This 36” gauge locomotive is one of twelve Class 47 Ten Wheeler (4-6-0) type locomotives built for the Denver & Rio Grande between 1883 and 1884 by Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co., one of the early incarnations of Baldwin Locomotive Works (#166-#177). Designed for passenger service, their 46” drivers were comparatively large for a narrow gauge railway, but they had long lives.
The first four were retired in 1926, and #174 and
#175 stuck around until 1937. #169 was
rehabilitated for exhibition at the New York World Fair in 1939. On 12th April 1941, it was donated to the City of Alamosa, CO, for permanent display. You can see photos and find out more about it on the DRGW #169 page of this website.
On 21st May, #168 hauled the first passenger train from Denver to Ogden, UT, where the D&RG connected with the transcontinental railroad. It then spent most of its life working over the Cumbres, Marshall and Veta Passes. In 1921, with the creation of the Denver & Rio Grande Western, it was reclassified as a T-12 and worked for another twelve years until it was retired in 1933.
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The engine weighs 70,550 lbs, 50,643 lbs on its 46" drivers. A coal burner with 14” x 20” cylinders, it operated at a boiler pressure of 160 psi delivering 11,590 lbs tractive effort.
#168 underwent a cosmetic restoration in 1984. In 2015, the engine was leased to the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad by the City of Colorado Springs and will be restored to operation.
On 1st August 1938, #168 was presented to the City of Colorado Springs. This may have been in recognition of the fact that one of the co-founders of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer, was also a co-founder of the Denver & Rio Grande.
It was on display in Antlers Park opposite the old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Depot on S Sierra Madre Street until 2015.