The Society now has two narrow gauge freight cars from the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad being stored in Dolores.
They are a block away from the museum, across from the bank, in a work yard that once was part of a Ford automobile kit assembly plant, Bud’s Garage and Osprey Packs. These freight cars will be restored and will become part of a museum display at the museum.
D&RGW box car 3688 was received in trade for the remains of Rio Grand Southern Railroad Coach 256. This coach was first owned by the Denver & Rio Grande, later purchased by the Rio Grande Southern and used for passenger service. Its interior was gutted and used for equipment after the introduction of the Galloping Geese. During RGS scrapping operations, it was damaged in a run-away down Lizard Head Pass. It was later hauled to Dolores, gutted again and made part of a house. Much later, Galloping Goose Historical Society purchased this house to save the remnants from destruction. The remains were moved to Val Truelsen’s sawmill outside town.
The GGHS eventually realized that restoring this coach was too great a task for the organization. GGHS has now traded this coach to the South Park Railroad Society where it will be restored back as a passenger car.
D&RGW 3688, the box car that was received in trade, is mostly complete but heavily weathered. Graffiti inside indicates that the car was used to haul mineral concentrate from Telluride’s Tom Boy Mine. John Reed, a longtime GGHS volunteer, has sealed its exterior with two coats of paint. A final coat is still needed.
D&RGW drop bottom gondola freight car 842 was received from Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in trade for two truck loads of GGHS rail. This rail was stored at Line Camp, five miles upriver from Dolores. The rail will be used by D&SNG to build its diesel fueling facilities in Durango.
D&RGW 842 was originally built with higher sides as a drop bottom coke car. These high sides were later cut down to more easily haul coal. Currently, this car is complete but heavily weathered and in need of some replacement boards. GGHS will also receive two stock cars from Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, in trade for four truck loads of rail.
The rail will be used by C&TS to build a covered freight car storage yard in Chama. Both stock cars were originally double-decked sheep cars. One is now set up to haul cattle. These cars are awaiting non-operating cosmetic trucks before being hauled to Dolores. GGHS still has much rail. Some are discards (kinked, weird jointer hole patterns, odd weights, etc.). Other parties have expressed an interest in rail deals. GGHS plans to retain enough rail to build a half-mile oval of track when GGHS can no longer operate on host railroads.