Goose #5.
From there we head into Cortez for the night…
Note: Highway 145 from Placerville to Dolores roughly follows a portion of the Rio Grande Southern. More on this with Day #4 coming up next…
National Train Day Weekend is spent at the Colorado Railroad Museum at Goosefest. I will also take my first Cab Ride in #6; video coming later…
Day 2 of our long weekend sees the most Ghostfanning. Our first stop is in Hartsel, CO where we stop to take several photographs of the Colorado Midland Depot, Section House, and Outhouse that still survive here.
The Depot was moved here from Buffalo Springs. It was originally (1900) a school house and today holds many items from the DSP&P, CM, and C&S railroads. The Water Tower is also authentic, it’s the RGS water tower from Ophir.
Lisa and I attended this historical event together on Saturday. She took her camera with her and took over 300 photographs and I took over 30 minutes of video. The main attraction was the Equipment Parade where they ran several pieces of equipment around the track several times.While at the event I met “Chris Guenzler” of TrainWeb (http://www.trainweb.org/chris) who was traveled over 1 Million miles by rail.