PC&N Locomotives – Blackstone C-19 D&RGW No 345

Prototype Research

Shortly after the North shore took over from the NPC, management purchased three Baldwin 2-8-0s.  No 40 came from the Denver & Rio Grand.

North Shore 40

Note the fluted domes.  This engine was built by Baldwin in 1880 and was slightly smaller than the other two engines.  In this shot it has been converted to an oil burner.

Numbers 31 and 33 were identical Baldwins built in 1885 purchased from the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic.

North Shore 31-33

Note the rounded domes.

C-19 D&RGW No 345 – The Prototype

I’ve been looking for a yard switcher to serve the Sausalito yard and docks.  Would the PC&N use a 2-8-0 as a yard switcher.  Certainly the D&RG did as this prototype photo shows.

D&RGW C-19 No 345-Proto Photo

This from the Blackstone Web site.

“Arriving from Baldwin as D&RG No. 401 and originally named “Grand River”, this diminutive teakettle certainly led one of the more interesting lives of the Class 70/C-19 locomotives. Famed early Colorado photographer William Henry Jackson first recorded the 401 working near Marshall Pass in 1882. Seven short years later, the Grand River would be converted to standard gauge and re-classified as Class 74 No. 803. When the year 1900 arrived, the 803 was needed back on narrow gauge rails and was once again re-built, this time as D&RG class 74 road number 405. After years of continued service, the 405 was re-numbered 345 in 1924 and designated as class C-19. Along with sister locomotives 343 and 346, it was leased to the struggling South Park Division of the Colorado & Southern Railway from 1936-1937. While working out of Denver to the fabled South Park region, the 345 chugged its way through the Platte Canyon and over Kenosha Pass en-route to Como and Leadville. In April of 1937, the C&S terminated its lease of the D&RGW 2-8-0s and the 345 headed back home to Alamosa with the two other C-19s. After returning to the D&RGW, the 345 often worked out of Montrose and over Cerro Summit throughout the war years and was eventually sent down to Durango, Colorado.

Engine 315 had been assisting the 453 in the daily switching duties for Durango. On October 13, 1949, the 315 did a “double shift” of Durango switching, and that evening the old F&CC consolidation unceremoniously ended its many decades of service. That same day, the old 345 was being hauled dead-in-consist from Mears Jct. to Alamosa after a trip over Marshall Pass from Gunnison. Arriving in Durango a few days later, she was readied for switcher service and on Saturday November 12th, the 345 went to work on the 7:30 AM shift at Durango with engineer House at the throttle. Over the next year and a half the 345 and 453 would share the daily duties of turning the Silverton Mixed and San Juan consists as well as switching out the various Durango industries and customers about town.

As the 345’s role as a Durango switcher declined in the spring of 1951, a final twist of fate for her checkered career loomed ahead. In 1951, Hollywood producer Nat Holt brought a tinsel town entourage to Durango to film a somewhat fictitious account of the D&RG’s Royal Gorge “war” with the AT&SF backed Canyon City and San Juan Railway. In the cinema’s grande finale, two consolidations destined for the scrap heap were used to stage a head-on collision on the Silverton Branch. The 345 was chosen to be a stand in for C-16 268 in this much anticipated “spectacular” crash staged on July 17th. With a splash of bright yellow paint, black pin striping, and the number “268” added to her cab sides, the old Grand River’s throttle was finally opened wide for the last time as she raced head on toward D&RGW #319 near MP 475. The fiery result was captured on celluloid and the movie Denver & Rio Grande remains a western cult classic to this day.”

Blackstone C-19 D&RGW No 345

How about leasing that engine from the D&RGW?  After all, they were running an engine from the D&RGW.  Maybe they lease one at the same time.  I love the look of this model.

D&RGW C-19 No 345-1

Yes, that is a yard switcher pilot.  And the same is true of the front.

D&RGW C-19 No 345-2

If this engine looks at all familiar, maybe this paint scheme is why.  Yes, No 345 was the real bumble bee engine, wearing a different number.  Of course that paint job happened much later so I ordered the non-colorful version.

D&RGW C-19 No 345-3

Here are the specifications.

Blackstone C-19 Specifications 

Scale: 1:87.1
Gauge: 36″ Narrow Gauge
Die Cast Metal with plastic, metal and wire details

C-19 Features
Multiple Road Numbers and Paint Schemes
Also Available in Painted, Unlettered Versions
Precision Can Motor with Balanced Flywheel
Cab Interior
Individual Grab Irons and Hand Rails
Piping and Valve Detail
Operates on both DCC and DC
18″ Operating Radius

Sound Decoder Features

  • Tsunami Digital Sound Decoder by SoundTraxx
  • Sounds Recorded from the Prototype
  • Whistle
  • Bell
  • Exhaust
  • Dynamo
  • Airpump
  • Blower and more!
  • Directional, Constant Lighting
  • Headlight
  • Backup Light (where prototypically accurate)
  • Maintenance-free Golden White LEDs

Model Details:

  • Fluted Style Sand and Steam Dome
  • Pyle Visor Headlight
  • Flared Side Tender
  • Wood Panel Cab Sides
  • Two 11-inch Single Stage Compressors
  • Switcher Style Pilot Tender Footboard
  • Prototype Specific Running Board Arrangement
  • Pyle Visor Tender Backup Light
  • Flying Grande Herald

So my quest for a yard switcher ends for now.  At some point I may want to convert her back to a road engine, should a suitable switcher become available.


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