Denver & Rio Grande 4-6-0 passes hydrostatic test in Colorado

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No. 168 undergoes a hydro test on Tuesday under the supervision of the Federal Railroad Administration.
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic
ANTONITO, Colo. – Denver & Rio Grande 4-6-0 No. 168 – a 136-year-old locomotive under restoration at the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic – passed a hydrostatic test on Tuesday.

The successful test was witnessed by a Federal Railroad Administration inspector and signals a major step forward in the effort to restore the 3-foot-gauge locomotive for use on one of the nation’s most popular tourist railroads. Stathi Pappas, assistant general manager and the man leading the restoration effort, tells Trains News Wire that if everything goes according to plan, a stationary steam test will be conducted in May.

Although he is hesitant to put a exact date on when the locomotive will hit the rails, Pappas says he believes the locomotive will run in 2019 and be ready to enter service in 2020.

The locomotive was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1883 and remained in service until 1938. The locomotive spent the next eight decades on display in Colorado Springs. The locomotive has been under restoration at the C&TS since 2017 and when it is done will be matched up with a set of historic wooden passenger cars currently under construction. The locomotive will be restored to its 1916 appearance, Pappas says.

Once the steam test is completed, Pappas’ crew will reattach a number of significant items, including the wooden cab and pilot, both of which were built by the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.

Locomotive No. 168 was the recipient of $10,000 through the Trains Magazine 2018 Preservation Award that went toward the the fabrication of an American iron boiler jacket that will be installed toward the end of the restoration.

Pappas says the railroad hopes to use the locomotive frequently once it’s put in service and not just on special occasions.

“She won’t be a 'hanger queen,'” he says of the locomotive.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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