RGS 455....with a little help. DRGW C-18 Consolidation Locomotive #315 lends a helping hand mid-train as RGS K-27 Mikado #455 takes her freight westbound just after sunrise.
For most of its existence, the Rio Grande Southern was owned by the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, and actually interchanged with the D&RGW in Durango, Colorado. Because of its relationship with the D&RGW, most of the power on this line consisted of hand-me-down locomotives, some of which were lettered for the "Southern" and some of which retained the herald of the parent corporation. That was also true for the rolling stock. This 2017 re-creation on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad made a genuine attempt to replicate a typical RGS freight, based on historic photos depicting operations on the line. The lead locomotive shown here is D&RGW #463, one of two surviving K-27s, which was lettered as #455 for this charter. The 463 actually did run on the RGS at one time as a leased locomotive. The helper #315 is not known to have run on the RGS, but is representative of C-18 Consolidation types which most certainly did run on the Southern. Back at the end of the consist, the little bobber caboose on this train is none other than RGS 0400, an actual RGS survivor, which was loaned for this event from the Ashby Collection, and was detailed by the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad especially for the charter. This image was made at MP 285.9, just west of Ferguson's Trestle.