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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

IN ICTU OCULI - A GILPIN TRAM FAREWELL | 1 Comments - Click Here :

Shay #3 at the enginehouse. BLE magazine 1903

    Keith Pashina - And in the blink of an eye, The Gilpin Railroad was gone!

    100 years ago this week, the Colorado & Southern Railroad sent a dispatch to the Gilpin Railroad on January 12, 1917,  and the Register-Call newspaper reported that it was
“ordering all the tram cars, engines, and the other equipment, to be in the roundhouse of the company, by Monday, the 15th… That date ends the control of the line by that company (the C&S), and the transfer of the line to Denver parties, who have bought the road, will be made later. Reports have bee in circulation that the new owners intend to operate the line if then can make it a paying proposition, and if the find to be a white elephant on their hands, the line will be scrapped, and sold as junk.”

    Unfortunately, the tramway could not be run profitably, and the Register-Call reported the $67,000 of company bonds had been sold to Radetsky Brothers of the Colorado Iron and Metal Company of Denver.

    After various legal proceedings, the final sale was made on June 2, 1917, to the Radetsky Brothers.  Thereafter, scrapping of the line proceeded. By October of that year, trackage had been ripped up back to Chase Gulch, and the final removals to the enginehouse completed a few weeks afterward.

    Only a few remnants of the Gilpin Tram survived. The three shays, numbers 3, 4, and 5, were sent to Radetsky’s Denver scrap yard potential sale. There they sat for many years, with no buyers, and were scrapped in 1938.

    Twenty of the Tram’s unique ore cars were purchased by the Iron City Mill, and used to transfer ore from a nearby loading point to the mill. Initially, these cars were hauled by horses, and later an internal combustion engine.

    Everything else – rolling stock, rail, and machinery were scrapped.

    The Gilpin Tram originally had a bright and prosperous start, when, on December 11, 1887, the first ore shipments were made. The Gilpin Tram was a technological marvel in its day, efficiently reaching many of the major producing mines and reducing shipping costs. The tramway allowed lower-grade ores, formerly not economical to mine, to now be extracted for their ore.

    This prosperous little railroad did not go unnoticed. The Colorado & Southern Railroad recognized the traffic that the tramway could feed them outbound ore and concentrates, and inbound coal and other supplies. Also, new railroad construction to the north (the Denver, Northwestern and Pacific) was threateningly close, and there was talk of building feeder lines north from Central City to reach this standard gauge line. This could not be allowed, and so on June 27, 1906, the Gilpin Tramway Company became wholly owned by the Colorado and Southern.

    But, the mining industry did not stand still. As the mines grew deeper, removal of subsurface water became more of a problem. Innovations in drilling appeared, too, and soon, haulage tunnels from Idaho Springs could be built to reach to bottom levels of many Gilpin County mines, draining the troublesome water, and hauling out the ore. Although many tunnels were started, it was the Newhouse Tunnel from Idaho Springs that reached the mines. Ongoing expansion by the Newhouse Tunnel was now taking over more and more ore haulage from the producing mines in the district. Already, the tunnel had tapped former major shippers on the tramway, such as the Frontenac, Aduddell, Saratoga, Old Town, and others, with more mines being reached each year.
As more mine shafts were linked up, less and less ore was hauled by the tramway. By 1914, former operating surpluses turned into losses. 1915 was no better, and 1916 even worse!

    The prospects for any future increase in traffic were none too good, either. By 1916, only the Polar Star Mill in Black Hawk was custom treating ores on a regular basis. What had started out as a European war in 1914 had ominously grown, and now seemingly engulfed the whole world. This impacted mining operations, too, and precious metal mining had dropped off precipitously in 1914.

    The handwriting was on the wall – the outlook was poor, and it was time to end operations. So, with very little notice, the Gilpin Tram faded away into history.

 Keith Pashina

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Form 19 | 0 Comments - Click Here :

No. 5 and No. 6 pulling train #70 from Denver to Leadville, May 1934. Photo courtesy Robert Stears collection.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Someday... | 2 Comments - Click Here :

    Darel Leedy - Someday I hope to have the eagerness of a fire breathing steam locomotive. But for now my modeling enthusiasm feels more like an empty boxcar sitting in a lonely freight yard. Thank you to all of you who have made the discussion forum the place to congregate and keep my interest alive. Hopefully my Form 19 will be issued soon!

Leadville. Photo courtesy Robert Stears collection.

Monday, August 22, 2016

New C&S Passenger Car Book | 3 Comments - Click Here :


    Kenneth Martin is proud to announce here first on the C&Sn3, his new self published book of Colorado and Southern passenger car drawings.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Upcoming Webcomic: C&Sng with a Twist | 0 Comments - Click Here :

    Tom Coletti - I've been working on a special project over the last several years, and those with ties to the South Park may be particularly interested. "Wings & Strings" is a series which will follow the lives of a footplate crew working out of Como's great stone cathedral of a roundhouse at the turn of the century, just as the Colorado & Southern narrow gauge is coming into its own. The main characters are fictitious, but many notable South Park icons will flesh out the community, including senior engineer George "Jumbo" Miller, second-in-seniority Sam Speas, and others. Even the nameless shop crewmen and others from various C&S photograph archives will make cameo appearances.

    Many aspects of the C&S and daily life along the line will be faithfully recreated. However, there is one addition to the world in this series that allows it to occasionally wander from the historically fictitious into the truly fantastical:



    I've long held the idea that dragons and steam locomotives ought to have a setting in which they coexisted, due to the vast number of parallels between them: grand and fearsome breeds, oceans churning in their bellies, infernos raging in their hearts, their laborious breath thick with embers and soot, their large golden eyes beaming brightly as they fly across prairies wide and mountains tall. Yet a modern world has left both on the wayside, a sense of adventure and whimsy lost to time.


     Above are various in-progress scenes that I am working on for the comic. Since only two known photos exist of the roundhouse's interior during operations--and both are very rough and dark with limited perspective--I have instead opted to use Don Pacetti's fantastic HOn3 modeling of the roundhouse interior as a guide for placing machinery and other details, since the interior is shown with good lighting, high resolution, and multiple angles.

    Beyond just a simple webcomic format, a multi-media aspect comes into play in the form of a musical score--which will be written and performed myself--for each uploaded set of panels, as well as occasional small bits of animation to enhance certain scenes, like this gif of Brooks mogul No. 17, "Alma," which was written off the actual C&S books around 1902 but remains under the care of the comic's main characters, Lloyd & Luz O'Leary, pictured below. This engine was chosen to avoid writing over the stories of other C&S engineers and firemen, whom were very closely tied to specific engines from the active fleet.



    I'll continue to post updates to my main page, wings-and-strings.tumblr.com, and the comic's first chapter will be uploaded to wings-and-strings-comic.tumblr.com once it is ready. Often, I'll stream a live video feed of my art progress at https://picarto.tv/WingsAndStrings so that others can watch the comic's creation in real time. Anyone's welcome to join the stream when it's up, and you can follow either the main site or the Picarto channel to get notifications for when I'll be streaming. There's also a thread for this comic in the C&Sng Discussion Forum.

Thanks again to Darel and everyone else who has shown interest in this project,
~ Tom

Monday, May 9, 2016

Slacker | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Roper thanks Roy for the bump (-;

    Thanks to Jim Courtney, there is a new thread in the C&Sng Discussion Forum for views of the C&S in color. Here's hoping some never before published photos turn up! Regardless, it will be nice to have a collection of views in one location. Enjoy if you visit.

    Meanwhile, I'll try not to be such a slacker. But it's hard when I haven't been in a "railroady" mood of late. Roper himself could use a little help.

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Along the Blue" #30 | 0 Comments - Click Here :


    Keith Pashina sent this view to Roper from the November 9, 1905, Mining Reporter Magazine. The Gold Pan was a major customer on the C&S. More information and photos can be found in "Gold Pan Mining Company and Shops" by Maureen Nichols (Quandary Press 1994).

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Canned Ham | 0 Comments - Click Here :

   
    
    Darel Leedy - So, I wont be making as much progress on the layout as I had planned after all.
A barn find purchase over the holidays will keep me consumed for the foreseeable future. You can follow along on the blog I created to document the restoration process here: Aunt Bee's Canned Ham

    In the meantime, Roper will try to keep the C&Sn3 updated with an occasional post. And if anyone has something to share, by all means send it to him and he'll get it posted. He's a good dogie.

Now, Beau and I are heading back out to the garage.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Help To Identify Location | 4 Comments - Click Here :

    Darel Leedy - Don Peterson and I made the drive to Boulder Sunday evening for dinner and a slide show at John Tempelton's humble abode. We were joined by a couple of other fellow enthusiasts and were first treated to color slides of the C&Sng in my honor. Then Mike Danneman and Rich Farewell presented spectacular views of their trips to the Soldier Summit area in Utah and then British Columbia. Thanks again for hosting John!
    John then forwarded an email from Mel Patrick. Mel would like assistance identifying the location of the photo below. His original email:
Took this photo in May 1973 showing a remnant of the C&S (DSP&P) narrow gauge, about 3/4 miles west of Union Station. From my 1913 Denver street & RR map, I can not pin down such a diamond crossing. What are the tracks crossing and exactly where was this?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas! | 1 Comments - Click Here :


    Darel Leedy - Introducing Wilson. I am sure his great grand Pappy (pictured below, first in line) would have approved of his new status as historical curator of the C&Sn3 blog. I just hope he isn't going to be too much of an ass around here. 
Wilson, Roper and I would like to wish all C&S fans a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!