The Rio Grande Southern has always been a fabled narrow gauge line that ran from Durango to Ridgeway, and was a subsidiary of the Denver & Rio Grande Western. It was abandoned in 1951, and still holds the fascination of many railroad enthusiasts. So now 70 years later we get to see a fully restored 4-6-0, as engine #20 powers trains on narrow gauge rails once more. We begin in August of 2020 at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado, the home for the engine. A long restoration has brought it back to life and we see it on a special charter freight, with passenger cars, and many runbys. The next day we see it on the turntable near the roundhouse, see some servicing, and watch a couple of passenger train runs, all in great weather.
Remember the title is RGS 20 and Friends. Well we have other things related to the Rio Grande Southern like a visit to Goosefest in Ridgway, Colorado and back to Golden to see more Galloping Geese in action. We watch these geese in action...Goose 1, Goose 4, Goose 5, Goose 6 and Goose 7. Goose 2 is seen but isn't running. The only one missing is goose 3 which is at Knotts Berry Farm in California. After this segment we have several scenes if Goose #5 in action on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad which was shot in February 2022. This one operates more than the others and has been to the D&S and C&TS several times. This was shot during the D&S Winter Photographers special which featured engine 481, and we will see it once as well.
#20 was trucked from Golden to Antonito, Colorado and we see the August 23, 2021 break-in run in the Antonito area, and as far west as Ferguson's Trestle. This is a rare move for #20 away from its short trackage at the museum.
On August 31, 2021 a mixed train was operated from Antonito, as 20 doubleheaded with Rio Grande Southern 2-8-2 number 455 with RGS Sunrise herald on the tender. This is really C&TS K-27 463. This is another of the "Friends" in our title. This made for a nice show as we see it several times with multiple runbys.
On September 5th we are back for a Trains Magazine photo charter, as 20 operates solo with a mixed freight and passenger coach train. This was a trip from Antonito to Big Horn wye and return. We have several shots in this segment including some from a second camera.
If that wasn't enough we have another photo charter on September 29, 2021 which was 20 on a pure freight consist. The great thing about this run is that there were some fall colors as the train heads to Osier from Antonito. We don't have many different locations, but we do have multiple different views from those locations. The fall colors are a great way to end our coverage of Rio Grande Southern #20.
A lot went into the making of this video including video captures by no less than 5 videographers. Also don't forget our 2 vintage Rio Grande Southern shows in the Vintage Steam category. This video of RGS 20 will go well with those two.