Help Restore C&N #30, Boulder's Locomotive!
Work Session Updates
Why is engine #30 in Central Park?
In 1951, the citizens and businesses of Boulder came together to save a unique piece of Boulders history, Colorado & Northwestern steam locomotive #30, from the scrappers torch. The Colorado & Northwestern was a narrow gauge railroad that ran west up Boulder Canyon to Ward and Eldora. Today, the remaining portion of the Switzerland Trail of Americas grade is better known as a hiking and biking trail. The citizens and businesses of Boulder gave generously to a public fundraising campaign and the locomotive, a passenger coach and a caboose were purchased from the railroads that owned them at the time. The train was presented to the City of Boulder as a gift, and placed in Central Park.
Locomotive #30s dedication ceremony, August 1953 in Central Park.
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The train needs your help!
The Boulder County Railway Historical Society is starting a campaign to raise funds for phase I of #30s restoration (estimated to cost $50,000), we plan to apply for a grant from the State Historical Fund in October for the work. We must raise at least 25% of the total cast ($17,500) to be eligible for the grant. Your donations are appreciated and will be used 100% for work on locomotive #30. Every dollar donated has the possibility of bringing $3 in grant money to the project.
What will we do?
With a project as large as the fully operational restoration of a steam locomotive, it is most feasible to do it in phases. Previous work on the locomotive has included removing the asbestos boiler lagging (insulation) in 1999 and a mechanical evaluation in 2000.
The first phase of restoring the locomotive will be to perform cosmetic work to stabilize #30 and make it a presentable display. Some minor mechanical work will also be included. Work in this phase will be planned so that it will not have to be undone later, that is it will be items that need to be done as part of a full restoration to running condition and will not be in the way of future work. Future phases will work towards a fully operational restoration.
At the end of phase I, we will have a displayable locomotive that can be rolled with out causing damage, as well as a better idea of what work will be needed to fully restore #30 to operating condition. One of the main goals of the restoration project was not to have the locomotive disassembled for many years while raising funds to fully restore it. The total estimated cost of phase I is $50,000.
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Whats been accomplished so far?
In 1996, the City of Boulder began a project to restore the train after over 50 years as an outdoor display. A citizens committee was formed to plan the project. The Boulder County Railway Historical Society is a non profit organization formed in 1997 to assist the city with the restoration project.
When the Central Park Train Restoration Project began in 1996, it was decided to prioritize the work based upon the condition of each piece of equipment. The passenger coach was in the most precarious condition, so it was chosen to be the first to be restored, starting in 1999. For those who remember the coach as a decrepit display in Central Park, a surprise is in store! Coach #280 has been fully restored and is now an operational showpiece. The next project was to stabilize the locomotive to prevent further deterioration. About the same time, BCRHS volunteers began working on the caboose and have been slowly restoring it in Central Park. Locomotive #30s tender was chosen as the second major project in 2000. As #30s tender has been fully restored, and will be returning to Boulder this summer, the time has come to focus on the locomotive itself.
Coach 280's interior before restoration, in 1996.
Coach 280's interior following restoration. May, 2001.
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