Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas! | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Breckenridge Bulletin; Dec 26, 1907;
Christmas In The Mountains
  Christmas in Breckenridge was a most lovely sun-shiny day, and sleighing was superb. It was quiet in town, but from the amount of shopping previously done and the number of Christmas trees carried into homes, it was the liveliest and most joyful home day the town has ever seen. All the mines, mills and other industries took a day off, and all laboring men enjoyed the day. The stores all closed at noon.
  At the Methodist church Christmas eve a Sunday school entertainment and Christmas tree was enjoyed, which surpassed anything of the kind previously held at that church. The audience packed the building to its utmost, and every one present hugely enjoyed the program by the little folks, which consisted of songs, solos, duets, declamations, etc. The old folks took back seats and drank in the inspiration of youthful smiles and laughter, until it is more than probable that the majority of them that night dreamed of home and mother and Santa Clause. Each Sunday school scholar received a sack of sweetmeats from the tree, and went home brim full of a joy "that passeth understanding".
For Christmas.
  And New Year's holidays the Colorado & Southern will sell tickets to state points at one fare for the round trip. Tickets on sale December 24th, 25th, 31st and January 1st, good to return until January 3rd.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Along The Blue" #6 | 3 Comments - Click Here :

Summit County Journal; Sep 3, 1904;
  Yesterday morning, at Gold Hill, a point midway between Dickey and Braddocks, west-bound freight train No. 81 ran into a bunch of Ben Rice's cattle, killing three head and injuring four others.

No photographic records exist. But the scene may 
have looked similar to this disturbing accident 
on the Pittsburgh, Shawmut & Northern.
Photo courtesy the Ma & Pa R.R.

Friday, December 14, 2012

What Once Was | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Enough said  ) :

"Along The Blue" #5 | 0 Comments - Click Here :

  I wish I had more to report on my layout progress. But I don't. So..... unlike many of the dormant blogs out there, I will continue to give ya'all something to read if you're interested:

Summit County Journal; Jun 12, 1915;
Section Men Were Held Up by a Footpad
  Last Friday afternoon about 3 o'clock, an unexpected visitor approached the three section men,
A. Johnson, A. Sanderlin and Chas. Storm while they were at work on the C.& S. track just below the road crossing near the Breckenridge cemetery.
  They caught sight of the highwayman coming toward them from a clump of trees about seventy-five feet away and at once perceived his intent, as he was masked and carried a revolver. They awaited his arrival as per orders and upon first request to fork over their hard earned cash, they unhesitatingly complied and handed over $92.00.
  Again, obedient to the outlaw they boarded a handcar and proceeded toward Dickey. At dredge No. 1 they alighted and phoned Sheriff Detwiler. The Tonopah auto took the sheriff to the holdup scene, where Johnson, the section foreman and party joined him. An effort was made to track the guilty party to a hiding place, but no footprints could be found beyond the cemetery gate.
  The section men were evidently considerably excited for their descriptions of the hold-up man are very indefinite. The man may have been a runt or a six-footer for all we know, there is no clue to his identity.
  Heath, the car inspector stationed at Dickey, offers the only feasible solution: The spirits of the criminally inclined return to earth in bodily form and continue their evil practices and escape without detection. As proof of this statement, Mr. Heath refers that this party came directly out of the cemetery and returned to the same place and hasn't been seen since.

Being unfamiliar with the term, I had to look up Footpad on Wikipedia:

A footpad is an archaic term for a robber or thief specializing in pedestrian victims. The term was used widely from the 16th century until the 19th century, but gradually fell out of common use. A footpad was considered a low criminal, as opposed to the mounted highwayman who in certain cases might gain fame as well as notoriety.     A modern word in place of footpad would be mugger. A mugger is a person who accosts another person while they are both on foot, and commits the crime of robbery. This often includes a violent nature resulting in injury to the victim.

Monday, December 10, 2012

"Along The Blue" #4 | 1 Comments - Click Here :

  These two slightly different articles about the same incident; while both gory and tragic, also gleam a little bit of information about the daily railroad operations at Dickey:

Breckenridge Bulletin; Feb 16, 1907;
  John B. Lasley was run over by the cars at Dickey Wednesday at about noon and instantly killed. Lasley was for two or three years car inspector at Dickey for the C.& S. road.
  On the day he came to such a sudden and untimely end he was engaged in freeing the switch track of some ice which had accumulated upon it. An extra freight train was switching around near him, and all at once while his back was turned toward the moving train and his attention directed to loosening a bolt in the rail, the engine and two cars came upon him. People nearby saw his danger and attempted to warn him, but he either did not hear them or failed to understand what they meant.
  The engineer and fireman, it seems, from the evidence they gave before the coroners jury, did not notice the unfortunate man. A car loaded with ties struck him and in an instant he was in eternity, his body a horribly mangled mass of flesh and bones. One arm and one leg were severed and practically every bone in his body was crushed, and his entrails and pieces of bones and flesh were strewn along the track for over two-hundred feet.
  Dr. Condon was immediately summoned, and at once secured a coroner's jury and they proceeded to the scene of the the accident and held an inquest, returning the verdict of death "as the result of an unavoidable accident". The facts brought out at the inquest were substantially the same as given above.
  Deceased was about 34 years old, a young man of good habits, industrious and honest. Not long since he was married to Miss Elsie Shea, at Dickey. He had been employed as car inspector there some two or three years.

Summit County Journal; Feb 16, 1907;
  At 1 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, Coroner Condon was called by wire to Dickey to hold an inquest upon the remains of John Lasley, reported killed at that place. Dickey is a coal and water station on the Colorado and Southern, seven miles north of Breckenridge.
  The doctor hastily picked up a jury and left in a sleigh for the scene of the accident. Upon their arrival at Dickey a most horrible sight presented itself. The body of John Lasley was literally ground into an unsightly mass, only the head bore semblance of what was once a strong, healthy man.
  Lasley was in the employ of the railroad company, as hostler in the engine house. On the day above mentioned, a west bound extra freight stopped at Dickey to do a lot of moving and switching of freight cars. The train, in charge of Conductor Williams, was a double header. While the cars were being moved about on the several tracks and sidings, Mr. Lasley was around and on the right of way, and to pass away the time had been assisting the section hands in picking ice from between the rails.
  At about 12:30 o'clock, Lasley and the section foreman ceased work on the icy switches and started to walk down the main line track towards the depot, situate about one hundred yards away. The two men walked leisurly along, paying but slight attention to the shifting of cars.
  Just north of the water tank the trainmen made what is known as a "flying switch", the engine with several cars remaining on the main line and backing down toward the two men on the track. Seeing the pending danger the footmen were in, in continuing to walk the track, the fireman on the other engine, the station agent and others shouted to the men to jump off, but Lasley it seems, did not hear, and certainly did not heed the cry of danger or notice the rapidly approaching cars till hit by a car load of cross-ties. The section boss barely made a clear get-away.
  He was knocked down, run over, dragged and mangled. The coroner's jury returned a verdict of death in accordance with the above facts, but attached no blame upon anybody.
  Deceased was married and resided at Dickey with his wife, formerly a Breckenridge lady by the name of Sellia Shea. He was about 35 years of age. He leaves a young widow but no children. The remains will be sent to Grand Junction today for burial.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Visit to Dickey | 6 Comments - Click Here :

  Sad but true; its the beginning of December and there is no snow in Colorado's high country. The recent drought we are under has lowered the level of Dillon reservoir enough to once again expose the site of Dickey. Since the construction of the reservoir in 1963, only one other time (effects from the 2002 drought) has this occurred. The previous re-surfacing of Dickey was documented in the official publication of the Denver, South Park and Pacific Historical Society (The Bogies and the Loop; numbers 44 & 48).
  I paid my first visit to Dickey this week. It was really more like visiting the surface of the moon or an atomic bomb blast site. Dickey is situated near the inlet of the Blue River, and the underwater currents have changed much of the contours of the landscape. It is very difficult to locate the grade. Much of the dirt and sediment having been washed away. But the foundations of all the structures can still be seen. And for those who do their homework, they can be identified. There are also plenty of artifacts scattered about to signify what was once a vital community.
  Hopefully soon, the snow will pile up across Colorado. I also hope to have the opportunity to pay another visit in the springtime, before the run-off which will submerge Dickey once again.
~ Cowboy Up! 

The pump house and cistern.

The section/eating house.

Some of the artifacts found and placed atop a water tank footing.

The grade towards Dillon and Keystone.

The grade towards Breckenridge.

Pine Beetles have reeked devastation upon the area tree population.

Sadly, the Blue River is all but dried up.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Along The Blue" #3 | 2 Comments - Click Here :

A few stories about one of my favorite subjects; Jugheads:

Summit County Journal; Jun 18, 1904;
  On Saturday last, Pery Ault's team took fright at a passenger train at Dickey and ran away. Team and train left Dickey at the same time, the former beating the later into Dillon by two minutes. No damage was done.

Breckenridge Bulletin; Feb 28, 1913;
  While the driver who took Sheriff Thomas to Dickey Friday was in the section house getting warmed up, the team warmed themselves up by running away, but were stopped half way to Frisco without much damage having been done.

Summit County Journal; May 31, 1902;
  Strayed from the Braddock ranch along Blue River, sorrel horse, weight about 1050, branded BD on left shoulder, white star on forehead, bushy mane, quite a number of white spots on body. Last seen at Dickey station, May 23. Liberal reward for information or return of animal to Dode Potter, at dredges, Breckenridge.

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Along The Blue" #2 | 1 Comments - Click Here :

  I haven't had much time to work on the layout of late, so I don't have any updates. I did however catch up with some of my favorite blogs over the long weekend. A recent post by Trevor Marshall on his blog describes how he is replicating the moves a prototype railroad crew would perform while switching.
  So I thought now would be an appropriate time to post this story about the importance of stopping before coupling. Who knows.... maybe we can save the limb or life of one of our own miniature crewmen ( :
~ Cowboy Up!

Breckenridge Bulletin; Apr 16, 1904;
Accident to J.B. O'Connor.
  Last Saturday Brakeman J.B. O'Connor, while coupling two engines, working on the rotary on its way to clear the road to Leadville, met with a very painful accident and may lose his left foot. While the engines were coaling and taking water at Dickey, two were detached and in coupling up these, Mr. O'Connor used his left foot to push the automatic coupler on the draw head so they would couple together and his right foot accidently slipped as the engines came together, catching the left foot between the bumper coupler and crushing and cutting it very badly.
  The injured man was hurriedly brought to town and Dr. Scott met him at the depot and took him to the Arlington house where the doctor dressed the wound and sent the injured man to the railroad hospital at Denver when the train passed through Saturday night.

Summit County Journal; Apr 16, 1904;
  A very serious accident befell J.B. O'Connor, a C.& S. brakeman, at Dickey, on last Saturday. In attempting to make a coupling, he used one of his feet to move one side of the coupling device. The result was very costly to him. His foot was caught and crushed.
  Dr. Scott took the unfortunate brakeman to St. Lukes hospital, Denver, where the railroad company's chief surgeons will try to avoid amputation. O'Connor resides at Denver, where he has a wife and five children.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Along The Blue" #1 | 2 Comments - Click Here :

Breckenridge Bulletin; Nov 9, 1907;
Dispute as to Which of Two Citizens Owns the Coal Belonging to Railroad, in Court.
  One of the most peculiar lawsuits ever started since Heck was a pup occupied the attention of the police judge, the district attorney and court attaches last Saturday. "Brocky" Myers being the complaining witness and "Jack" Zeigler the defendant.
  Between Breckenridge and Dickey a great deal of coal is jostled from the tenders of moving engines and some of our best citizens torture the abominable local coal trust almost to tears by gathering it up for use instead of permitting themselves to be robbed by extortionate prices. Among these coal pickers are the two men who had the aforesaid trouble.
  "Brocky" goes down the track, picks his coal and puts it into small piles to be hauled later.
Mr. Zeigler has a horse and buggy and whatever coal he finds he brings home forthwith. "Brocky" brought the suit up on the charge that Zeigler had loaded up and hauled home two tons of coal he had put into small piles.
  In common with most everybody else, Judge Miars didn't seem to think much of the case, as it was the subject of jest, laughter and joke all over town, and soon as he could find an excuse to do so, threw it out of court. The particular point upon which it was dismissed was an error in the information alleging the crime to have been committed "November 31st" instead of October 31st.
  Well, the county pays the costs to keep the mighty machinery of the law constantly oiled for suckers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Human Element | 2 Comments - Click Here :

  The end of another full time rodeo season, a couple of injured horses and the start of school has given me more time to spend on the layout. Lately though, I've been researching old newspaper articles. Specifically, I've been looking for items that pertain to factual stuff like the dates things were built, structures, colors, schedules, locomotive assignments and so forth. 
  I recently read a post on another blog (sorry, I don't remember which one!), that has made me think about something that is maybe just as important. And without knowledge of it, how could I portray the place, time and mood of the location I am modeling? I can build a model right down to every nut, bolt and rivet of the prototype. But what is the story behind it which would really help bring my scenes to life? At least to myself anyways.
  I've been interested in and researching the South Park Line for 30 years. The names of South Park railroaders like Anderson, Colligan, Oshier and Speas to name just a few; conjure up visions of great adventures on the High Line. Their stories have been well documented. But what about the supporting actors? Those whose stories were lost long ago?
  Dickey was not a town. It was a junction point on the railroad that just happened to be in the middle of a large ranching community. There was no central business district. The C&S depot and eating house at Dickey had become the gathering place for the local residents. Dickey was abandoned in 1938 and has been at the bottom of Dillon Reservoir since 1963.
  In my quest for information, I've come across long forgotten stories about the life of the people in Dickey and the Blue River area. I would like to present bits and pieces of them here. I will occasionally post a newspaper clipping in a regular blog story titled "Along The Blue". They are raw and uncut. Told with the style so typical of the period. Some are long and some are short. Some are funny and some are sad. But they all give a sense of a place and time, long ago gone and almost forgotten.
~ Cowboy Up!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Square Round House | 0 Comments - Click Here :

I've recently come across two more newspaper articles. I think it is safe to say the new engine house was painted the same color as the depot being that it was constructed only one year after the "Painting Gang" came through town:

Summit County Journal; Oct 25, 1902;
Round House at Dickey
 The Colorado and Southern Railway company is building a round house at Dickey, with room to "stall" six engines. The building will be completed and ready to use before winter sets in and will be a convenience that the company has long been in need of on this side of Boreas. But instead of being located at the out of the way place of Dickey, the structure should have been located at Breckenridge.
 Gradually the C.& S. management is placing the South Park line in shape to handle traffic more economically. Besides many improvements heretofore noticed the road-bed is being relaid with new steel rails between Denver and Leadville.

Breckenridge Bulletin; Nov 15, 1902;
Round House Completed.
 The square round house at Dickey is completed, and the iron horses have a stable in which to stand while having to lay over or wait a bit at Dickey.
 The weather has been very favorable for out door work. And every one has been taking advantage of the favorable weather to have all contract work done before snow begins to fall.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Painting Gang | 2 Comments - Click Here :

One of the difficulties of modeling the earlier periods of railroading is determining color from black and white photographs. Sometimes we get lucky and find personal accounts of such things. In this case, the color of the facilities on the station grounds:

Summit County Journal; Jul 27, 1901;
On the Fix-Up.
 The visionary theories of the know-alls relative to the abandonment of the South Park line by the C.& S. people are now effectually squelched. At present the Colorado & Southern has a large force of laborers on the High Line, placing the track in better condition and "fixing things up" generally, and the improvements are made with a view to permanency.
  Among the new things now receiving attention we notice new and extensive sidetracks and greater switching facilities at Kokomo, a 12-pocket elevated coal chute at Dickey, which will enable engines to coal in one minute; the station buildings along the line, especially those at Dickey, Dillon and Breckenridge, have undergone thorough repairs, and the painting gang is now recoating them with a bright red; the trestle work on one of the long twin bridges on Boreas pass will be 200 feet long and thirty feet deep in the center.
  One of the high bridges near Birdseye has already been dispensed with by an earth-fill.

Bright red it is.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fun With Foam | 0 Comments - Click Here :

This past weekend I paid a visit to the local Home Depot to gather materials for the two staging cassettes which need to be constructed. Instead, I came home with a sheet of pink insulation foam. I immediately went to work with a hack-saw blade and carved in the basic land forms. A messy job, but someone had to do it!
After gluing down the foam, I applied two coats of grey latex paint in preparation for a layer of Sculptamold goop to be added at a later date.
Despite my poor photography caused by an iPhone, bad lighting and the temporary grey color of everything; to my minds eye, it's starting to look allot like Dickey. Maybe its because it looks much like a cold wintry day so typical of the area.
I'm excited to get some real scenery started. But the shadow box and lighting must come first.
~ Cowboy Up!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Up Next.... | 2 Comments - Click Here :

With the track work completely finished and operational, it's time to move on to the next phase of construction; the backdrop and valance (the shadow-box). As tempting as it was, I purposely waited on this stage to make it easier to lay the track. I was able to work from above and both sides rather than having to reach in and under.
I plan to use Gatorboard for the backdrop and fascia. It is strong, lightweight (the layout is heavy enough as it is!) and resists warping better than masonite. It is also available in a 10' length, so there would be no seam in the backdrop or fascia. It is rather expensive, but I think the trade off will be more beneficial than going with a lesser material.
While I wait for the Gatorboard to arrive, I will investigate lighting options and maybe even build the two hidden staging cassettes.
I'm looking forward to recreating scenes such as below with a backdrop behind it!
- Cowboy Up!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Painted Rail | 8 Comments - Click Here :

In the past, I've always spray painted individual rail sections with rattle cans of Floquil roof brown and grimy black before spiking it down. For this layout, I hand laid the un-weathered rail first. This created the problem of how to paint the rail once the track laying was completed. I considered using my airbrush; but it is a siphon feed as opposed to gravity feed (meaning it feeds paint from the bottom as opposed to the top, thus making it difficult to get it down low on the layout). Even then, it would require an extremely steady hand to accomplish.
Enter Floquil's Rail Marker set. What I would consider as one of the top tools to come along recently. I hesitated on them at first because I am using code 55 rail, and I thought the pen tips would be to large. As a test, I caved in and spent the measly $9 for a set of three (Rust, Rail Brown, Tie Brown). Am I glad I did! These things worked great!
I applied the rust as a first coat and it had a slight translucent effect after it dried. After letting that cure for two days, I followed up with a coat of Rail Brown. The results can be seen below. I am more than pleased with the effect and highly recommend these pens!
- Cowboy Up!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

New Locomotive Type? | 3 Comments - Click Here :

My other brother Derrell has pointed out that I own three 0-4-0T "Jughead" types (T for tail).
Lol! That name couldn't be more appropriate!
Thanks d!
- Cowboy Up!

Missing At The Bar (Missy)
Dash For Sonshine (Sonny)

Joes Royal Jay (Joe)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Turnout Servos Installed | 2 Comments - Click Here :

I have successfully installed all of the turnout servos. I utilized the micro servos available from  
Tam Valley Depot. They are very small but work great! Come to think of it; anything bigger is overkill when throwing Sn3 turnouts.
I modified the positioning of the servo bracket by mounting them sideways on a block of wood. This allows the servo arm direct swing to more precisely line up the stub turnouts. To control the servos, I utilized Tam Valley's Quad Pic, Dual Three Way and Hex Frog Juicer. There will be no control levers or switches on the fascia of the layout. Control of the turnouts will be from a wireless NCE DCC throttle. 
I found the installation and programming of these to be easy and am very pleased with the way they operate. I am looking forward to operating the layout using this method!
- Cowboy Up!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Making Progress | 1 Comments - Click Here :

Having the Labor Day weekend off from rodeo gave me the opportunity to make some real progress on the layout. I am happy to report that all of the rail has been completed with the exception of the hidden staging yards, which have yet to be constructed. I have also installed all of the feeders and completed all of the layout wiring for DCC. All that remains is to install the turnout servo motors.
The layout will then be put through a vigorous shakedown, working out any bugs before painting the rails and adding dirt and weeds. After all of this is completed, I can move on to the shadow-box and lighting installation!
For reference; I used code 55 rail from Micro Engineering and 150% HO spikes from the Proto:87 Stores. The turnout modules and servos are from Tam Valley Depot and the wireless DCC system is from NCE.
I took the following pictures with my iPhone so please excuse the quality!
- Cowboy Up!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Roper Sez: | 3 Comments - Click Here :

All these miles chasing rodeos is fine and dandy;
But when are we gonna get back to workin' on the railroad?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rail going down | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Just to update that I have been spiking rail. The wait for some materials to arrive and my busy schedule has slowed progress; but it has all been forward progress! The details and photos to follow after enough has been completed to make it worth my while.
- Cowboy Up!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cinders for ballast | 4 Comments - Click Here :

I've completed ballasting all the roadbed with cinders. My previous experience has been that it is much easier to get this completed before hand laying rail. The look of a heavily used mainline is only temporary as much of this will be overgrown with dirt and weeds once scenery is complete.
I begun by sanding the ties level. Then proceeded to use a four part process to distress and stain the ties. After they were dry, I poured cinders from Mountain Modelcraft, securing them with the tried and true white glue method.
- Cowboy Up!

Step 1: Stain with Silver wood. Step 2: Distress ties with a heavy-duty wire brush tool designed for use in a drill.
Step 3: Stain with Weather-It. Step 4: Dry brush with Quaker Grey.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ties and Mock-ups | 2 Comments - Click Here :

The last few weeks I have been busy with travel and rodeos.  But when I had an opportunity, I would spend a few minutes here and there down in the Man Cave. I have completed laying all the ties for the layout. I used 6'-6" ties from Mt. Albert, and glued them down using Elmers wood glue. To speed up the process, I ordered a Tie Rack from Fast Tracks. Next, I spent some time trying to make the layout look like something besides a flat board. If there is one thing I have excelled at in my years in the hobby, it is building mock-ups of the structures for a layout. This layout is no exception. I build my temporary structures from foam core, matte board and ACC. If I have plans for a structure, I will print and laminate them with Elmers spray adhesive. For others, I will print and paste copies of the windows or doors I plan to use for the structure.
The little time it takes to make these mock-ups goes a long ways towards giving a vision of what the layout will look like. The nicer the mock-up, the longer you have till you actually have to sit down and build the real thing! Lol!
One thing I have not excelled at is photography. I'm planning to improve on that as this blog moves along.

Compare the above photo with the header of this blog. I am pleased with how accurate the layout is looking so far.

Though not a part of his workbook series, Mike Blazek does offer individual plans for the Dickey depot, engine house and pump house. I enlarged them from HO to S (136%).

My model of the C&S Forks Creek tank is serving as the mock up for the Dickey tank. The Dickey tank however is 47,500 gallons as opposed to the tiny Forks Creek tank.

My next chore is to sand, distress and stain the ties before ballasting and laying rail.
- Cowboy Up!     

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Transferring The Plan | 2 Comments - Click Here :

Now armed with a track plan, my next objective is to transfer it to the layout. I first sealed the Homasote with flat grey latex paint. Many thanks to my friend Doug Heitkamp. He copied the plan from the valuation map and drew it full scale in Autocad. The drawing is complete with center line, rails and scale turnouts. I'm pleased to see that the Autocad drawing matches up the with the valuation map.
A very low resolution  jpeg scan of the large Autocad file is below:

Doug's girlfriend Michelle then plotted the plan full size at her place of employment. I temporarily attached the plan to the layout surface with masking tape. Using a perforation tool from Hobby Lobby, I traced the center line of the track, which cut through the plan leaving a groove in the soft Homasote. I then went back over the grooves with a Sharpie pen to highlight them:

With the center line of the track now transferred to the surface, it's time to lay some ties!
- Cowboy Up!