Built in 1900 by the Richmond Locomotive Works, 769 is one of only a handful of non-Baldwin-built Santa Fe steamers still in existence. It began life as Santa Fe Pacific Railroad #266, the first of a group of 20 2-8-0's built for this A.T.&S.F. subsidiary (the SFP was formed to operate the former Atlantic & Pacific Railroad when the Santa Fe took possession of the latter in 1897). In 1902, the locomotive became A.T.&S.F. 3045, and some time later was renumbered to 769. The engine traded tenders at least once in its career, ending up with the tank from Santa Fe 4-6-2 #1227, which was scrapped in 1936.
While several members of the 769-class were cut down to lowly 0-8-0's in the Santa Fe's shops in the 1930's, class locomotive 769 suffered the possibly greater indignity of being sold off to the Albuquerque & Los Cerrillos Coal Company in 1950. Along with 2-8-0's 870 and 874, 769 was sent to work at the coal mine at Madrid, NM, located at the end of a branch extending south from the Santa Fe main at Waldo. The 769 was never renumbered nor relettered by the coal company, and spent its post-Santa Fe career in full A.T.&S.F. markings.
When the mine shut down amid a declining coal market in 1959, Madrid became a ghost town. Locomotives 769 and 870 were abandoned on-site and left to rust. The 769 was mysteriously parked just outside the old 1-stall enginehouse, which could have afforded it some protection from the elements, and it welcomes visitors to the Madrid Old Coal Town Museum to this day !
Visitors to the Mine Shaft Tavern enjoy viewing it while sitting outside.
Historical & related links:
Website has nearly 18,500 photographs of over 1,500 locomotives (mainly steam) as well as other equipment in 455 locations across 46 states in the continental US. Books & manuals too. http://www.rgusrail.com/nmatsf769.html
Richmond Locomotive Works https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Locomotive_Works
Richmond Steam Engine 769
"Ghost Town Years 1959"
Madrid New Mexico
"Backdrop in Engine House Theater" Madrid New Mexico
Clay Walker Music Video " Jesse James" Shot on the 769 Engine & inside the Engine House Theatre