The Galloping Goose Historical Society (GGHS) of Dolores extends a heartfelt “Thank You” to Weeminuche Construction Authority of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe for providing transportation for Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose No. 5 in 2018.
WCA transported Galloping Goose No. 5 to the Durango and Silverton for six days of excursions over two weekends in February and to the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad for eight days of excursions in late September.
GGHS, is a not-for-profit organization, and all operations of No. 5, whether in Dolores or on a host railroad, is done by an all-volunteer crew. During operations on host railroads, volunteers pay their own food and lodging costs. The single greatest cost in operating No. 5, whether at our museum in Dolores of or on host railroads, is several thousand dollars annually for liability insurance coverage. Profits from the excursions are split equally between GGHS and the host railroads, and are used to pay for maintenance of No. 5, to pay the insurance costs, and to partially offset operation of our museum in Dolores.
In 2018, No. 5 carried approximately 300 passengers on the Durango-Silverton and Cumbres-Toltec lines, including 60 fifth grade students from Dolores Elementary School in February. There was no cost to the students, and the only cost for the school district was bus transportation to Durango.
None of these excursions would be financially feasible were it not for the generosity of WCA providing transportation for No. 5 at a greatly reduced price. If GGHS had to pay full price for transportation, the costs for doing excursions would increase significantly, necessitating an increase in ticket prices. Reduced transportation costs allow GGHS and the host railroads offer tickets at affordable prices.
GGHS especially wants to thank Sheldon House, General Manager at WCA, Jed Tallendt, WCA’s Equipment Manager, and Andy Begay and Ray Gallegos, WCA’s drivers, for their assistance in carrying out this most generous service. The GGHS Board of Directors, its Officers, and the volunteer crew of No. 5, greatly appreciate the support of Weeminuche Construction Authority for this wonderful community support.
Joe Becker, President of Galloping Goose Historical Society