How You Can Help: Locomotive #168 Restoration Project.


Waiting for President Taft to Board in Montrose, CO; 1909

The No. 168 was built in 1883 as part of General Palmer’s vision to have the largest and best narrow gauge passenger service in the Rocky Mountains. The T-12 Class locomotive was best suited for mountain railroading, and the No. 168 traveled all over the Rocky Mountains and the west between Colorado and Utah. In 1909, it had the distinction of transporting President William H. Taft to the dedication of the Gunnison Tunnel. No. 168 made its last run in 1937. A year later, it was retired and donated to the City of Colorado Springs. There, the locomotive sat idle in Antlers Park for 77 years.

Now, through a special lease agreement with the City of Colorado Springs, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad relocated the No. 168 to Antonito, Colorado. It’s our honor and privilege to rehabilitate and maintain this beauty for the next 45 years, along with your help. It will be used for special events, and historic demonstration trains on the tracks that it ran so often 130 years ago. Together, we can keep General William Jackson Palmer’s dream alive and running.

Click here to make a donation to the 168 rehabilitation fund.

No. #168 at the Chama Depot; late teens or early 1920’s

Donate to the 168 Restoration Fund and HELP US METICULOUSLY RESTORE THE BEAUTY OF 1883.

The 168 was built in 1883 by General William Jackson Palmer and was one of the largest and fastest narrow-gauge ten-wheelers of its day, pulling passenger trains from the the Front Range to the San Juan gold fields. Today, the 168 is one of only two of its class still in existence in the world. 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 was in good condition and trued up the cylinders. Volunteers are now constructing a new cab. 

With your donation today, we will be closer to reaching our goal of complete restoration by 2019.

Please note: There’s a 25% tax credit for donors who are Colorado residents. Which means that your $168 will qualify for a $42 reduction in state taxes, making your total contribution cost just $126.