One of twenty-nine Class 759 Consolidation (2-8-0) type locomotives built by the Richmond Locomotive Works in Richmond, VA, in 1900, this locomotive was delivered to the AT&SF subsidiary, the Santa Fe Pacific Railroad as #266. In 1902, when the SFP was merged into the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, it was renumbered #3045, later #769.
The locomotive was sold to the Albuquerque & Los Cerrillos Coal Company in 1950 along with ATSF 2-8-0s #870 and #874 (you can see #870 on the ATSF #870 page of this website). The engines worked at the coal mine in Madrid, NM, located at the end of a branch extending south from the Santa Fe main at Waldo, NM. #769 was never renumbered or relettered. The mine closed in 1959 as a result of declining coal markets, and Madrid became something of a ghost town. #769 and #870 were abandoned on site and left to rust. For some reason, #769 was parked just outside the old single stall enginehouse, which might otherwise have given it some protection from the elements during the years it has sat neglected in Madrid.
During the 1970s, Madrid revived as an artist community and tourist attraction, and #769 was sold to Joe Huber, cosmetically restored and incorporated into the Old Coal Mine Museum, still standing on the spot where it was abandoned.
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The former enginehouse has been converted into a theatre, the Engine House Theater, with #769 forming a dramatic backdrop to the stage. The site is also home to a variety of historic mining artefacts. Entrance is through the adjacent Mine Shaft Tavern and, when I visited, the entrance fee was $5.00.
Unfortunately, since it was cosmetically restored in the late 1970s, very little appears to have been done to keep #769 in good order. It is now rusting and sinking into the roadbed where it has sat for over half a century.
#769 has an engine wheelbase of 23’ 5” and driver wheelbase of 15’ 4”, weighing 173,080 lbs, 154,880 on its 57” drivers. With a 30 sq ft grate, 183 sq ft firebox and total heating surface of 2,190 sq ft, it operated at a boiler pressure of 200 psi delivering 39,458 lbs tractive effort. It has 21” x 30” cylinders and is equipped with inside Stephenson valve gear. The tender weighs 105,000 lbs light and has a capacity of 6,000 gallons of water and 8½ tons of coal.
You can see another AT&SF 759 Class Consolidation on the ATSF #761 page of this website. The only other survivor of the class, #762, is in Chanute, KS.