Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway (1881-1889)

By George E. Pitchard

This page was last updated on August 27, 2004.

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The DENVER & RIO GRADE WESTERN RAILWAY filed its Articles of Incorporation in the Territory of Utah on July 21, 1881. Having many of the same people in the corporate hierarchy as the Denver & Rio Grande Railway Company of Colorado, the D&RGW Ry. Co. of Utah was a legally-necessary 'front' for the D&RG, since the territorial railroad corporation law did not permit a 'foreign' corporation to operate within the territory. Before doing much construction work in its own right, the D&RGW Ry acquired three existing narrow-gauge railroads, all then controlled by Charles W. Scofield, viz: the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd R.R.; the Wasatch & Jordan Valley R.R.; and the Utah & Pleasant Valley Ry. From the D&RG's 'Corporate History,' prepared in 1919 for the I.C.C. Valuation, the official dates of acquisition by the D&RGW Ry of Scofield's three railroads were: the BC&CF, September 1, 1881; the W&JV, December 31, 1881; and the U&PV, June 14, 1882.

It is evident that the D&RG had a financial interest in these railroads well before their whole acquisition by the D&RGW Ry, but the details of the financial and corporate history, in any event somewhat beside the point in a discussion of the motive power, is rather too complicated to go into much depth here; a decent summary can be found in Hilton's "American Narrow Gauge Railroads," pages 530-531; and in other books.

When the D&RGW actually did begin construction work, it started on the line between Provo and Salt Lake City, working both ends towards the middle and making the connection on June 12th or 13th, 1882; this new trackage connected the three former Scofield lines, rather quickly making a self-contained Utah 'system' of the D&RGW Ry., with a main line running from Salt Lake City into the Pleasant Valley coal fields, with branches to Bingham and Alta.

The U&PV line south and east from Clear Creek (now Tucker) did not go in the right direction for the D&RG's idea of a main line to Colorado, so a new line was laid out and built east from Clear Creek (Tucker), over Soldier Summit and on eastward, construction of which had begun before official acquisition of the U&PV in June of 1882, though tracklaying apparently did not commence east from Clear Creek (Tucker) until early July of 1882.

The decision was made early on to replace most of the U&PV line from Clear Creek to Scofield, in Pleasant Valley, with a new line from a point then known as Fish Creek, east of Soldier Summit, west and south into Pleasant Valley, intersecting the old line somewhat north of Scofield town. The old U&PV line had two switchbacks in it, which with its 4 percent grades and sharp curves, made it an operational nightmare. The new line was completed and in service by late November of 1882, shortly after which the old switchback line was taken up. "Fish Creek" was changed to "Pleasant Valley Junction" in late October-early November of 1882 (see Salt Lake Tribune, 11/15/1882), which in turn was changed to "Colton" in late May-early June, 1898 (see Salt Lake Tribune, 6/7/1898).

Construction on the main line, eastward by the D&RGW, westward by the D&RG, continued until the two parts of the 'system' were joined on March 30, 1883, at Desert Switch, about 13 miles west of Green River, Utah. An extension of the main line, from Salt Lake City to Ogden, and connection with the Central Pacific Railroad., was completed in May of 1883, bringing to an end major D&RGW Ry construction activity.

D. & R. G. locomotives and rolling stock were being brought into Utah as early as October of 1881, for use on the D&RG Western and the purchased (or soon-to-be purchased) lines, and necessarily so, since the Western had only the nine small locomotives acquired with the former Scofield railroads. And, given the vast amount of equipment that the D&RG was acquiring in the early 1880s, the conclusion that the D&RG was from the outset planning to equip the entire system in any case seems virtually certain. - .

A list of "Engines in Utah Service" exists, the date of which is somewhat uncertain; a xerographic copy of the original was sent to this writer some years ago, the person sending it thinking the said list was from 'about' July of 1884 - or the beginning of the D&RG receivership; but internal evidence, and other, dated, documents indicate that the "Engines in Utah Service" list may well date from as early as the beginning of 1883, before the nine small engines were taken into the D&RG's equipment accounts and assigned D&RG numbers 110-118; this D&RG renumbering of D&RGW engines (and other equipment) was a reasonable consequence of the leasing of the D&RGW Ry by the D&RG, effective August 1, 1882.

In any event, herewith as exact a transcription of the said list as this machine can make:

Engines in Utah Service
Engine Name of When Size of Size of No. of Kind of Weight
Number Builder Built Cylinder Drivers Drivers Truck in tons
B.C. 1 Porter Bell 1873 12"x16" 32" 6 no truck 15 to 18
2   1873 12"x16" 36" 6 no truck 15 to 18
3   1873 12"x16" 32" 6 no truck 15 to 18
4   1875 12"x16" 36" 6 no truck 15 to 18
W&JV 1 Dawson & Baily 1873 11"x16" 36" 6 no truck 15 to 18
2   1873 12"x16" 34" 4 Double, wheel, 20" no truck 15 to 18
U&PV 1 Dawson & Baily 1873 11"x16" 36" 6 no truck 15 to 18
2 Porter Bell 1874 12"x16" 32" 6 no truck 15 to 18
3 Baldwin 1877 12"x16" 36" 6 Pony truck wheel 24" 19 to 21

The list continues with D&RG engines 13, 29, 37, 38, 60, 72 and 77, all of course built by Baldwin, with the note "For Description, see page 3 (or 5, or 6) of this book," of which book we have only this one page, number unknown. Undoubtedly, the list of D&RG engines then in Utah service went on for another page or two, but we do not have it, and anyway the important part is the detailed listing of the nine small engines, which serves to identify quite precisely what engines the Western obtained, and, most importantly, how they were arranged so far as road and numbers were concerned; it may be significant that these nine small engines are not shown in their D&RG 110-118 series numbers, as they are in the 10/1883 "Equipment Catalogue," thus possibly supporting the idea of a date earlier than April, 1883, for this list. (April accounts, 1883, is when these engines were taken into D&RG Equipment.)

There are two known lists of these nine engines, more detailed than the above, but using only the D&RG 110-118 series numbers assigned in 1883, as well as one list that is nothing but numbers - most regrettably, however, it does not list previous roads and numbers, but just the D&RGW Ry 1-9 series in parallel with the D&RG 110-118 series, the assigned D&RG class, and their value. This 'short list' is to be found in the 1st Annual Report of the D & R G Western Ry Co., which covers things up through December 31, 1883; pages 28-29 give a list of equipment 'delivered' to the D&RG under the lease, the locomotive portion of which appears thus:

Utah D&RG Ry D&RG Ry  
No.: No.: Class: Value:
2 110 35 $2,000
3 111 35 $2,000
1 112 40 $3,000
4 113 40 $3,000
5 114 40 $2,500
6 115 40 $2,800
7 116 40 $3,500
8 117 40 $3,000
9 118 40 $3,000

The two more-detailed lists are to be found in the D&RG Ry "Locomotive Record," a large, ledger-type book commenced in November, 1880, and containing details and specifications on every engine on the line, updated frequently (in its earlier years) to show dispositions, number changes, and so forth (the original book still exists; when read by this writer, it was held by Colorado State Archives); and a similar listing, slightly less detailed than that in the "Locomotive Record," is in the October, 1883, D&RG Ry "Equipment Catalogue" (privately held; copy given to this writer in 1988). Both records have a column for "Builder's Number" - but neither record shows any number in this column for any of these nine engines, nor does either record show any road numbers other than those in the D&RG 110-118 series.

The "Locomotive Record" has the notation that Engines 110-118 were "Purchased from Utah & P. Valley, April a/c, 1883;" the D&RG Ry 1883 Annual Report, for the year ended December 31st, 1883, has a table showing "Locomotives in Service, December 31, 1883," which shows that nine 'Freight Locomotives,' numbers 110-118, inclusive, were added to the Equipment during the year.

Both the "Locomotive Record" and the "Equipment Catalogue" provide exactly the same basic technical information on Engines 110-118, in the areas of cylinders, drivers, engine weights, flues, description of boilers, boiler feeds, rigid and total wheelbases, name of builder, and capacity of tank. Both of course start with the road number, and both have a column for name of locomotive, which is blank except for "Galena" on No. 117 in both records. As previously noted, both have a column for "Builder's Number," but neither record has a single c/n provided for any of Engines 110-118. The "Locomotive Record" (in addition to the above) has columns for Guides (i.e., crosshead guide bars), tender trucks, and grate frame dimensions; while the "Equipment Catalogue" has columns for "Property of" (that is, which of the several equipment trusts, etc.), "When Put in Service" and "Cost," which three columns are largely left blank for the engines under discussion.

For the purposes here, a condensed version of either record will do; leaving out same of the more arcane bits, one is left with the following:

D&RG Locomotive Record (1883); D&RGW Equipment Catalogue (1883)
No.:   Name: Cylndr: Drivers No. Size: Engine Weight: Weight on Drvrs: Wheelbase Rigid: Total: Name of Builder:
110   11x16" 6 36" 26,000   8' 9-1/2" 8' 9-1/2" Dawson & Baily
111   11x16" 6 36" 26,000   8' 9-1/2" 8' 9-1/2" Dawson & Baily
112   12x16" 6 36" 30,800   8' 1"   Porter, Bell
113   12x16" 6 36" 30,800   8' 1"   Porter, Bell
114   12x16" 4 32" 30,800   4' 0" 13' 6" Dawson & Baily
115   12x16" 6 36" 30,800   8' 11"   Porter, Bell
116   12x16" 6 36" 40,000 36,000 11' 8" 17'9" Baldwin
117 Galena 12x16" 6 32" 30,800   8' 11"   Porter, Bell
118   12x16" 6 36" 30,800   8' 11"   Porter, Bell

Note: those spaces left blank above were blank in both the records cited above.

The purpose here is to identify the 'original,' pre-D&RGW Ry road and number for these nine engines, so as to finally be able to do a decent roster of same. There is no known 'authentic' railroad-generated record showing the pre-D&RGW Ry road and numbers in parallel with the D&RG numbers. Several attempts have been made at reconstruction of such a list, none wholly satisfactory, largely because of an incorrect understanding of what the nine engines had been, so far as earlier road and number were concerned, which failing the "Engines in Utah Service" list corrects, and makes possible a reliable game of elimination in order to match up the engines on the two lists we now have, the "Engines in Utah Service" list and the "Locomotive Record/Equipment Catalogue" list; a bit of help also from such things as the Porter spec book and so forth.

The easy matches first - there is only one four-drivered engine in both lists, W&JV No. 2 and D&RG No. 114; there is only one Baldwin engine, clearly a Mogul, in both lists, U&PV No. 3 and D&RG No. 116; the name "Galena" appears in the Porter record on B.C. No. 3, and in the 'Loco Record/Equip Cat' list on D&RG No. 117; and the last of the simple matches, the two 11x16" Dawson & Baily engines, W&JV No. 1 and U&PV No. 1 in the one list, and D&RG numbers 110 and 111 in the other. Laid out, it looks like this:

D&RGW to D&RG Numbers
Previous Road
Previous No.
D&RGW No.: D&RG No.: Type: Builder:
W&JV or U&PV No. 1 2 110 0-6-0 Dawson & Baily
U&PV or W&JV No. 1 3 111 0-6-0 Dawson & Baily
  1 112 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co.
  4 113 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co.
W. & J. V. No. 2 5 114 4-4-0 Dawson & Baily
  6 115 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co.
U. & P. V. No. 3 7 116 2-6-0 Baldwin Loco Wks
B.C. No. 3, "Galena" 8 117 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co.
  9 118 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co.

Well, it's a start; and, so far, we seem to be on fairly solid ground. To go further with this code-breaking, one would like to find a pattern - and there is the hint of one, in that we see a pair of former No. 1's at the beginning of the list, a No. 2 in the middle, and a pair of former No. 3's near the end. H'mmm.... If that's the case, that the pattern is 1's, 2's, 3's and 4, then the other No. 1, B.C. No. 1, would be D&RG 112; U&PV or B.C. No. 2 would be D&RG No. 113, and whichever former No. 2 isn't 113 would then be D&RG No. 115; and finally B.C. No. 4 would end up as D&RG No. 118.

Nice theory. What is there to back it up? Not much; but the reader may recall that the American Fork engine, in common with B.C. No. 1, had been built for the Colorado Central Railroad as part of a four-engine lot for the CCRR, numbered 4, 5, 6 and 7, of which only the 4 and 5 were delivered to the CCRR, No. 6 being diverted to the A.F.RR., and No. 7 to the B.C.. This is relevant, as in the 6/1/1885 Union Pacific roster, the two CCRR engines, 30 and 31, formerly 4 and 5, are shown as having an 8' 0" wheelbase - and two of the Porter engines on the above list, D&RG numbers 112 and 113, are shown as having an 8' 1" wheelbase (the inch difference does not seem significant, since the other three Porters above have an 8' 11" wheelbase); given which, and putting the former numbers into groups, B.C. No. 1 is D&RG No. 112, U&PV No. 2 is D&RG 113, and therefore B.C. No. 2 is D&RG No. 115, leaving B.C. No. 4 to be D&RG No. 118. If one lays that out 'longhand,' another pattern seems to appear - namely, that within the former number groups, order is maintained: U&PV first, W&JV second, and B.C. last, so far as possible. Arranging things by that pattern, one gets this:

D&RGW to D&RG Numbers
Previous road
Previous No.
D&RGW No.: D&RG No. Type: Builder, and other stuff:
U. & P. V. No. 1 2 110 0-6-0 Dawson & Baily, 1874(?)
W. & J. V. No. 1 3 111 0-6-0 Dawson & Baily, 1/1873
B. C. No. 1 1 112 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co. 152, 1873
U. & P. V. No. 2 4 113 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co. 151, 1873
W. & J. V. No. 2 5 114 4-4-0 Dawson & Baily, ca. 8/1873
B. C. No. 2 6 115 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co. 188, 1873
U. & P. V. No. 3 7 116 2-6-0 Baldwin 4048, 2/14/1877
B. C. No. 3 8 117 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co. 189, 1873
B. C. No. 4 9 118 0-6-0 Porter, Bell & Co. 207, 1874

And there you have it. The writer hereof is aware that the above scheme does not agree well with all previous suggestions - but, it uses every scrap and shred of 'real' evidence of which he is aware, and it violates none of the actual, contemporary evidence, and it makes sense!

But we will disclaim as follows: even though based upon all available 'authentic' evidence, it is, after all, a reconstruction 120 years after the fact; we do not see that anything better is 'in the wings' at present, but if someone out there has better information and can disprove the premise, and back it up, please do. And that concludes our presentation on The Nine Small Engines.

As previously mentioned, the financial and corporate confusions are rather too complicated to be laid out in any detail here, in particular those affecting the D&RGW Ry as a result of the capricious conduct of the D&RG after the ouster of D&RG President Wm. J. Palmer. A literal war very nearly broke out between the two companies, and that, in connection with the D&RG's other (numerous) problems, brought about receivership for the D&RG on July 12, 1884. To protect itself, the D&RGW Ry sought the shelter of a separate receivership shortly thereafter, W: H. Bancroft being appointed Receiver of the D&RGW Ry on August 12, 1884. Bancroft had been Superintendent of the D&RG's 5th and 6th Divisions, which is to say the "Utah Lines," and he remained as Superintendent of the D&RGW Ry, in addition to being Receiver thereof.

Since the earliest days of the D & R G Western, it had relied (heavily) on D&RG locomotives and rolling stock, first for construction and then for the day-to-day operation of the railroad as well, it being patently impossible to operate a railroad of some 380 miles of track with just the nine small locomotives and handful of cars actually owned by the Western. Since, however, the two roads were being operated essentially as one, prior to the receiverships, it is not generally possible to tell how much D&RG equipment was on the Western at any given moment; the one 'snapshot' we have, of a specific moment in time, comes with the receivership, and the inventory of equipment that was made as of the inception of the receivership - the "List of Denver & Rio Grande Ry. Co.'s Rolling Stock in Utah, at Midnight, July 11th, 1884" shows by number the 43 D&RG locomotives that were in Utah at the time specified, as well as hundreds of cars - by number! The 43 engines were:

D&RG Locomotives on D&RGW, July 11, 1884
2-4-0 number 7
2-6-0 numbers 8, 13 and 29
4-4-0 numbers 16, 18, 85, 87, 92, 95 and 96
4-6-0 numbers 159, 160 and 161
2-8-0 Class 56, numbers 30, 33, 37, 38, 46, 50, 52, 56, 60, 64, 72, 77, 78
2-8-0 Class 60, numbers 255, 256, 257, 259, 260, 261, 262, 267, 272, 275, 277, 283, 288, 289, 294 and 295

Receiver Bancroft, not surprisingly, continued using rented D&RG locomotives and rolling stock, since purchasing sufficient new equipment to operate the road entirely independently would have been ruinously expensive, and have taken some time to arrive. During the whole course of the receivership, almost exactly two years, Bancroft spent some $92,766.52 on "Rental of Equipment," every penny of it going to the D&RG, so far as is known (per summary Report of Receiver, appearing in Second Annual Report of the D. & R. G. W. Ry. Co., for the year ending July 31, 1887. During the same period, that is, the two years of the Receivership, which ended July 30, 1886, Bancroft also spent $13,351.49 for "Additional Equipment," with $9,822.40 of that amount being spent in the period from May 1, 1885, through June 30, 1886. Undoubtedly, the larger part of the $9,822.40 expense was for the purchase of a pair of 4-6-0 engines bought in Denver in December of 1885. Built by the New York Locomotive Works in June of 1884 for the Denver Circle Railroad, four engines had been delivered as Denver Circle numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7, and carrying construction numbers 87 through 90. Evidently, the freight charges were not paid, and possibly some part of the cost also remained unpaid; in any case, finally the lot was sold at auction in December of 1885, and Bancroft bought two of them, the other two being sold to the Denver, Utah & Pacific Railroad.

The D&RGW, being in receivership, needed the court's approval for such an expenditure; the majority of the case file for this receivership (Docket 5903 in Third District Court, Territory of Utah) has been missing for years, the Register of Actions for Docket 5903 shows that "Petition and order allowing Receiver to buy six engines, &c." was filed on October 7, 1885. The Salt Lake Tribune of November 20, 1885, reports that Receiver Bancroft has been 'East' looking into new engines, and that he says some expensive purchases in that line are about to be made. In its annual review of the railroads, the Tribune on January 1, 1886, noted that on the D&RGW, " the past year, two first class passenger engines were added to the rolling stock." The Tribune of June 25, 1886, has an excellent item on these (and other) engines, part of which says: "No. 120 ... and 119, the best passenger engines on the road, were bought last December from the Denver Circle Railroad for about the price of one locomotive. The Circle road had bought four from the New York locomotive works at Rome, New York, several years ago. But on their reaching Denver they were found too heavy, and the road was also too embarrassed financially to pay the enormous freight charges of $1,000 each, so they lay at the Union Pacific freight house until the Western road picked up two, and the Denver, Utah & Pacific road took the rest. Numbers 119 and 120 are fine steamers, economical with coal, and travel like birds, but the Rome people did not put the parts together in very good shape."

It would seem that there is some uncertainty as to which two of the four engines were purchased by the D&RGW in December, 1885; evidently, D.C. No. 7, c/n 90, was one of the two, and became D&RGW No. 120; but which became D&RGW No. 119 seems to be uncertain. In any case, these engines had 14 x 20" cylinders, 45" drivers, and an engine weight of 56,000 lbs., per an 1890 R.G.W. roster.

This acquisition of motive power gave the D&RGW Ry all of 11 locomotives of its own, numbered 110 through 120 - and, yes, the 110-118 series was actually applied to the small engines, or numbering the Rome engines as 119 and 120 wouldn't make much sense; and there is an item in the Salt Lake Tribune of May 13, 1886, reporting that on Tuesday morning, the 11th, D&RGW "Engine No. 113" blew out its "boilerhead" (probably something on the backhead) at a steam pressure of about 80 lbs., blowing the engineer into the tender, and the fireman out of the cab. The engine is described as "one of the oldest belonging to the road," and was about to run up to Ogden from Salt Lake City at the time of the blowing-out of whatever it was that let go.

A reconstructed roster of the D&RGW Ry's 11 owned locomotives, as of early 1886, would look a lot like this:

D&RGW, As Of Early 1886
No.: Type: Builder, c/n & when blt: Cylndr-Drvrs-Eng Wt: Previously:
110 0-6-0 D&B, late '73/early '74 11x16"-36"-26,000 lbs. U&PV No. 1; W&JV, prob. No. 3
111 0-6-0 Dawson & Baily, 1/1873 11x16"-36"-26,000 lbs. W&JV No. 1, "Chamois"
112 0-6-0 P., B. & Co., 152, 1873 12x16"-36"-30,800 lbs. B.C. No. 1, "Bingham"
113 0-6-0 P., B. & Co., 151, 1873 12x16"-36"-30,800 lbs. U&PV No. 2; AFRR 2nd No. 1
114 4-4-0 Dawson & Baily, ca. 8/73 12x16"-32"-30,800 lbs. W&JV No. 2, "Deseret"
115 0-6-0 P., B. & Co., 188, 1873 12x16"-36"-30,800 lbs. B.C. No. 2, "Winamuck"
116 2-6-0 Baldwin 4048, 2/14/1877 12x16"-36"-40,000 lbs. U&PV No. 3; GB&C "Lota"
117 0-6-0 P., B. & Co., 189, 1873 12x16"-32"-30,800 lbs. B.C. No. 3, "Galena"
118 0-6-0 P., B. & Co., 207, 1874 12x16"-36"-30,800 lbs. B.C. No. 4
119 4-6-0 New York, 87-89, 6/1884 14x20"-45"-56,000 lbs. Den. Cir. 4, 5 or 6
120 4-6-0 New York L W, 90, 6/84 14x20"-45"-56,000 lbs. Denver Circle No. 7

Specifications herein for numbers 110-118 are from "Locomotive Record" and "Equipment Catalogue," mentioned previously; for the 119-120, per R. G. W. Roster No. 5, 9/1/1890. For other details, see earlier parts of this story; dispositions will be discussed hereafter.

One of the primary reasons for the receiverships of both roads was the D&RG's attempt, after the forced resignation of D&RG President Wm. J. Palmer, to repudiate its lease of the D&RGW Ry. The D&RG went to court in an effort to have the lease declared invalid, a move which Palmer and the D&RGW (of which he was still president) of course vehemently opposed. The court's eventual ruling was that not only was the lease entirely legal and proper, but that the D&RGW Ry had been materially damaged by the capricious conduct of the D&RG Ry after Palmer's ouster from the presidency of the Colorado company. So, in a negotiated settlement, which included termination of the lease and compensation for damages, the D&RG turned over a sizeable quantity of rolling stock, and 27 locomotives, to the D&RGW Ry, sufficient so that the D&RGW Ry could reasonably be operated as an entirely and legally independent railroad. The D&RG found it necessary to reorganize in order to come out of receivership, so on July 14, 1886, the D&RG Railway Co. became the D&RG Railroad Co.; the D&RGW, being in receivership largely as a protective measure, returned to the original company on July 30, 1886, with the lease officially terminated on July 31, 1886.

The 27 locomotives officially turned over to the D&RGW Ry on July 12, 1886, comprised 22 consolidation (2-8-0) locomotives, eleven each of class 56 and class 60 engines; three 10-wheel (4-6-0) locomotives, and two 8-wheel (4-4-0) locomotives, as follows:

D&RGW Ry on July 12, 1886
11 Class 56 2-8-0, numbers 71-81
2 Class 42-1/2 4-4-0, numbers 108 and 109
3 Class 45-1/2 4-6-0, numbers 158, 159 and 165
11 Class 60 2-8-0, numbers 257, 275, 277, 279, 287-291, 294 and 295

A note on this transfer in the D&RG "Locomotive Record" reads "List of Locos Delivered to D. & R. G. Western Rwy July 12, 1886. Aug a/c" which indicates that the accounting for this transaction was done in the D&RG"s August accounts.

The Salt Lake Tribune of July 16, 1886, noted that "The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad is delivering to the Western road rolling stock bought from the former by the latter last spring." The paper noted that some of this stock was already on the Western, "so that the transfer in their cases is on paper." "Master Mechanic Smith and J. G. Graham, the car accountant, are now in Denver effecting the transfer." The Tribune of July 23, 1886, notes that "Master Mechanic Smith, who has been at Denver and Grand Junction superintending the transfer of rolling stock between the two roads, has returned to Salt Lake." And finally, an item in the Tribune of August 27, 1886, says: "The transfer of rolling stock from the D. & R. G. to the Western road will be completed this month. The painters are busy adding 'Western' to D. & R. G. on all the stock."

This accession of 27 locomotives gave the Western 38 locomotives of its own, most of which the Western management set about renumbering. Several items in the Tribune in the latter part of 1886 show the renumbering; one of the best, in the Tribune of August 27, 1886, reads: "Engine 165, for a long time running between Green River and Grand Junction, is in the local round-house for repairs. Her number is being changed to 22." Another item, 9/17/1886, shows that "engine 70" came out of the shops 'last evening,' almost entirely rebuilt - presumably, this was Western No. 70, which means that class 56 2-8-0 formerly D&RG 81 has been renumbered, the only one of the class 56 engines to be renumbered.

Further from the Tribune - an item of October.14, 1886, refers to passenger engine No. 31, and another, October 23rd, refers to passenger engine No. 30, these being the former numbers 120 and 119, respectively; the October 14th item reads: "No. 31, passenger engine of the Western road, is just out of the shops from a thorough overhauling. She looks fine in her fur-lined circular of coal black and varnish, and the red-shaded lettering adds materially to her looks. But she needs her drivers and straight stack painted vermilion 'to complete the picture."' The item of October 23rd notes that Engine 77 has just been overhauled, and No. 30 now goes in for a general overhaul. This item also notes, incidentally, that the Western had in service 35 engines in September.

The Tribune of November 17, 1886, notes that "Passenger engine No. 30 has been in the Western shops for remodeling, and when out in three days, will be a model machine. New guides, crossheads, yoke, eccentric gearing, and cylinder heads have been substituted for the old, much to the engine's improvement both in strength and looks. No. 30 is one of the Rome, New York, engines. There are also two heavy freight engines in for rebuilding."

Then, in the Tribune of December 26, 1886, we note: "Freight engine 102 of the Western road is just out of the shops,..." And so forth; from all of which, it seems pretty clear that the D&RGW renumbered most of the former D&RG engines in 1886, and indeed was doing the renumbering almost immediately they got the engines in July of 1886. In brief, the 1886 renumbering was as follows:

1886 D&RGW Renumbering
1886 numbers: Type: Class: Previously:
1-9 vary 35, 40 D&RGW 110-118 (see note below)
15, 16 4-4-0 42-1/2 D&RG 108 and 109
20, 21, 22 4-6-0 45-1/2 D&RG 158, 159 and 165
30, 31 4-6-0 47 D&RGW 119 and 120
70-80 2-8-0 56 D&RG 81, 71-80
100-110 2-8-0 60 D&RG 257, 275, 277, 279, 287-291, 294 and 295

Note on engines 1-9: in the absence of any dependable evidence to the contrary, it is assumed that engines 110-118 were renumbered (at least on paper) to the scheme shown in the 1883 D&RGW Ry annual report, so that engines 1-9 had formerly been 112, 110, 111, 113-118; the types involved were: No. 5, 4-4-0; No. 7, 2-6-0; the balance, 0-6-0.

Excepting the probable retirement from active service of several of the small locomotives in the 1-9 group, no other changes occur in the D&RGW locomotive roster prior to its becoming the Rio Grande Western Railway in May of 1889.

The Salt Lake Tribune of 10/23/1886 noted there being 35 locomotives in service in September; the Tribune of January 1, 1887, notes that the D&RGW Ry has in use 34 locomotives (23 of which had been overhauled in 1886); the first appearance of the D&RGW in the 'Official Railway Equipment Guide' (predecessor of the 'Equipment Register'), in October 1887, shows 33 locomotives, and remained thus through the issue of May, 1888, but it is bumped up by one, to 34 locos, in the June, 1888, issue, where it remains through January, 1890, after which the standard gauge locomotives that began arriving in early October of 1889 are included without separation by gauge.

Well, whatever...... in any event, it would seem that four of the old, light engines had effectively been retired by January of 1887 - but which four, present information does not make clear; not retired, at least, were numbers 6, 7 and 9, all of which appear as 'on hand' and in service at least into 1890.

In any case, in service or not, it seems that all 38 D&RGW Ry narrow-gauge locomotives pass to the Rio Grande Western Ry. in May of 1889, for which please continue on to the next part of this paper.

End of Part II.