The Colorado and Southern was a regional class 1 railroad which was a subsidiary of the Burlington Route (CB&Q Railroad), and mainly operated from Guernsey, Wyoming south through Denver, Colorado Springs, Trinidad, and connected with the Fort Worth & Denver (also a CB&Q Subsidiary) in northern Texas.
Our coverage begins in the mid-1950's and comprises 8mm color footage shot by an unknown photographer who must have lived in either Colorado or Wyoming.
Through area enthusiasts we have determined most of the locations and interesting information about what is seen in the films. There is 2-8-0 action switching in Denver as well as fantrips and other areas where engines worked on branch lines and other terminals such as Trinidad and Fort Collins. One of the neat things shown is a fantrip which was a charter by well-known enthusiast and author Jim Ehrenberger, who sponsored a trip from Cheyenne to Guernsey, WY with 2-10-2 number 900 in July of 1959. Jim recently did an article on this trip in Classic Trains Spring 2010. There was only one more fantrip with 900 after this one, and this was the last steam on this route north of Cheyenne. Only 27 people were on the trip, and we see footage from one of them. Another interesting segment is two separate visits to Leadville to see this region. The first is a brief one during the winter and shows a few scenes of engine 638. This engine was later sent to Denver to be shopped and ran excursions, becoming the last active C&S steamer in December 1962. It's replacement 641 is also seen on a second visit switching cars. 641 was also seen in regular work at places like Denver before this in some of the films. 641 at Leadville became the last steam locomotive to operate for a class 1 standard gauge railroad in the United States.
The 8mm film comprises approximately 65% of the program, and rest is 16mm footage shot by Everett Rohrer which was a complete reel of C&S steam. There is lots of switching action especially around Denver and vicinity, and includes some of the 2-8-2's, that came from the Burlington. In fact there are two different groups shown, the 4994 for example, and the others that were renumber 806,807,809, etc. In addition to this switching service both groups of films include lots of fantrip action, including some of the last engines that operated for the C&S.
As an addition to the Cheyenne material we also have shots of a train that was diesel powered, but had a 2-10-2 helper on the rear with 903. This was shot by Alan Pommer.
There is background information on most of the engines shown, which includes builder dates, and scrapping dates of each engine. As with most films like these there is no train sounds, so we have plenty of interesting narration, and background music to accompany the films. Old film footage like this doesn't grow on trees and we are happy to offer steam footage from over 50 years ago from a class 1 railroad that was the last standard gauge steam in Colorado.
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