Friday, June 24, 2016

Two grants in one week

June 2016 has been good for the restoration of the 223. The boiler was removed and the frame moved inside the shop last month. That was a huge step forward, but perhaps the most important thing to happen this year so far was the awarding of two $1,000 grants, one from Union Pacific and the other from the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club. The money of the UP grant will go towards the lining of the tender cistern, and the RMRRC grant is to cast new brass axle bearings for the driving wheels (the original bearings were removed by the D&RGW in 1941 and replaced with wood blocks, which have long since rotted.)

A huge thanks to Union Pacific and the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

223 Update, January 16th Worksession: preparation for new work

Preparations are underway to move the running gear into the shop; this required the rearranging of the work area since one half is occupied by the tender and the other half was filled by the pilot, sand dome, and a myriad of disassembled superstructures and parts.

On Saturday, January 16th, the shop was reorganized to clear the space to the left of the tender so that the frame can be moved in once the boiler is pulled off. These pictures were taken by Lee Witten; more can be seen on the 223 Facebook Page. The pilot and other parts were moved to the storage room behind the woodshop in the Trainman's Building.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cosmetic Restoration of Rio Grande 5371

This project has gotten a good deal of internet attention. There seems to be a strong emotional interest in this locomotive, and with good reason - it was the last unpatched, unpainted D&RGW locomotive to run on former Rio Grande rails. The SD40T-2 number 5371 has gotten a facelift this past year due to the efforts of Derrick and Kerry Klarr, brothers with a long track record of quality volunteer work and private preservation.
Green masking tape marks out the work on the nose stripes; the circular holes were soon after filled by the class lights. October 2015.

With a grant from the National Railway Historical Society, they collected parts to restore the front end of the locomotive to its as-built appearance. This includes class lights and a gyralight. The ditch lights were removed and the nose striping repainted.

Work ended in November 2015 due to snow but will continue in the spring season this year. The snowplow still needs to be replaced and the pilot repainted. Depending on how far the grant can be stretched, or how much is donated, there are tentative (but not sure) plans to repaint the entire locomotive.
Nose painting done, the gyralight was removed for some extra work and was reinstalled in December 2015. From there work stopped due to snow, but will be re-initiated in Spring 2016.

A full article on the project will appear in a future issue of the Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society's Prospector magazine.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

223 Location map

Joshua Bernhard, who is working on a complete history of the 223, created the map posted below, showing the cities where the 223 was documented to have been throughout her life, 1881-present. Click on the image to see it bigger!

The 223 could have served in any of the cities along the D&RGW's narrow gauge system, but this shows the documented dates in which she was seen, assigned to, or visited them.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Be a part of history

The title of this entry was the catch phrase of the old sign that used to announce the 223 restoration project at the Ogden Union Station. The sign succumbed to weather and old age long ago, but the slogan still means the same. Even if you can't come down and offer a hand to the project, here is an opportunity to contribute to the goal of completing the restoration to operation by May 10, 2019.

Yes, that date is real. Our goal is to have the 223 under steam in time for the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. To meet it, though, there is that age-old problem that plagues any volunteer project: finances. But we're not asking for anything big, just what you are willing to offer via crowdfunding on Gofundme.

Within a few days of setting up the fundraiser, we received a contribution from a Mr. Harvey, who has his own little part of history: one of his ancestors was superintendent of the Grant Locomotive Works, the company that built the 223, and he has taken a special interest in this project. You too can take part.

Please look at the page, watch the video, donate, and share!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Two private locomotives on display

About two years ago, Dynamic Rail Preservation was unable to keep their two Amtrak locomotives, F40PHR 231 and SDP40F 644, at a facility in Oregon. An agreement was made with the Union Station Foundation, and the two locomotives were moved and are now on display at the Utah State Railroad Museum. Dynarail (the official nickname of the group) offers restoration services to the museum in return for the storage space; for example, Chris Fussell, one of the founders, recently repainted the nose of Southern Pacific SD45 number 7435 with the assistance of a grant from the National Railway Historical Society. Here are some photos of Dynarail's locomotives on Track 2:

Plans are to repaint both locomotives in their original paint. The 231 had been photographed at the Ogden Union Station when in service, so it has a unique Utah tie that makes it relevant to the museum. More information can be found at Dynarail's website:

And here are some before-and-after pictures of Mr. Fussell's work on the 7435. The bloody nose is no longer pink:

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Train of Tomorrow

Recently found on Youtube is this promotional film about General Motors' experimental Train of Tomorrow. The Utah State Railroad Museum owns the last remaining car from this train, the Moon Glow observation-lounge (which features prominently in the video), although restoration will be long in coming due to the complicated and expensive nature of the car. However, enjoy these views of what our grandparents thought the future of mass transportation would be like.