The On-Line Magazine
of Rideable Model Railroading
March 12, 2008
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Galloping Goose Number 5
Written by Don Cain
|In the 1930s the Rio Grande
Southern (RGS) was in serious financial trouble. The trouble at hand involved
aging steam locomotives in a sad state of disrepair. The railroad needed a way
to make money and keep their line open and "in the black." Railroad management
went to work and created a most unique solution. The Galloping Goose was
created as a low cost solution to haul mail and passengers on short intercity
runs. They were such a successful solution that the railroad was able to stay
in business for another 20 years.
The chassis of the Goose was developed
utilizing parts from an old Pierce Arrow Truck. The frame was articulated
between the passenger compartment and the homemade freight box on the rear of
the goose. The cab and passenger compartment was made from a Pierce Arrow Four
Door Touring Body. Since these units were light, it was possible to power them
with a stock Pierce in-line six cylinder motor.
|Starting in about 1948, several of the geese were rebuilt and
received a Wayne School Bus 20 passenger body. The body was shortened to fit
the frame that was developed nearly 20 years earlier. The freight box was
converted to haul people, by simply bolting seats to the floor. The railroad
kept the articulated design to help the geese negotiate the sharp 20 degree
curves on the Colorado narrow gauge lines.
||In all, the RGS built a total of eight galloping geese. There
are four that still remain and two of them are operational. Yes, it is still
possible to ride on one of these historic vehicles. One of the operable units
is located at the Galloping Goose Historical Society in Dolores, Colorado. One
can find the other operable unit at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden,
Written by Don Cain
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