We are excited to announce Another Century of Narrow Gauge Steam II: Preserving a World Class Historic Property. We seek to raise $2 million over the next five years. Building on the success of the first campaign, this fundraising program will allow us to take the next steps to restore and preserve the unique historic assets of the C&TS. The priorities for this new effort come directly from the Friends’ strategic plan, and 100% of the Board of Directors have already made pledges. To strengthen our endeavor we will reach out to corporations, foundations and appropriate government entities. And, as in the past, we will also focus on the generosity of our membership.
Use of Campaign Funds
Interpretation and Education
20-25% of funds raised
The Friends’ mission includes interpreting the history and educating the public about the rich legacy of the Denver & Rio Grande narrow gauge system, which dates back to 1870. This living museum is in fact, more than just a spectacular historic train ride. It is the experience of stepping back in time that grips all the senses. Three key components of retaining and sustaining this will be: building a Railroad Visitor Center in Chama, achieving museum accreditation on behalf of the railroad from the American Association of Museums, and achieving Landmark status on the National Register of Historic Places. Funding of this initiative will allow the organization to reach out to visitors to the region. It will also provide the opportunity to develop an educational curriculum and activities for children and youth. Each new milestone in interpretation is intended to enhance the visitor experience and turn tourist dollars into economic stimulus for Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.
Historic Rolling Stock
20-25% of funds raised
Efforts to rehabilitate and preserve the historic rolling stock fleet are now enhanced with the development of a long-range restoration plan. A new car restoration facility has been constructed in Antonito, Colorado. Highlights of future projects include: completing restoration of pile driver OB in 2008 (over twelve years of volunteer labor already invested), manufacturing of new trucks for a variety of cars, restoring rotary snowplow OY, and beginning interior work on passenger coaches and RPOs. In addition, covered car storage and a car restoration facility are planned for Chama.
20-25% of funds raised
The Friends have stabilized these structures during its annual work sessions, but more significant structural repairs are necessary to preserve them for the next 100 years.
C&TS Locomotive Fleet
10-15% of funds raised
Funding from ACNGS I helped to rebuild K-36 locomotives 484, 487, and 488. K-36 489 is expected to be completed in the summer of 2007. Additional funds will be required to rebuild 463, a K-27. Having five operating locomotives will enable the C&TS to operate more revenue trains and maximize passenger carrying capacity. It also affords the opportunity for the Friends to operate special charters like maintenance-of-way trains or freight consists, and sets the stage for the possibility of running rotary snowplow OY to clear winter snowfall.
Railroad and Operator Assistance
10-15% of funds raised
Where reasonable and appropriate, the Friends will provide volunteer labor and/or funding in the form of loans and grants to meet critical needs of the railroad. Some past examples include right-of-way clean-up, matching funds for locomotive and track work, and repairs to equipment such as speeders.
10% of funds raised
Preserving the past includes preparing for the future.
Vision and Strategic Plan
The friends envisions another century of narrow gauge steam, in which the C&TS is widely recognized as one of the world’s premier “living” museums for historic, steam railroad operation, preservation and interpretation; and one of the world’s best and most popular tourist steam railroad experiences. Responsibility for and leadership of the historic preservation and museum functions of the C&TS rests with the Friends, who are known and respected internationally as the best non-profit, historic railway museum organization in the world.
Key Five-Year Objectives
To accomplish its mission of historic preservation, restoration, and interpretation of the C&TS as a living museum, the Friends has adopted the following seven strategic objectives as priorities to be accomplished over the next five years.
1. Museum Function. In order to more completely demonstrate and interpret the history of the D&RGW narrow gauge system, the Friends will plan, fund, and complete the first phase of a railroad visitor center in Chama and develop the C&TS museum, which is the entire 64-mile railroad, into full accreditation pursuant to accepted industry standards, including those of the American Association of Museums.
2. Restoration Plans. Develop, maintain, and implement restoration plans for all historic rolling stock, equipment, and structures on the C&TS according to accepted historical preservation standards, and plan, fund and complete restoration and covered car storage facilities in Chama.
3. Commission/Operator Relationship. Perform all responsibilities under the Triad Agreement* with excellence, strengthen the Friends’ partnership with the railroad commission and operator, and maintain full recognition by the commission, the operator, the public, and other constituents as an equal partner in the historic preservation and interpretation of the C&TS.
4. Membership. Increase the number of Friends members by 8% each year, from 2,400 in 2006 to 3,500 in 2011, and broaden the demographic and geographic base of our members.
5. Fundraising. Invigorate, enhance, and focus fundraising efforts as necessary to fund an increased level of operating needs and planned capital projects for the Friends and, where feasible, direct support of the C&TS through the commission, including: recurring contributions from ACNGS of $400,000 or more per year; corporate and foundation grants providing aggregate funding in excess of $100,000 per year; growth of endowment fund to $250,000 or more; and initiate a planned and testamentary giving program.
6. Volunteers. Develop and expand volunteer programs to efficiently manage and generate 50,000 volunteer hours per year on preservation, restoration, and interpretation projects in support of theC&TS.
7. Organization and Governance. Improve the Friends’ organizational effectiveness and governance to assure that the organization is in place to implement the strategic plan and provide a high level of professionalism, excellence, and integrity in all that the Friends do.
*The Triad Agreement between the commission, the railroad operator and the Friends defines the roles and responsibilities of the Friends relative to the C&TS.
Campaign Contributions and Pledges
You can make a donation or pledge to the ACNGS II campaign online right now!
If you prefer to make a donation or pledge by telephone, call the Friends office at 1-505-880-1311. You may also request a donation form via postal mail by emailing the Friends office at
Our full-color Another Century of Narrow Gauge Steam II campaign booklet provides in-depth background information about
the railroad, its economic and cultural significance, and the Friends. You may view it
online in PDF Format.
For further information about the campaign, we invite you to contact Friends Development Committee Chairman Bob Ross or Another Century of Narrow Gauge Steam Chairman Nan Clark.
Bob Ross, Development Committee Chairman
Nan Clark, Another Century of Narrow Gauge Steam Campaign Chairman
Friends of the C&TS Railroad, Inc.
6005 Osuna Road NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109