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 to meet the need for additional and larger engines to haul passenger trains, their 46” drivers were comparatively large for a narrow gauge railway, and made them amongst the fastest narrow gauge engines built (they could haul 11 cars at 71 mph) and they had long lives. The first four were retired in 1926, and #174 and #175 stuck around until 1937.
#169 was built in 1883 and 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. During its operational life, the locomotive worked on all the major D&RGW narrow gauge lines. It was taken out of service in 1938 and went into storage on a dead line at the Alamosa, CO, rail yard.
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In 1939, the locomotive was refurbished at the Denver & Rio Grande Western’s Burnham Shops in Denver, CO, to appear at the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. In 1941, the railroad donated it to the City of Alamosa and it has been on display in downtown Cole Park ever since. It is one of the oldest surviving locomotives of the Rio Grande Railroad.
One other DRGW Class 47 locomotive has survived and was, until recently, on display in Colorado Springs, CO. You can see it on the DRGW #168 page of this website.