Join us now and put the wheels of railroading history back in motion. Your donation to the 168 Restoration Fund will be used to offset the costs of transporting, rehabilitating, and running this historic gem of narrow gauge railroading. And thanks to the generosity of an anonymous philanthropist, your donation of $168 will be matched dollar for dollar through the month of April.
The 168 was built in 1883 by General William Jackson Palmer as part of his new railroad, pulling passenger trains from the Front Range to the San Juan gold fields faster than any other narrow gauge ten-wheeler of its day. Because the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad operates on 64 miles of this very same stretch, the city of Colorado Springs agreed to lease this historic locomotive to our Railroad for 45 years and entrust us with restoring it to pristine operating condition.
Work on the 168 began early in 2017. Since then, we drove more than 2,500 rivets to build a new tank and completed the tender. We evaluated the boiler and prepared the application necessary to have it certified. We confirmed that the running gear in was good condition and trued up the cylinders. Volunteers are now constructing a new cab.
It's anticipated that by 2019, the 168, which is one of only two of its class in existence today, will be fully restored and ready to carry passengers through this stunning section of the Rocky Mountains.