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Formal Rio Grande, Cumbres and Toltec Locomotive 487


Number:  487
Type:  Locomotive
Class:  K-36
Tractive Effort:
36,200 lbs.
Category:  Motive Power
Year Built:  1925
Manufacturer:  Baldwin
How Acquired By the C&T:  Purchased from D&RGW, 1970.

The 480 series or K-36 locomotives were ten engines designed for the D&RGW. They were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1925. The 480's were the last ten narrow gauge locomotives constructed in the United States. The 480s were used for freight-hauling throughout the D&RGW narrow gauge network.

The Cumbres and Toltec owns four K-36s: 483, 484, 487, and 488 and 489. Engines 480, 481, 482, and 486 are owned by the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. 485, unfortunately, fell into the turntable pit in Salida, Colorado in 1955. It was scrapped for parts thereafter.

The K 36's were used primarily as freight locomotives out of Alamosa to Durango, Colorado and to Farmington, New Mexico. They were built with special valves to allow brake control between locomotives while doubleheading, and were commonly found between Alamosa and Chama, New Mexico. They were heavily used during the pipe boom in Farmington, New Mexico, and hauled long freight trains between Alamosa and Farmington, returning with natural gas and other goods.