C-19 Individual Locomotive History

RGS No. 41

RGS 41 at Ridgway, Colorado. Sept 1, 1940. Otto Perry, James L. Ehernberger Coll.

There is something special about the Rio Grande Southern among enthusiasts of long gone Colorado railroads. While the reasons may be numerous, no doubt the second-hand equipment and shoe-string budget engineering made it a most curious entity.

RGS C-19 #41 has long held honor as one of the more photographed and cherished pieces of motive power of the old road. In 1881, D&RG 409 arrived on the Colorado narrow gauge scene among an order of twelve new Class 70 consolidations bound to climb the steep grades of the fledgling Denver and Rio Grande Railway. From what is known, the 409 was photographed but a few times in its Diamond Stack configuration. The 409 was sold to the Rio Grande Southern in 1916, and most likely received a new steel boiler around the same time period. After serving for just over a year with her new owner, the 409 was finally repainted for the RGS and re-numbered 41 following a shopping in February of 1918. While serving the Southern faithfully for nearly 35 years, the 41 underwent a few cosmetic changes as the eras passed.

We would like to give a deserved “Thank You” to Tim Davey, John Buchanan, and the Knott’s Berry Farm crew for feeding us a wealth of fine detail information as we endeavored to create this treasured locomotive in HOn3.