BACKSTORY: From the Knott's Berry Farm website:
The train has been serving visitors here since January 12, 1952. The depot was once the Hansen station on the Pacific Electric Railway (the Big Red Cars). It stood near the corner of Ball Road and Knott Avenue—which was originally known as Hansen Road.
Walter Knott began acquiring the authentic vintage equipment in 1951 and work began to grade and lay 3' narrow gauge track for a grand circle rail route for recently acquired rolling stock with service starting that November.
The railroad's opening ceremony commenced on January 12, 1952. Unlike many other theme park railroads, the locomotives and most of the other equipment of the Ghost Town & Calico – Knott's Scenic Route have been restored to original paint schemes and appearance on Colorado's Rio Grande Southern Railroad and Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Also unlike most theme park railroads used as transportation, it travels in a circle and riders disembark at the same place they alight – Calico Depot.
The park has two Class C-19 Consolidation (2-8-0) locomotives, both originally constructed for the Denver & Rio Grande in 1881. When retired from service in Colorado, they were D&RGW No. 340 Green River (formerly D&RG #400, renamed Gold Nugget No. 40 for many years on the GT&C) from the Denver & Rio Grande Western and RGS No. 41 Red Cliff (recently renamed Walter K at the 60th anniversary ceremony January 12, 2012) from the Rio Grande Southern.