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Help Save the Buckskin Joe Trains

$435 of $8,500 goal

Raised by 8 people in 9 months
Help us save the historic miniature Royal Gorge Scenic Railway trains (aka Buckskin Joe trains), the Scenic Eagle, the Scenic Chief, the Scenic Arrow, & the Scenic Star! Your generous donations will help us relocate them to our northern Colorado location for restoration. The Royal Gorge Scenic Railway was part of the Buckskin Joe's western town in Canon City, Colorado which was built in 1958. The town was a popular tourist destination as it was on the way to the Royal Gorge Bridge. The railway was a 30 minute ride and was known for it's million dollar view of the Royal gorge and bridge. As tourism declined in Canon City the Buckskin Joe property was sold. We now have the opportunity to relocate and restore this historic railway at a new location. Your donations will help us with transportation costs, labor (as we are on a deadline to have all 26 cars, 4 locomotives, and roughly 3 miles of track pulled and hauled), and the restoration of the locomotives and cars themselves.

Curious about what is happening with the former Buckskin Joe property? Click the link to read the news article:  https://www.chieftain.com/news/tiny-homes-and-trails-to-be-established-at-former-buckskin/article_4549582e-d418-11e8-ab39-eb72a334caea.html

You can follow our progress on Facebook at this link > https://www.facebook.com/OwlCanyonRailway/ 

**Special Update: 
We will be taking the Scenic Chief to the Rocky Mountain Train Show at the Loveland Events Center on November 24th and 25th. Be sure to bring your friends and family, the event is free to the public. ***

Below, you can read a little about the ordinary people behind this extraordinary project.

Kody Milewski has had a passion for miniature railroads since he was a boy. His mother and grandparents took him to visit Tiny Town and Railroad  and the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway which carried his enthusiasm for trains into adulthood. Kody was able to become more involved within the railroad community when he worked for Wasatch Railroad Contractors (also associated with Cheyenne Steamers). The opportunity enabled him to help with the restoration of the steam locomotives the Prairie Valley #11 and the Klondike Kate #4 as well as the narrow gauge caboose #0577 out of Cimarron, Colorado. Kody started volunteering at Tiny Town and Railroad in 2016 which quickly turned into the position of the lead mechanic where he continues to work to this day. He came across our first fifteen inch gauge locomotive, a C.P. Huntington from the Desert Breeze Park  in Chandler, Arizona while on vacation in 2016. It wasn't long till we found our rail and had wooden gondola's and a caboose built. Thus our private railroad got named the Owl Canyon Railway located on our ranch in northern Colorado. Kody's passion for railroads and their history is what led us to pursue the relocation and restoration of the historic Royal Gorge Scenic Railway.

Kody met Kate a little over six years ago, and they began dating soon thereafter. Kate grew up with a strong love of horses. Her passion for horses was started when her father took her every summer to ride the ponies at a local farm. Little did he know how involved she would become in the equine world as an adult! Now she owns her own equine business, On Track Horsemanship, (formerly known as Owl Canyon Horse Services) where she instructs riding lessons and trains horses. While vacationing in Arizona with Kody six years ago, she was introduced to Maricopa Live Steamers (MLS)  which is a 7 ½ inch gauge railroad and McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park  which is a 15 inch gauge scale. This little railroad club sparked her enthusiasm for all scales of miniature trains. Kate eagerly supports Kody's passion for trains and she is just as excited for the opportunity to save a little piece of Colorado history.

Kate's mother and father, Deb and Dave Thomas, have been instrumental with this opportunity to relocate and restore the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway. Without their support and investment this opportunity wouldn't exist! Our sincerest gratitude goes to the Thomas Family.

A huge thank you also goes to Kate and Kody's friends who have offered their help in any way they can with this project. It takes a village to move the longest miniature railroad in Colorado.

Thank you to everyone who has helped by donating or spreading the word to help us raise the funds to complete the relocation and restoration process.
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Hello! We had some good friends of ours help us bring a load of about 800 feet of rail back to the ranch on Nov 28th. Sounds like we have a nice crew coming to help us this Saturday, Dec 1st.

Each round trip per truck and trailer has costed us $80. We have had to buy tools just to get this job done. We have only have $300 left in our account as of this date to get the remaining rail home.

We are running very tight on funds due to unexpected expenses for the truck. Please consider donating to help us finish bringing home the rail.

The tools we have had to purchase specifically for this project are:
Demo Saw - $1,200
Blades for demo saw - $100 per box of 10. (We have purchased 3 boxes)
Cordless Impact and batteries- $275
Hammer Drill / Impact Driver set - $199
Adaptors - $10
Sledge hammers - $83

Thank you very much to those of you who have or are donating your time and funds to help save the trains and track. We appreciate your generosity. Thank you.
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Kody, my dad, and I went down last on November 14th and brought a small load of rail home. That means all the rail is pulled from the front and around the barns where the owner is currently remodeling and prepping to demolish the gift shop.

We were part of the Rocky Mountain Train Show November 24 and 25, we got to share about what we are doing to relocate and preserve the trains as well as our future goal to open as miniature railway museum and club.

This week we have big plans for hauling a good amount of rail out. Stay tuned for more updates!

As always, thank you very much for the support, continued shares and donations.


Regards,
Kate Thomas
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Nov 9th Kody and I made a trip down with one truck and trailer to bring home another load of rail. We pulled roughly 500 feet and got it hauled home along with the bed of the truck loaded with buckets of spikes and joiners and other parts.

We are going to try to make a good dent the weekend of the 17th with a few extra hands. We will keep the updates coming.

We are also planning to bring the Scenic Chief, engine #801, to the Rocky Mountain Train Show at the Loveland Events Center on November 24th and 25th, so be sure to stop by. The event is free so bring your friends and family.

Thanks for the support everyone. Please continue to spread the word.

Thank you,
Kate Thomas
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Hi. Here's another update with the RGS Railway relocation project. We managed to get our first load of rail picked up and hauled yesterday, Nov 4th. Thanks to Josh Kody and Brad breaking their backs to get it done. The joints were welded together, so all of the joints had to cut. The rail is attached to the ties by carriage bolts and spikes. The ties on this first load were not very rotted thus making it very challenging to remove. They managed to pull about 2,000 ft of rail, by hand, this go around. That was only a small part of what is around the front by the shops.

We could really use some strong volunteers willing to dedicated a day a week to help with the removal of rail. We are on a deadline to have the rest of the rail and contents of the shop removed by December 31st, 2018. We still have over two miles of track to remove.

Any help with shares or donations is appreciated as well. The trip is 200 miles one way, which is about a 4 hour drive. We are working on organising the bills that are adding up and posting them so you can see where your donations are going.

Thank you for your support. Anything helps including simply sharing this fundraiser. Thank you.

Regards,
Kate and Kody
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$435 of $8,500 goal

Raised by 8 people in 9 months
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