July 3

First Narrow-Gauge Locomotive

On this day in 1871, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company introduced the first narrow-gauge locomotive. It was called the "Montezuma".

What's So Special About a Narrow-Gauge Locomotive? Narrow gauge railroads were special in that they could be built at a lower cost than standard gauge lines, and were more adaptable to rough terrain. They required less earthwork and allowed for steeper gradients and sharper curves. The narrow gauge locomotives could wind through mountains, strike out across deserts, and cross cane fields, all the while serving as local connections to the outside world.

346 at Colorado Railroad Museum after working on the Montezuma Lumber Co. 346 is a Class C19.

101 Uses for a Narrow Gauge. Not only were the narrow-gauge lines used by passengers and freight in the normal sense; many industrial concerns and factories operated narrow gauge lines.

Link for More.

A virtual tour of the Colorado Railroad Museum.

Taming the wilderness with the Montezuma.

The Narrow Gauge Circle. 1000 miles through the Colorado Rockies by rail.