Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Museum Visit - Colorado Railroad Museum

If you are longtime reader you know that this is one of my favorite museums in the area to go to. Its definitely a love hate relationship though. I took my wife for her first visit and was pretty excited as I hadn't been there since the Goosefest in 2012. That was also the year the museum had acquired C&N #30 (also C&S #74 and RGS #74). It had been determined that she could not be returned to operating condition without replacing like 90% of the parts, although I would certainly love to see her run again. So I was quite excited to get to see her again.

The museum has gone through a lot of changes since 2012 and most of them for the good. The issue I have is that they restore a piece of equipment and then don't seem to be willing to follow up with regular maintenance. C&N #30 is a good case in point. Check out the photo I took in 2012 and see how she looks six years later in 2018. I'm a bit put out by that. I see it happening in a number of places around the museum grounds. Equipment that a lot of time and money was spent restoring, now just weathering away in the harsh Colorado sun.

But there are good things happening as well and the roundhouse was full of equipment that was going through restoration. The one locomotive I was looking for, RGS #20, was not to be found though. Apparently it has been sent back to Strasburg, PA for restoration to operating condition. It has been a long project but it seems it might be coming home sometime in 2018. We shall see. Currently #318 is sitting in the spot where I expected to find #20.

I couldn't really get to the geese that day, they were outside at the roundhouse but in a fenced off zone. So no really good pictures there. Still it was a good time and my wife enjoyed it which is always a plus.

Part of this trip was to try out the new camera and get ready for a vacation coming up that includes a couple of museums that I'm really looking forward to seeing. More on that at a later date. Here are some pictures from the visit though.

C&N #30 in 2012
Looking pretty out of sorts from this angle. What ever covering they have put over the boiler is looking decidedly out of place

The logo is rapidly disappearing and the paint is peeling away in a fairly straight line. 
A little correction here, this is not paint but a vinyl wrap as pointed out by Darel Leedy. Now that I look at the pictures a bit closer I can see it, I think I was so ticked off at the time I just assumed it was paint.

I don't think I have ever seen paint peel away quite like this. I would guess that the surface wasn't properly prepared for the new paint.

She was looking pretty good from this angle

At least she the steam chests are still tilted out instead of in like her two sister 2-8-0s (C&N 31 & 32, C&S 75 & 76).
Here is a look at the rest of the museum:
The Garden Railroads, both electric and live steam. There is a lot of bridges crossing that stream! I love the use of pine trees but that has to be a lot of work.

And now for the real thing:

And a little bit of rolling stock
The inside of the standard gauge UP dining car

C&S 1009 was running behind the small train that was operating that day

I think RICO was repainted in 2011 or 2012, she is in desperate need of a new coat of paint at this point.

A few random elements

A pretty good Saturday all told.


  1. Interesting. That is not paint peeling on the #30. That is a vinyl wrap much like what is put on buses and vehicles for advertising etc. What a cheap excuse for restoration!

    1. Son of gun, you are right Darel! I hadn't even thought about that when I took the photos. Now that I look at those photos up close I can see that. Definitely a vinyl wrap. Looks like they wanted to get something done fast and dirty.

    2. I just updated the text to reflect that, thank you Darel!