Rio Grande 315

Denver and Rio Grande Western No. 315 is a Class C-18 2-8-0, Consolidation type, narrow gauge steam railway locomotive that was originally built for the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1868. On the F&CC it was number 3, named Elkton. After the demise of the F&CC in 1915, the locomotive sat unused until the Denver & Rio Grande purchased it and four of its sisters in 1917 to help with war traffic. In D&RG service it became No. 424, but was renumbered No. 315 when the D&RG became the Denver and Rio Grande Western in the reorganization of 1924. It began its D&RG service at Alamosa, Colorado, was leased to the Rio Grande Southern for 1926-27 and then spent most of the next decade on the Gunnison Division, in Salida, Colorado, on the line to Montrose and on the branch to Ouray.[4]

Denver & Rio Grande Western 315
D&RGW 315 in 2008.
Type and origin
Reference [1]
Power typeSteam
BuilderBaldwin Locomotive Works
Serial number14352
Model10-26 E
Build date1895
  UIC1′D n2
Gauge3 ft (914 mm)[2]
Driver dia.38 in (965 mm)
Adhesive weight64,000 lb (29.0 t)
Loco weight72,000 lb (32.7 t)
Fuel typeCoal
Cylinder size16 in × 20 in (406 mm × 508 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort18,000 pounds (8,200 kg)
  • D&RG: 72
  • D&RGW: C-18
  • F&CC 3
  • D&RG 424
  • D&RGW 315
Current ownerCity of Durango
DispositionOperates occasionally on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Locomotive No. 315
Location479 Main Ave., Durango, Colorado
Arealess than one acre
ArchitectBaldwin Locomotive Works
Architectural styleNarrow gauge Consolidation
NRHP reference #08001008 [3]
Added to NRHPOctober 24, 2008

As larger locomotives, notably the K-27 K-36 and K-37 Mikados came on line, smaller engines like 315 were used as switchers or scrapped. No. 315 spent several periods in the shops in the early 1940s, notably with a broken main rod and then later for flue work and to replace its pilot with a switch engine pilot. It appeared in the movie Colorado Territory in 1948, but was finally taken out of service in 1949. It returned to the silver screen in Around the World in 80 Days in 1956, but was no longer in operating condition, so it was pushed by a diesel locomotive disguised as a baggage car.[4]

It was leased to the City of Durango from 1950 until the railroad donated it to the Chamber of Commerce in 1968, and then was transferred to the city in December, 2000.[4] The Durango Railroad Historical Society began restoration work in March 2001 and 315 moved under its own power for the first time in 57 years in August, 2007.[5]

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Locomotive No. 315 in 2008.[3]


The 315 normally operates on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad during that railroad's annual Railfest event held every August. It has also operated on the nearby Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad first in 2008 and again in 2013.[6]

In 2016, the 315 made a return to the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad to participate in their Narrow Gauge Rendezvous event held on August 25.[7] It remained on the C&TS to play a part in the festivities associated with 37th National Narrow Gauge Convention on September 4, 2017.[8]

See also


  1. Official Roster No. 11 of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad System. Denver: The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad System. April 1, 1923.
  3. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  4. "History of D&RGW #315". Durango Railroad Historical Society. Archived from the original on 20 February 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  5. "Restoration Status, page 9". The Durango Railroad Historical Society. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  6. "Past Events « DURANGO RAILROAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY". Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  7. "C&TS August 2016 - A Life Chasing Trains". Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  8. "". Retrieved 2018-05-04. External link in |title= (help)

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