D&RGW 3148

A freshly painted D&RGW 3148, Bendena, Kansas. August 15, 2015.
A freshly painted D&RGW 3148, Bendena, Kansas. August 15, 2015.

No. 3148 ended up with another boxcar at a house alongside US 285 in Estrella, just south of Alamosa. I passed by the car many times over the years on family trips to Santa Fe or later voyages of my own to the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. On a trip in 2000, I noticed that the house was for sale, and on a whim, called the real estate agent. Upon calling, I found out that the house had been sold to the Valley Humane League (it is now their animal shelter), but they were interested in selling the boxcars.

A friend of mine (the same one who pointed me towards St. Joseph & Grand Island caboose 48 in 1999) was interested in obtaining a narrow gauge Rio Grande boxcar, and I thought 3148 would make a dandy shed at my house, so in January of 2001, we headed to Estrella to take a look at the two carbodies. Finding 3148 to be in overall very good condition, I took some measurements and promptly bought it for $750.00. Only upon arriving home did I take the time to measure the spot I intended to put the car. Of course, it would not fit. Luckily, the Valley Humane League was amenable to storing the car, in return for a modest monthly donation, until I could come up with alternate plans.

In the summer of 2001, I was able to locate a set of trucks and most of the other parts needed to make 3148 back into a boxcar, as well as a place to put it closer to home. On a cold January day in 2002, 3148 was moved to the Boulder County Railway Historical Society’s site at Valmont, just east of Boulder, Colorado. Over the next few years, 3148 was transformed from a shed back into a boxcar, all the while earning its keep as a family storage unit. In October of 2010, the car was moved to its present home in Bendena, Kansas.

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