by Jeff Terry
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad has received a $200,000 grant from History Colorado that will be used for the interior and exterior rehabilitation of Denver & Rio Grande Western coach No. 292, one of the oldest authentic Rio Grande coaches in existence. It was built by Jackson & Sharp in 1881 as Denver & Rio Grande Railway No. 68, and was rebuilt with a “bull nose” roof and renumbered 292 in 1886.
After serving for many years in passenger service, it was converted into coach-outfit car No. 0292, and by the 1940s had been equipped as an equipment operator outfit car. For this it was modified with blanked-out windows and tool storage bins but kept its original arch top windows; its interior was fitted with equipment for connecting a portable phone to the dispatcher’s phone line.
After retirement in the 1950s, No. 292 survived in derelict condition at Silverton, Colo., until 1992. The car is currently housed inside the C&TS Historic Car Facility in Antonito, Colo., along with D&RGW RPO No. 65. The facility, erected in 2014, consists of a large Quonset hut tent that spans two tracks and is completely weather protected.
—Railfan & Railroad