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Rio Grande Western Railway (1889 through end of narrow gauge in 1900)

Narrow Gauge Locomotives

By George E. Pitchard

This page was last updated on August 27, 2004.

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The Rio Grande Western Railway Co. was essentially a voluntary reorganization of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway Co., effective May 16, 1889; this was done primarily to refinance the company so as to provide the needed funds for the widening of the railroad to standard gauge, and the purchase of new standard-gauge equipment. The new standard-gauge locomotives began to arrive in early October of 1889, well before the widening of the road had been completed (in fact, it had barely begun), as while the widening of the RGW mainline would be completed in June of 1890, the whole line through to Denver would not be completely widened until mid-November of 1890.

At the outset, then, the R.G.W. was still entirely a narrow-gauge railroad, and so, of course, was its equipment roster. For locomotives, the R.G.W. had the 38 locomotives inherited from its predecessor company, the D&RGW Ry. Of these 38 locomotives, 33 or 34 seem actually to have been in service in the latter part of 1889. The "Official Railway Equipment Guide" (in its monthly issues of June 1888 through January 1890) notes the (D&)RGW with 34 locomotives; whereas in Poor's 'Manual of Railroads', Vol. 23, 1890, page 716, the R.G.W. reports itself as having 33 narrow gauge locomotives at December 28, 1889, in a table of "Locomotive Engines" at that date, as follows:

  Narrow Gauge Standard Gauge Total
Passenger engines: 7 10 17
Freight engines: 26 25 51
Total: 33 35 68

So far as the standard-gauge engines are concerned, the above table seems somewhat anticipatory, and apparently includes engines ordered, but not yet actually delivered at the date given, December 28, 1889; for the narrow-gauge engines, the seven 'passenger' were clearly numbers 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 30 and 31, whereas the 26 'freight' engines were the 11 class 56 2-8-0 engines, numbers 70-80, the 11 class 60 2-8-0 engines, numbers 100-110, and four of the old, small engines, to include at least numbers 6, 7 and 9, and obviously one other, possibly No. 8.

The several old engines that were out of service at this time had not yet been scrapped, apparently, for an item in the Salt Lake Tribune of November 23, 1889, comments on "...the old Jordan & Salt Lake Railroad machines ... built by Porter, Bell & Co., and the National Locomotive Works years ago,..." then 'stored' out of service on the west side of the R.G.W. Salt Lake shop complex; this item refers to them as "...old narrow-gauge engines ... fit only for the scrap heap." (We note, in this item, that the name of the railroad given isn't quite right - but they managed to get the two builder's names exactly right - were the plates still on the engines at this time?)

In any case, another item in the Tribune, 12/15/1889, again refers to the 'old Jordan Valley engines' then sitting dead on the west side of the shops, near the wye.

But, the days of the small engines were just about done; an item in the Tribune of March 2, 1890, reports that "Engine No. 7, the 'switch' dinkie, is in the hospital and looks better prepared for the scrap heap than for any further service." That appears to have been what was done, in the end, for an item in the Tribune of March 13, 1890, notes that old 'dinkie' No. 7 is going to Scofield as a stationary boiler. This left as the only 'old' engines still on the roster the numbers 6 and 9, which had at some earlier time been rebuilt from 0-6-0 to 2-6-0 type engines; possibly this was done as early as August of 1886 (see Salt Lake Tribune, 8/27/86), at least so far as No. 9 was concerned.

Some months later, we see an item in the Tribune of September 21, 1890, which, among other things, notes that the remainder of the 'dinkie' engines are being hauled in (to the Salt Lake shops), the running gears being scrapped, the boilers to be used in stationary service. The last two of the old engines, numbers 6 and 9, were not dropped from equipment until sometime in November or December, 1891, though the No. 9 had been out of service since at least late April, 1891, and probably longer.

The conversion to standard gauge was a period of considerable activity, as one might guess, and probably no little bit of confusion, too, since the widening of the line was done in pieces; the first section completed seems to have been the line between Provo and Pleasant Valley Junction, which included some realignment over Soldier Summit, and other relocations as well, and on which standard gauge service appears to have begun not later than January 2, 1890. Then, the line between Salt Lake City and Ogden was completed sufficiently for regular standard-gauge service to begin on March 7, 1890; the entire R.G.W. main line appears to have been widened by mid-June of 1890. Notably, the Sevier Valley branch, running south from Thistle, was built in 1890-91 as a narrow-gauge line, and so far as it had been built, was widened in mid-July of 1891. Standard-gauge service on the Bingham branch began on June 2, 1890; on the Alta branch, as far as Wasatch, standard-gauge service seems to have commenced about June 3, 1891.

With the widening of most R.G.W. mileage well in hand by the spring of 1890, and the consequent decline in need for narrow-gauge power, the decision was made to begin converting the Class 60 2-8-0 engines, largest and best of all the narrow-gauge locomotives, to standard gauge engines. The Tribune of March 13, 1890, notes that "The Rio Grande Western is rebuilding four of its narrow-gauge engines for broad gauge service between P. V. Junction and the (Pleasant Valley) Coal Mines. No. 108 is the first engine to be turned out thus, and she looks first rate,... No. 110 is now in the erecting shop undergoing the transfer,..." An item in the Tribune of April 22, 1890, reported that the entire class was to be rebuilt to standard gauge, which very nearly came to pass, as all but one of the 11 engines ended up rebuilt.

September 21, 1890
"Remodeled Engine", No. 109 run out of shops yesterday after change from narrow to standard gauge, and is to be switcher at Ogden. New frames for the 127 have arrived from Baldwin, so it can now be rebuilt (the 127 was other in wreck at Soldier in May with 113); No.30,'one of the best narrow gauge passenger locomotives' that the RGW has had, is being widened to the standard gauge; No.73 has been repaired and repainted, will be used on the San Pete division. The rest of the dinkie engines are being hauled in, running gears to be scrapped and the boilers used in stationary service. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 21, 1890)

After the widening of the Sevier Valley and Alta branches was completed, in mid-1891, the R.G.W ceased having any need for a flock of narrow-gauge locomotives (except for a switcher at Grand Junction); the old, light engines had mostly been scrapped, or soon would be; 4-4-0 No. 15 had been 'destroyed' (probably wrecked) in March or April of 1891, per the rosters; seven of the eleven Class 60 engines had been widened by about September of 1891, as well as one of the Class 56 engines and one of the two rare 4-6-0 engines - and then the Rio Grande Southern Railroad came along, and bought most of the rest: the other Rome 4-6-0, No. 31; the three Baldwin 4-6-0 engines numbers 20, 21 and 22; and nine of the eleven Class 56 2-8-0 engines, numbers 71-74 and 76-80. After all that, all that was left on the R.G.W. in narrow-gauge was class 56 2-8-0 No. 70 and class 60 2-8-0 numbers 101, 102 and 105. Ten former narrow-gauge engines, Rome 4-6-0 No. 30, class 56 2-8-0 No. 75, and eight of the class 60 engines, numbers 100, 103, 104, 106-110, had by early 1892 been widened to standard gauge, and were in service under the same road numbers as when narrow gauge. So, of the 38 narrow gauge locomotives inherited by the R.G.W. from the D&RGW in May of 1889, only 14 remained by early 1892 - and 10 of those had been rebuilt to standard gauge, 'set-out,' as the rosters and annual reports would have it.

Judging from the R.G.W. 'Official' rosters, the 14 remaining former D&RGW engines were renumbered to numbers 1-14 sometime between roster No. 14, February 1, 1892, and roster No. 15, April 1, 1892. The renumbering did not follow entirely in the order of the previous numbers, as the ten 'set-out' engines were renumbered 1-10, with the four engines that were still narrow-gauge being renumbered 11-14. This renumbering was not general, either, as it affected only the former D&RGW engines. It appears that numbers 1-10 had been numbers 30, 75, 100, 108, 103, 104, 106, 109, 107 and 110, respectively, while numbers 11-14 had been numbers 101, 102, 105 and 70, in that order.

The R.G.W.'s annual reports for the years ended June 30, 1892 through June 30, 1897 indicate that the few engines remaining as narrow-gauge were, except for one used as a switcher at Grand Junction, out of service; the 1892 rosters identify narrow-gauge No. 14 as in "switch" service - presumably, at Grand Junction. Of the three others, numbers 11, 12 and 13: the No. 11 was widened to standard gauge sometime in January to March, 1893; the No. 12 was widened sometime in the period August 1, 1896 to June 30, 1897; the 13, however, was never widened, and disappears from the rosters between February 1, 1899 and January 1, 1900, though the annual reports indicate it may have been dropped from equipment by June 30, 1898. The No. 14, the one "narrow gauge freight engine in switch service at Grand Junction," per the June 30, 1897 annual report, is by November 1, 1897 widened to standard gauge, with same road number.

No. 1, the former No. 30, Rome 4-6-0, widened in early 1891, disappears from the rosters between November 1, 1897 and June 30, 1898 - there being no hint of sale, 'presumably scrapped' is the judgment. Of the remaining 12 engines, numbers 2-12 and 14, No. 3 was scrapped at Salt Lake City in October of 1903; numbers 2, 4-10, 12 and 14 were all ten sold to Fitzhugh, Luther & Co., a dealer, in the period from July, 1903, through August, 1904 - five of the ten being sold to Fitzhugh, Luther & Co in July, 1903. The lone survivor, No. 11, goes on to become D&RG No. 553 in August 1909, to No. 290 in the 1924 renumbering, and was retired and scrapped in August 1924 at Salt Lake City.

Now - the 38 narrow-gauge locomotives of the R.G.W., and its antecedent, the D.& R.G.W., summarized:

Numbers 1, 4, 6, 8 and 9: all of 0-6-0 type (as delivered), built by Porter, Bell & Co., Pittsburgh, Penna., having 12" x 16" cylinders, 36" drivers (32", No. 8), and an engine weight of 30,800 lbs. (Equipment Catalogue, October 1883); as rebuilt (date uncertain) to 2-6-0, numbers 6 and 9 are shown in rosters as having 36,000 lbs on drivers, and engine weight of 40,000 lbs.

Porter, Bell & Co. Locomotives
Number: c/n: When Built: D&RG No.: Delivered New as: Disposition:
1 152 1873 112 BC&CF No. 1, "Bingham" Gone by 9/1/1890, presumed scrapped.
4 151 1873 113 AFRR No. 1, 1878 to U&PV Gone by 9/1/1890, presumed scrapped.
6 188 1873 115 B.C. No. 2, "Winamuck" d.f.e., Nov-Dec 1891; probably scrapped.
8 189 1873 117 B.C. No. 3, "Galena" Gone by 9/1/1890; presumed scrapped.
9 207 1874 118 B.C. No. 4 out of service from March-April 1891 until d.f.e. in Nov-Dec 1891; probably scrapped.

(Note: d.f.e. denotes dropped from equipment.)

- In 1883, assigned D&RG numbers in 110-118 series, and put in Class 40, most likely simply a nominal assignment for convenience.

- Numbers 1 and 4 most likely out of service and set aside well before change to RGW.

Numbers 2, 3 and 5: built by National Locomotive Works, a.k.a. Dawson & Baily, Connellsville, Penna., for Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad. Numbers 2 and 3 built as 2-6-0, with 11" x 16" cylinders, 36" drivers, and a nominal engine weight of 17 tons. Rebuilt not later than October 1883 to 0-6-0 type, with stated engine weight of 26,000 lbs. No. 5 as built was of unusual (and uncertain) wheel arrangement, as the French Patent 'grade-climber' locomotive, but by October 1883 was a 4-4-0 having 12" x 16" cylinders, 32" drivers, and a stated engine weight of 30,800 lbs. When assigned D&RG numbers in the 110-118 series, the two 0-6-0 engines were put in class 35, and the 4-4-0 in class 40; as above, likely a nominal class assignment, for convenience. All were likely out of service and set aside well before the change to R.G.W. in May of 1889.

As with most National/Dawson & Baily engines, construction numbers are unknown.

National / Dawson & Baily Locomotives
Number: When Built: D&RG
Number:
W&JV Number
and Name:
Other: Disposition:
2 late 1873/early 1874 110 3, (?????) U&PV 2nd No. 1 d.f.e. by 9/1/1890, presumed scrapped
3 January, 1873 111 1, "Chamois"   d.f.e. by 9/1/1890, presumed scrapped
5 ca. Aug., 1873 114 2, "Deseret"   d.f.e. by 9/1/1890, presumed scrapped

No. 7: 2-6-0, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia, Penna., for the Galveston, Brazos & Colorado Ry., in Texas; c/n 4048, 2/14/1877, Baldwin class 8/18D-20, having 12x16" cylinders, 36" drivers, engine weight of 40,000 lbs. "Taken Back" by Baldwin, resold December 4th or 5th, 1879, to Utah & Pleasant Valley Ry., as U&PV No. 3. To D&RG No. 116 in 1883, and put in class 40 (accurately!); 1886 to D&RGW No. 7, 1889 to RGW No. 7, scrapped March 1890, boiler to Scofield for stationary use.

Numbers 15 and 16: 4-4-0, Baldwin c/n 6632 and 6633, 2/28/1883, as D.& R.G. Ry. Class 422 numbers 108 and 109; 12 x 18" cylinders, 45" drivers, engine weight of 44,000 lbs. Baldwin Class 8/18½C-50 and -51. Numbers 108 and 109 were part of transfer of equipment to D&RGW Ry in July of 1886, renumbered to 15 and 16; 1889 RGW 15 and 16. Per rosters, No. 15 'destroyed' in March or April, 1891, while No. 16 was dropped from equipment in November-December, 1891, and presumably scrapped, there being no hint of sale.

Numbers 20, 21 and 22: 4-6-0, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works, for D&RG Ry, numbers 158, 159 and 165, respectively, with 14 x 20" cylinders, 45" drivers, and engine weight of 53,000 lbs. Part of transfer of equipment to D&RGW Ry in July of 1886, renumbered to 20, 21 and 22, 1889 to RGW, same numbers.

Baldwin Locomotives
Number: C/N and Date: Baldwin Class: Disposition:
20 5954, 12/15/81 10/22D-4 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 22, allegedly scrapped in 1916, but Baldwin Register shows Kinston Lbr Co (North Carolina) as a later owner.
21 5960, 12/17/81 10/22D-5 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 23, d.f.e. by 4/1/1916, scrapped 12/19/1916.
22 5977, 12/27/81 10/22D-11 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 24, sold 9/16/1900 to J.S. & W. M. Rice Lumber Co., Hyatt, Texas.

Numbers 30 and 31: 4-6-0, two of four engines built by the New York Locomotive Works, Rome, New York, as Denver Circle Railroad numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7, c/n 87-90, June, 1884; uncertainty exists as to exact ancestry of No. 30 (possibly D.C. No. 5); No. 31 apparently D.C. No. 7, c/n 90; two purchased by Receiver, D&RGW Ry, at sale in Denver in December, 1885, became D&RGW Ry numbers 119 and 120, renumbered in 1886 to D&RGW numbers 30 and 31; 1889 to RGW, same numbers.

No. 31 dropped from equipment in November-December 1891; 4/1892 to Rio Grande Southern No. 25, scrapped January 1916. RGW No. 30 rebuilt to standard gauge about February 1891, to RGW No. 1 in 1892, dropped from equipment in 11/1/1897-6/30/1898 period, presumed scrapped.

In the RGW rosters, these engines are shown as having 14 x 20" cylinders, 45" drivers, and an engine weight of 56,000 lbs; these two engines compose the entirety of Class 47 'passenger' engines on the RGW.

Numbers 70-80: all 'Consolidation' 2-8-0 type engines, built by Baldwin in 1880 (builder's class 10/24E-85 and 10/24E-75 through -84, respectively), for the D&RG Ry, numbers 81 and 71-80, respectively, of D&RG Class 56, having 15 x 18" cylinders, 36" drivers, and engine weight of 56,000 lbs. Part of the transfer of equipment to the D&RGW Ry in July of 1886, retaining their D&RG numbers, except for the No. 81, which was renumbered to No. 70 in 1886. D&RGW 70-80 became RGW 70-80 in 1889.

Number: Baldwin c/n
and date:
Disposition:
70 5373, 11/24/1880 to RGW No. 14, 1892; 'set-out' 6/30/97-11/1/97; sold Fitzhugh, Luther & Co., 7/1903, later on Robinson Land & Lumber Co.'s Railroad
71 5136, 6/7/1880 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 27; sold 10/13/99 to Carolina & NW Ry No. 230; see note hereafter.
72 5137, 6/7/1880 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 28; sold 2/11/1900, Morenci Southern Ry. No. 1.
73 5138, 6/8/1880 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 29; sold 2/21/1900, Morenci Southern Ry. No. 2.
74 5164, 6/25/1880 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 30; 9/26/99 sold back to R.G.W. to be No. 04 on Utah Central branch; see note hereafter.
75 5166, 6/28/1880 Widened, July-August 1891; 1892 to No. 2; sold to Fitzhugh, Luther & Co., dealer, 7/14/1903; no further information.
76 5184, 7/13/1880 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 31; sold 4/25/1900, Morenci Southern Ry No. 3; see note hereafter.
77 5185, 7/14/1880 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 32; sold 9/7/99 to Silverton, Gladstone & Northerly Railroad No. 32; see note hereafter.
78 5225, 8/12/1880 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 33; sold 9/30/99 to Geo. M. Dilley & Son, dealer; see note hereafter.
79 5226, 8/12/1880 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 34; 1892 to Silverton Railroad No. 101; see note hereafter.
80 5200; 7/27/1880 d.f.e. Nov-Dec 1891; 4/92 to RGS No. 35; sold 9/11/01 to Boston Coal & Fuel Co., No. 1; see note hereafter.

Additional information on later owners (where known), by RGW number:

71: after Carolina & Northwestern Ry, to Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern Railroad; Gainesville Midland Ry; Southern Iron & Equipment Co., No. 969; 10/8/1915 to Cia. Azucarera de Altamaria No. 3, Havana, Cuba. (see also D&RG No. 51)

74: bought back by RGW, 9/26/1899, to be used on the Utah Central branch as U.C. No. 04; sold 10/1900 to Sumpter Valley Ry. No. 7, ca, 1906 renumbered to S.V. No. 10, retired 4/24/1924, slowly scrapped, final remains cut up ca. 1939.

76: after Morenci Southern Ry, to Franklin & Abbeville Railroad; later on Nacozari Railroad.

77: Silverton, Gladstone & Northerly Railroad No. 32 allegedly scrapped ca. 1910, but is shown on roster at 1/1/1912; after scrapping, boiler set out as stationary at Tefft spur sawmill, south of Silverton, and it may yet be there.

78: conflicts on this one - allegedly sold to Geo. M.,Dilley & Son, 9/30/1899 (dealer, in Palestine, Texas), returned to R.G.S. ca. 1901, and sold to SG&N RR. No. 33, scrapped ca. 1903 - but No. 33 appears on SG&N roster (in D&RG Roster No. 9) at 1/1/1912. Also, the Baldwin "Register of Engines Made" shows an 'R.G.Brown' as a later owner of c/n 5225.

79: in 1896, Silverton Railroad No. 101 transferred to the Silverton Northern Railroad as No. 1; apparently dismantled in the 1920s.

80: Boston Coal & Fuel Co. No. 1, to Calumet Fuel Co. No. 1; on rosters at 1/1/1912 and 4/1/1916 as R.G.S. No. 1, but noted as owned by Calumet Fuel Co.; not listed on 4/1/1923 roster; out of service and retired for years prior to being scrapped in 1926.

Numbers 100-110: all 'Consolidation' 2-8-0 type engines, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, class 10/24½E, having 15 x 20" cylinders, 36" drivers, and engine weight of 60,000 lbs., built in 1881-1882 as D&RG Ry 200-series, Class 60 engines; these 11 engines part of the transfer of equipment to the D&RGW Ry in July of 1886, renumbered from D&RG numbers 257, 275, 277, 279, 287-291, 294 and 295 to D&RGW numbers 100-110, in order, in 1886; to RGW numbers 100-110 in 1889:

Number: D&RG
Number:
Baldwin c/n
and date:
Class 10/24½E When Widened: 1892
Number:
Disposition:
100 257 5951, 12/14/81 -27 Jul-Aug 1891 3 Dismantled at S.L.C., 10/3/1903.
101 275 6032, 2/3/82 -45 Jan-Mar 1893 11 see No. 101 note below.
102 277 6028, 2/1/82 -47 Aug 1896-June 1897 12 sold 8/1904 Fitzhugh, Luther & Co
103 279 6031, 2/2/82 -49 Jan 1892 5 7/27/1903, Fitzhugh, Luther & Co.
104 287 6077, 3/2/82 -57 July 1891 6 9/29/1903, Fitzhugh, Luther & Co.
105 288 6095, 3/14/82 -58 (not widened) 13 d.f.e. 1898-99; disposition unknown
106 289 6097, 3/15/82 -59 Sep-Oct 1890 7 11/9/1903, Fitzhugh, Luther & Co.
107 290 6110, 3/22/82 -60 Jul-Aug 1890 9 7/1903, Fitzhugh, Luther & Co.
108 291 6109, 3/22/82 -61 Mar 1890 4 7/27/1903, Fitzhugh, Luther & Co.
109 294 6145, 4/13/82 -64 Sept 1890 8 11/9/1903, Fitzhugh, Luther & Co.
110 295 6146, 4/14/82 -65 Mar-Apr 1890 10 9/29/1903, Fitzhugh, Luther & Co.

Additional information on later owners, etc. (where known), by RGW numbers:

101/11: R.G.W. No. 11 changed to D&RG No. 553 at Salt Lake City, 8/13/1909; to No. 290 in the 1924 renumbering, class C-14; retired and scrapped at Salt Lake City in 8/1924.

103/5:- later on: Louisiana Logging Co. railroad.

104/6:- later on: Blackscher-Miller Lbr Co Railroad; Brewton (Alabama) Iron Works; Lindsay Lbr & Export Co. by 9/20/1910.

106/7:- later on: Livingston Lbr Co; Walker County Lbr Co.

107/9:- later on: Lester Mill Co.; Valley Lbr Co.

108/4:- later on: Red Cypress Lbr Co.

109/8:- in late 1899 through mid-1900, this engine returned to narrow gauge for use on the Utah Central branch as No. 08; and history unknown after sale to F,L & Co.

110/10: later: George Cousin; Natalbany Lbr Co by 10/2/1906.

Postscript:

On the Classification of Locomotives...

Initially, the R.G.W., like the D&RGW before it, used the same system of locomotive classification as the Denver & Rio Grande; so, the locomotives acquired in 1886 from the D & R G retained their class assignments, though most were renumbered. However, the R.G.W. changed its method of classification in 1895, replacing the D&RG-style, which was largely based on engine weight, with one classifying the engines by their cylinder diameter; RGW roster No. 27, February 1, 1895, shows the old system, whereas roster No. 28, May 1, 1895, shows the new system. The net effect, so far as the narrow-gauge and former narrow-gauge engines were concerned, was that the one engine of 14" cylinders, R.G.W. No. 1, became class 14, and the several engines of old classes 56 and 60, all having 15" cylinders, became class 15.

This cylinder-diameter system remained in effect until the R.G.W. was taken over by the D & R G, in 1901, when the engines were reclassed back into the D&RG's engine-weight system, in which the two former class 56 engines, numbers 2 and 14, became class 64; and the former class 60 engines, numbers 3-12, became class 65.

The Rio Grande Western Ry's lease of the Utah Central Railroad, 1898-1908...

The UTAH CENTRAL RAILROAD Co., incorporated December 29, 1897, was an R.G.W.-backed reorganization of the Utah Central Railway Co., which had been in receivership since November of 1893; the U.C.Ry. was an April, 1890, amalgamation of the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Ry., the Salt Lake & Eastern Ry., and the trackless Utah Western Ry., all of which had been brought into being in the 1880s by John W. Young as his second flyer at a railroad 'empire' (of sorts) in Utah. The locomotives of this 'system' have been rather fully dealt with elsewhere, so there is no need to go into it in great length here; only that which directly involves the R.G.W., from the beginning of its lease of the Utah Central Railroad, will be discussed here.

Officially, the R.G.W.'s lease of the Utah Central began January 1, 1898, but the newspapers of the time indicate that the R.G.W. took over active operation of the U.C. on February 1, 1898. Per the Board of Equalization's record of Assessment of the property of the U.C.RR., as of the first Monday in February, 1898, the Utah Central had at that time two 'fair' condition locomotives, assessed at $3,000 each; one 'poor' condition locomotive, assessed at $1,000; and two locomotives 'good for scrap only' assessed at $150 each. The R.G.W.'s annual report for the year ended June 30, 1898, shows the Utah Central as having three engines 'in service' at that time, which indicates that the two 'good for scrap only' engines were not then in service; and R.G.W. roster No. 32, July 1, 1898, shows the three 'in service' engines to be all of the 2-8-0 type, somewhat as follows:

No.: Class: Cylinder: Driver: Weight on Drivers Weight of Engine Weight of Tender Capacity of Tank
1 16 16x20 inches 36 inches 60,000 lbs. 72,000 lbs. 88,000 lbs. 1,800 gals
2 15 15x18 inches 36 inches 46,000 lbs. 56,000 lbs. 36,000 lbs. 1,550 gals
3 16 16x20 inches 36 inches 60,000 lbs. 72,000 lbs. 48,000 lbs. 1,500 gals

As explained in greater detail elsewhere, these engines are (or were):

No. 1 - Baldwin c/n 14487, 10/16/1895, class 10/26E-236, purchased new by Receivers, U.C.Ry, received in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, 11/13/1895.

No. 2 - Baldwin c/n 5930, 11/30/1881, class 10/24E-100, new as Connotton Valley Ry No. 13, "Carrollton;" 1889 sold via New York Equipment Co. to John W. Young, one of five former Connotton Valley engines bought by Young at that time for his projected Utah Western Ry.; received in Utah at the end of December, 1889, lettered for the Utah Western Ry, but of unknown U.W. number, eventually became Utah Central No. 2.

No. 3 - Baldwin c/n 11022, 7/5/1890, class 10/26E-156, new as Alberta Railway & Coal Co. No. 3, acquired by the Utah Central Ry in early 1893, received in Salt Lake City on Thursday. March 9, 1893; it retained the No. 3 on the Utah Central.

The two locos 'good for scrap only' and assessed at $150 each in early 1898, are all but certain to have been two of the former Utah & Northern Baldwin Moguls, one of which, from subsequent events, 'had to be' former Utah & Northern No. 17, Baldwin c/n 4562, 3/14/1879, class 8/18D-39 (12x18" cyls., 42" drs., 39,000 lbs. Eng Wt), sold ca. October-November, 1898, by the`R.G.W. to the Glasgow & Western Exploration Co., then building the Golconda & Adelaide Railroad in Nevada, this locomotive becoming that road's "Pearl". After its short life on the G.& A., and an even shorter life on the Nevada Short Line (their No. 1), this loco went on to the Nevada Central Railroad as its No. 6 in 1920-21. From that road, it was bought in 1938 by the Pacific Coast Chapter, R&LHS, and spent the next forty years or so mostly in storage until in about 1977-78 it was restored to its Nevada Short Line No. 1 appearance, and as such was put on display at the California State Railroad Museum (which opened in 1981), where it now resides.

The other of the 'good for scrap only' engines appears as the one such engine remaining on the Board of Equalization's report for 1899, but is gone by the date of the 1900 report, presumably to scrap.

The R.G.W., finding a slight conflict between the U.C. engine numbers and existing R.G.W. engines having the same numbers, the R.G.W. chose to renumber the U.C. engines by adding a zero before the U.C. number, turning 1, 2 and 3 into 01, 02 and 03; this was done in July of 1898.

From the outset, the R.G.W. had in mind widening the U.C. to standard gauge - but, it took longer to make the preparations for doing so than was anticipated, and traffic increased more rapidly than expected, so, the RGW found itself needing additional narrow gauge power, until such time as the widening could be effected. Therefore, the RGW bought back from the RGS an engine sold to the RGS in 1892 - RGS No. 30, previously RGW 74, was bought on September 26, 1899 for $2,014, a price likely representing a purchase price of $2,000, plus 14.00 'freight' over the D&RG line from Ridgway (RGS) to Grand Junction (RGW). An entry in an RGW ledger, under the heading "Equipment for Utah Central," under date of September 1899, says: "N.G. Eng. 30 purchased from R.G.S.Ry., will be numbered 04." In addition to the $2,014.00, this item notes $1,230.51 as "Shop Material" in November 1899, in which month the engine was put in service, per items in the Salt Lake Tribune of 11/7/1899 and 11/17/1899.

During this time, the RGW took one of their former class 60 2-8-0 engines, which had been rebuilt standard gauge in 1890, the No. 8, and re-narrowed it, putting it into service on the Utah Central line about October 24, 1899, as the No. 08.

This gave the Utah Central branch five 2-8-0 locomotives in service by the end of 1899, by which time work had begun on the widening of the branch. Delay was encountered on account of the tunnel at the summit, Altus, and from the relocation of nearly all the line on both sides of the pass. However, the job was largely completed by late July of 1900, and standard gauge trains began running on July 30, 1900, to Park City. This, of course, eliminated the need for any narrow-gauge power, and so it was disposed of - sort of, as three of the engines were widened, and two sold. The two smallest engines, 04 and 02, were sold in October 1900 to the Sumpter Valley Ry, the RGW relettering them as S.V. 7 and 8, respectively, prior to shipping them to the S.V. in late October of 1900 (see Salt Lake Tribune, 10/22 and 10/25/1900.

At some time in mid-1900, RGW no. 08 was yet again rebuilt and widened, returning to her place in the RGW standard gauge roster as the no. 8.

Engines 01 and 03, the best of the narrow-gauge power, were widened in 1900, as well; the 01 was first, appearing as R.G.W. No. 1 towards the end of August, 1900, after which the 03 got the treatment, appearing in mid-October, 1900, as R.G.W. No 13; these numbers being chosen undoubtedly because those slots were vacant and available in the series of former narrow gauge engines still on the RGW.

R.G.W. No. 1, formerly 01, changed to D&RG No. 554 at Salt Lake City on April 1, 1909; rebuilt to narrow gauge (still No. 554) at Burnham shops in October 1918; renumbered to No. 306 at Salida, January 1, 1924; out of service, 1932-1934; retired December 1934, scrapped January 1935 at Alamosa.

R.G.W. No. 13, formerly 03, changed to D&RG No. 555 at Salt Lake City on January 31, 1909; rebuilt to narrow gauge (still No. 555) at Burnham shops in October 1918; renumbered to No. 305 at Alamosa on January 3, 1924; out of service from March 17, 1927, retired in October 1927, and scrapped in December 1927.

With its takeover of the R.G.W., technically as of January 1, 1902, the D&RG acquired the lease of the Utah Central Railroad, which lease remained in effect through to the full consolidation of the R.G.W. into the D&RG, as of July 31, 1908; the next day, August 1, 1908, the Utah Central Railroad Co. was sold to the D&RG RR Co., which effectively terminated the lease.

Postscript...

The Rio Grande Wrstern still had one of its own narrow-gauge engines remaining on the roster at the time it took up the Utah Central Railroad on lease; RGW No. 13, one of the former class 60 2-8-0 engines, and the only one not widened to standard gauge. One might wonder why it apparently was not used on the U.C. branch, rather than re-narrowing one of its sister engines (8 to 08), or buying back a slightly lighter engine sold to the RGS in 1892. Some possible explanations would include: that the 13 was actually gone before the traffic increase was of sufficient magnitude to require another engine; or that having been out of service since before June 30, 1892, the 13 was in such bad shape (probably cannibalized for parts, etc.) that the re-narrowing of No. 8 and/or the repurchase of old No. 74 from the RGS was simpler, quicker - and perhaps cheaper, too!

Whatever the case, No. 13 is gone not later than January 1, 1900, and possibly as early as the fore part of 1898 - presumably, to scrap.

As with other R.G.W. power in 1898-99, the U.C. engines were classed by their cylinder diameter, making numbers 02, 04 and 08 class 15 engines, and the 01 and 03 class 16 engines. When widened in 1900, numbers 01 and 03, as R.G.W. No. 1 and No. 13, remained as class 16 whilst under R.G.W. rule, but once a part of the D&RG, they became Class 77 engines.

In the 1924 shuffle, these two became a part of Class C-17, numbers 306 and 305, respectively.

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