GRANBY — A 108-year-old first-class passenger coach arrived in Granby on Tuesday, May 7, as the latest addition to the holdings of the Moffat Road Railroad Museum.
After a year-long odyssey on four different railroads stretching across the United States from Rhode Island to the Rocky Mountains, the 70-foot-long, 75-ton railroad car is finally set to arrive at its new home.
A Union Pacific flat car delivered the coach to Granby, then a 100-ton crane off-loaded the historic car to its site in Granby at the Moffat Railroad Museum Interpretive Center, located next to the Union Pacific Railroad siding.
“This will be a great new addition to our interpretive center,” said Dave Naples of the Moffat Road Railroad Museum. “It will fit in well with the 1923 Union Pacific CA-1 class all-wood caboose in place at the site along with an authentic 1930s-era hand-car and tool shed from the old Denver and Salt Lake Railroad.”
The Moffat Road Railroad Museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the legacy of the famous Moffat Road railroad line that crested the Continental Divide at 11,660 feet near Fraser, in what was considered one of the greatest railroad engineering feats of its time. The Moffat Road over Rollins Pass ceased being used with the completion of the Moffat Tunnel railroad tunnel in 1928.
The coach that arrived is a 1905 all-wood first class passenger coach that was originally placed in service by the Central Vermont Railroad. The car is nearly identical to the first-class passenger coaches that were used by the Moffat Road trains that made their way over Rollins Pass between Grand County and Denver.
“It’s a very rare car,” Naples said. “It’s one of the last ones in existence. We’re very pleased to have it and to have the opportunity to restore it and save it for history. That’s what this is all about.”
The car was donated by the now-deceased Allen Bliek of Rhode Island. The journey to Grand County, however, cost $41,000, most of which was paid by donations to the Moffat Road Railroad Museum.