Galloping Goose flocked to Golden

THE GALLOPING Geese gather in 2009 with five engines. This year, for the first time in 60 years, all seven of the Galloping Geese gathered at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colo. last weekend. Enlargephoto

courtesy photo/Lew Matis

THE GALLOPING Geese gather in 2009 with five engines. This year, for the first time in 60 years, all seven of the Galloping Geese gathered at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colo. last weekend.

For the first time in 60 years, all seven of the famous silver Galloping Geese were gathered togehter, a move to fascinate railroad buffs from around the world.

The Galloping Goose No. 5, which graces the center of Dolores was loaded up recently and hauled to the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colo. to take part in the Goosefest Reunion, a reunion that train buffs are calling a once in a lifetime event.

“This is going to be one of the biggest crowds ever at the Colorado Railroad Museum,” said Lew Matis, president of the Galloping Goose Historical Society. “The Geese are just so popular.”

The silver geese were built during the 1930s, during The Great Depression, to help keep the Rio Grande Southern Railroad running.

The Geese hauled tourists, mail and other cargo, but ran on diesel.

“This is a unique piece of equipment, there is nothing like it in the world,” said Denise Bowyer, manager of the Galloping Goose Historical Society.

There has been a gathering of the Galloping Geese before, but the most that ever made it was five. This year, the Galloping Goose engine No. 3 will make it to the Goosefest Reunion all the way from Knott’s Berry Farm in California.

Also, No. 4 will make an appearance. It was recently rebuilt.

The trains gave rides at the Goosefest on a small loop track at the Colorado Railroad Museum.

The first Galloping Goose ran on June 6, 1931, and it ran from Ridgeway to Telluride.

When asked where the name Galloping Goose came from, Bowyer just shook her head.

Some say it looks like it waddles as it sits on the track, others say it’s horn sounds like a goose when you hear it from down the canyon.

Bowyer said no one knows for sure.

But the geese will flocked to Golden to the delight of railroad enthusiasts, and many were thrilled to see the silver trains gallop. All seven of them.