Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Along the Blue" #24 | 1 Comments - Click Here :

Occurring 110 years ago today:

Breckenridge Bulletin; Jan 3, 1903
Engineer Dan Williams Killed.
    Early on Monday morning December 31st, word was brought to town by Conductor G.W. Miller, of the 4 o'clock a.m. train, that there was a wreck of his train at Pittsburgh switch, about four miles from town.
    On the return of the engine which had helped the wrecked train over the range and had gone ahead to Dickey, Coroner Condon had a jury of six citizens summoned.  They went on the 11:30 train and viewed the remains and wreck and heard the evidence of Conductor Miller and Brakemen C.J. Selby and S.S. Cheney, whose testimony varied but little from the following statement:
    About 3:50 a.m. the train was moving downgrade at a rate of from ten to thirteen miles an hour. The two Brakemen were on the fifth car from the engine and heard and felt no jar or other collision, greater than the breaking apart of the train.Thinking that had happened, they and the conductor went forward and found the engine No. 47, tender and three cars in a wreck with the engine on its right side, lying flat and the left side engine going like lightning, letting steam escape.
    The Conductor and one of the Brakemen stepped on the tender trucks and saw the fireman, Frank Young, coming out between the tank and trucks, badly scalded and bruised up. They assisted him to the passenger car and returned going around the engine found that engineer, Dan Williams had crawled out between the cab and tender, having been scalded from head to foot. He asked them to get him out of there as quickly as they could, which they did. Getting him to the car as quickly as they could, he only lived about two hours, his injuries covered his whole body.
    The jury examined the track, and there seemed to be no spreading or other thing wrong with the track, and the witnesses said in their evidence that these accidents are wholly unexplainable and apparently unavoidable and will be as long as cars run on two trucks. After gathering the information, the train returned to town with the jury, coroner and passengers, and the jury being in consultation at 3:30 in the afternoon agreed upon a verdict of said accident, occurred from causes unknown to this jury.
    The train from east and west transferred their passengers and express in the afternoon, and the body of the dead Engineer was brought to town and turned over to Undertakers Huntress & Rogers, for preparation for burial.
    The deceased, Daniel Williams, was a widower and it has not been known whether he has any children living or not. He was a member of the order of Elks, and will probably be looked after by that order.

Conductor Miller and Dr. Condon??
Maureen Nicholls

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Cab Curtains | 22 Comments - Click Here :

       I was gonna wait and post about the locomotive I've been working on once it was finished. It just needs a few more details and weathering before I can call it completed. But I'm pretty pleased with how well the cab curtains turned out, and felt I should share it!
    One thing that really bugs me about most imported brass models, is that the cab doors are usually modeled closed. To help hide this, I followed an article by Chad M. Zentz in Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine, in which he used tea bags to represent canvas cab curtains. Here is the link to the article: http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/magazine/mrh-2011-11-nov/teabag-cab-curtains .
   I also used the tea bag material for the cab shades. I finished my curtains and shades with a lite wash of Soviet Green and India ink. I'm sure I will think of other uses for this material.
   For you tea lovers; I even drank the tea while I was making these! They are a great little detail to add, and the engine crew will appreciate them come winter in the Rocky Mountains.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"Along the Blue" #23 | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Have A Blessed Christmas Everyone!

Ten Mile Range & Blue River, Col. 1917
Library of Congress Photo

Monday, December 23, 2013

Scale Ruler App | 2 Comments - Click Here :

Here is the link to the Scale Ruler App for the iPhone mentioned in a previous post: 
It is also located in the App Store on your iPhone.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fremont Pass Continued | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Remains of the turntable and lead track at Climax, circa 1930's.
Poole Collection

Saturday, December 14, 2013

First Dickey Structure | 6 Comments - Click Here :

    Alright... so it's not really a structure per-say, but it did take only 30 minutes of work!

    I was at the local antique mall last week and came across a box full of of old HO junk. You know... the kind of stuff we all remember building in our youth. In it, I found the remains of a built-up HO water tank. I had been thinking of using a roof from one of these as the basis for the well/cistern located behind the pump house. Its going to sit along the rear of the layout, so it doesn't have to be super detailed. I whipped out my handy dandy scale ruler mobile app for my iPhone; and viola, it measured 12' in diameter in S scale; the exact size of the Dickey well. Although over-priced, I ponied up the $3.

    One man's trash is another man's treasure. I cut it down, framed the edges, painted the roof, and wrapped it with a couple rows of random stone from Chooch.


 I then cut a hole in the foam surface and inserted the new cistern into its location behind the pump house. A little ground cover and it will blend right in.

Well... that was way too easy. Everything else on the layout now needs to be scratch-built. I can't wait!
~ Cowboy Up!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fremont Pass Engine House | 4 Comments - Click Here :

    To the west of Dickey, is Fremont Pass. About 20 years ago I purchased the enlarged print below from the Denver Public Library (the original is now available online). It shows the only known photo (unless more have surfaced in the last 20 years) of the engine house and enclosed turntable located at the summit (aka Climax). Click on the picture to enlarge.
    It appears to be very similar in design to the ones located atop Boreas Pass and the Alpine Tunnel, except for it being constructed of wood as opposed to native stone. Records do exist stating that this structure burned down in 1907. But other than that, no other information.
    If any more photos or information have come to light of which I have missed or forgot about, I would be interested in hearing from you.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! | 2 Comments - Click Here :

Breckenridge Bulletin; Nov 24, 1899
A Turkey Shoot.
    The Breckenridge Rod and Gun club has arranged for a free for all turkey shoot, at the grounds south of town. Everybody is invited to participate in the pleasures of this event. If you havn't a gun come anyway, you will be provided with one on the grounds and all it will cost is the ammunition used.
    The club has sparred no effort in arranging for the comfort and accommodation of its guests and we predict in advance a most successful termination of this affair.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

More Sn2 Memories | 5 Comments - Click Here :

    To add to the previous post of a trip down memory lane; here are a couple more photos I've found of my attempt to model the Gilpin Tramway in Sn2. It's hard for me to believe that these were taken over 13 years ago. Seems like yesterday I was tearing all of that out of here.

Shay #4 at the enginehouse in Blackhawk


Eureka Street in Central City

Gunnell Hill from Eureka Street

The mines on Gunnell Hill

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Along the Blue" #22 | 2 Comments - Click Here :

    Call me crazy, but I've always wanted to build a model of a dredge boat. I've doodled plans for a possible future exhibition layout centered around the spur and boats at Valdora (approximately two miles east of Dickey).

Summit County Journal; Jun 1, 1907
Building Spur to the Swan
    A party of nine surveyors under A.E. McGregory were up from Denver surveying a line for the new spur from the Colorado & Southern tracks to the scene of the works of the Colorado Gold Dredging company at Valdora on the Swan River. The railroad spur will be about a half a mile in length and will be used to transport the material for the dredges, supplies, etc.
    The Colorado company is working a big force of men, and the material for the two big boats is expected along now at anytime.

Boats No. 1 and No. 2 - Valdora, Colorado

Boat No. 2 - Valdora, Colorado
 Photos -  Denver Public Library

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Along the Blue" #21 | 2 Comments - Click Here :

Summit County Journal; Jan 7, 1899
Frisco Promised a Passenger Depot.
    The people of Frisco are delighted over the prospect of securing a depot building and other accommodations from the Colorado & Southern. The railroad company has already had a representative on the ground for the purpose of sizing up the situation. In this connection, we might add that Manager Ogden of the Recen properties has agreed to contribute lumber, light and labor in order that the camp may enjoy these desirable accommodations.

Original depot - Town of Frisco

New Depot - Denver Public Library

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Visitors and Distractions | 8 Comments - Click Here :

    Over this last month I've been quite busy, and unfortunately I don't have a railroad update to share. I did have some visitors as my good friends Joe Crea and Keith Pashina dropped by. Keith was in town for his annual sojourn into the Colorado mountains. Years ago, the three of us had collaborated with research on the Gilpin Tramway. Keith still models the Gilpin exclusively, while Joe now models large scale traction. It was great to see you two again!

Joe, myself and Keith.
    I have to admit that Casper (the beetle) has stolen much of the thunder from the railroad. I'm really enjoying working on it. Right now the engine is out to do a full tune-up and cleaning. Once it goes back in, I hope to hit the workbench and finish installing DCC and sound in one of my locomotives.
Engine out!
    One of my other modeling friends Doug Heitkamp, is also a Volkswagen expert. He has been helping and schooling me all about these cars. The cool thing is that when he comes over, we can play cars, or we can play trains! Thanks Doug!

Doug inspecting the clutch
I really do plan to work on the railroad this winter. Yes I really, really do plan to work on the railroad this winter!
~ Cowboy up!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Memory Lane | 2 Comments - Click Here :

    My friend David Keith recently updated his Sn2 Trains blog with a trip down "Memory Lane". For many years, Dave hosted a website for my Sn2 Gilpin Tram layout. I dismantled that layout 12 years ago. But Dave said it received so many hits, that he left the site up until last year when his web subscription expired.
    Because they were sold many moons ago, it was great to see pictures of my models again. It is also great to see that I'm still an expert in foam core mock-up construction. Lol!
Thanks for the "trip" Dave!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Along the Blue" #20 | 6 Comments - Click Here :

    It's been a few weeks since my last blog entry. I have to admit that working on trains has been far from my mind lately. Besides having a day job, within the last month I had a death in the family, visiting relatives, raging flood waters, emergency horse evacuations, rodeo, a fan trip to Chama, and the arrival of my new baby:

    Hopefully, once winter sets in I will get back to making some significant progress worthy of blogging about. There is a Narrow Gauge Convention coming to town soon which I will need to be ready for. Until then, here is another little article to help tide us over:

Summit County Journal; Aug 11, 1917
No. 1 Dredge Cuts Railroad Grade
    A crew of railroad men were here in Breckenridge the first of the week, and laid a new track around the No. 1 dredge of the Tonopah Placers Company. The dredge then cut through the old right-of-way. As soon as this right-of-way has been crossed, the track of the Colorado & Southern railroad will be returned to its original position, using the tailings pile for a roadbed.
    This shows a much different spirit on the part of the Colorado & Southern than was formerly the case. The last time the right-of-way had to be cut, the railroad service stopped at Breckenridge. The officials of the road now state that the business is so great on the west end that it would be impossible to tie up the service for even a few days. This is a much different plea than it was a few years ago, when the only cry was that the railroad was losing money by operating the branch.
    We are glad to know that the company is rushed, and we are also thankful for the service we are getting. The business is here, and by going after it in the right way, the Colorado & Southern can get it.
At Dickey, C&S boxcar 7642 awaits shipment east to Denver.  
The 7642 was last photographed on Trout Creek Pass years earlier.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Along the Blue" #19 | 3 Comments - Click Here :

    With summer in full swing, its been nearly impossible to work on anything railroad related. Come this fall, I hope to start making some real progress again. The kind of progress you'll see photographic evidence of!
I once had some On3 locomotives guilty of doing the following:

Summit County Journal; Jun 19, 1915
C. & S. Engine Has Severe Accident
    A pin on one of the drive wheels of the engine pulling the passenger train over from Leadville worked out when the train was a couple miles below town Tuesday morning and let the drive rod down, causing quite a smashup. The engine did not leave the track however and no one was injured.
    A freight train was at Dickey and the engine from that was pressed into service and pushed the passenger train with the wrecked engine into the Breckenridge yards, then pulled it on out an hour or so late.
    Had the accident happened on a down grade at the top of a high cliff, instead of on a stiff up-grade where the engine was quickly stopped, it might have been quite a serious wreck.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Along the Blue" #18 | 2 Comments - Click Here :

    For those "scale"operators who think it is OK to just put the caboose back on the track after it derails; you might consider checking the health of your miniature conductor and crew members who were riding in it. This may add a little time to your switching maneuvers:

Summit County Journal; Sep 17, 1921
Conductor Ward Hurt In Accident At Curtain
    Conductor Alfred Ward met with a very painful accident when the caboose of his train left the track on the west switch at Curtain Tuesday morning. The train was rather heavy, consisting of a couple of cars of coal, a couple of merchandise and several loads of ore from Kokomo. The grade of the track is rather steep at this point, and when the caboose left the track it was impossible to stop the train at once.
    Conductor Ward was riding in the cupola at the time the car left the main line, and the jar caused him to fall to the floor, where he struck a stove. He was bounced around pretty much, and received a dislocated shoulder, a broken arm, and fractured one or two ribs.
    He was taken to Breckenridge at once, and in the absence of Dr. Condon, Dr. George Smith, of Dillon, was called in attendance. At first it was thought that Mr. Ward had also received internal injuries, but a more thorough examination after he had been removed to Leadville Wednesday proved that he was unhurt internally.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

No More Spills | 9 Comments - Click Here :

    Thanks to my friend Patrick Tillery, I won't have to worry about knocking over any more bottles of glue or accelerator. Patrick was concerned with my repeated clumsiness and suprised me with this neat little bottle holder for the three things I spill the most (surely I'm not the only one?):

Thanks for protecting my workbench Patrick!

    While on the subject of my workbench; I was previously asked if I could share a little bit about it. So with no rodeo Friday night (thank you rain!), I cleaned it off and took some pictures. Since my layout and workbench share space in the basement family room, I want them to have a finished look.

     I found an upscale, solid oak receptionist desk on Craigslist for $100 (many thanks to the investment firm who were hurriedly evacuating their office, and sold me this $3000 value before the Feds showed up!). It is L shaped and measures about 7' X 8'. I like how the desk gives me multiple work spaces so I can have different projects going on at the same time.
    The high sides block the view from the outside if it ever gets messy (and it does!), yet they are still low enough so I can see the big screen TV while sitting at it. My favorite part though, is the counter top. It works great as a bar for snacks (just don't spill anything) or for show n' tell when the guys come over.
A quick search turns up many similar reception desks in all sizes and price ranges.

And completing the work area is my all original 1946 Westinghouse shortwave radio (glow in the dark tubes and all). It is usually tuned to Rockies baseball, Avalanche hockey or to KEZW for classic radio programming from the 30's and 40's. It is definitely a time warp and a very cool way to keep me relaxed while modeling.

Now to go make it all messy again!

~ Cowboy Up!

Monday, July 8, 2013

"Along the Blue" #17 | 3 Comments - Click Here :

    One of the benefits of my recent giveaway is getting to meet some of the folks who either entered or commented on this blog. On Friday, I met up for the first time with two of the lucky winners to deliver their loot in person. One of those meetings turned into an opportunity to operate on Keith Hayes' nice Sn3 layout depicting Leadville during the late 1930's. Keith's layout models both the C&S and the D&RGW.
    Of course, I worked the C&S local, while Keith switched the Rio Grande. The interchange between the two roads provided for an interesting operation, and we spent an enjoyable hour and a half breaking and making up trains. Thanks Keith!
    A couple of times I was reminded of the article below, as operator error on my part seemed to be my downfall:

Breckenridge Bulletin; Oct 28, 1899;
A Small Wreck.
    A small wreck occurred in the yards of the Colorado & Southern, at this place, on Wednesday afternoon. A "light" engine ahead of a freight came in and passed through the yard going on the "y", and in some way the switch was left open. The freight was close behind, making pretty good time to get out of the way of the passenger which was almost due. On arriving at the switch, the engine left the track and completely blocked the road for seven or eight hours.
    Outside of a little shaking up for the engineer and fireman no one was hurt, and about twelve o'clock that night the track had been cleared so as to allow the passenger train to continue its journey west.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lost: One head from the herd | 8 Comments - Click Here :


 Plus a whole bottle of this:

Leisurely spilled all over; results in this:

 Luckily, the rest of the herd escaped the carnage:

Cowboy Up and continue onward...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Along The Blue" #16 | 4 Comments - Click Here :

    As a modeler who enjoys the historical aspect of my subjects, I relish the research which is involved. One of the reasons for my posting these old newspaper clippings, is that within each one there gleams little bits of information that change allot of the old preconceived notions we all take for granted. Take for instance the "Y" atop Boreas. The article below reminds us that the C&S operated a very long time with no way to turn helpers. If that's the way they operated atop Boreas, it's possible they operated that way over the other passes at times as well. Backing down the hill was normal operating practice.
Also by this time, Como was practically a ghost town, hence the car repairs being done on the other side of the mountain.

Summit County Journal; May 29, 1915
Colorado & Southern Makes Improvements
    H.Heath, car inspector for the Colorado & Southern, is doing repair work on cars in the Breckenridge and Dickey yards. He says that in order to keep from pulling empty cars over the hills to Denver for repairs, the work will be done here so they may be sent east loaded. It is also understood that Superintendent Mitchell has plans for putting in a "Y" at the top of Boreas so engines may turn there instead of backing down the hill.

Inspector Heath at work in the Dickey yard.

Summit County Journal; Oct 14, 1905
Railroad Grade Changed
    The Colorado & Southern railway company will try an experiment on the Atlantic slope of Boreas Pass this winter. For years the expense of snow-shedding that side of the pass has been an enormous annual drain on the treasury. Nearly every summer one or more snow-sheds burned down and had to be rebuilt. As snow-sheds cost about $7 a running foot, the company has hit upon a new plan, and instead of rebuilding the 1,800-foot shed which went up in smoke a few months ago, the location of the track was changed (away from the hill) and the track raised, on the presumption that the snow would blow off of the new roadbed.
    During the past two months a grading force has been on the hill, preparing the new grade, which was completed and railed on last Monday.
    Trains are now running over the new track, which is one-half mile in length, and for the good of all concerned we hope the new one will prove a better system of operating a railroad through a very, very snowy district.
    Snow-sheds are a menace to travel and should be dispensed with except in extreme cases, and if the "high grade" or "fill" proposition will not suffice, the trestle plan should be adopted.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Late Spring Update | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Roper tries to make the best of highway miles.
    Other than the assembly line of BLW boxcar kits sitting on my workbench which I've worked on sporadically, I haven't done anything layout related of late. With rodeo season in full-swing, my weekends are spent on the road, and I have yet to try and bring something along to work on during the idle moments.
    In the meantime, I will update this blog with interesting articles I've come across (that's if y'all want me to continue to do so) until I can post more layout progress. I'm sure Roper will have something to interject at times also.
    Here are a couple of articles for all the prototype operators out there to apply to your pike:
~ Cowboy Up!

Summit County Journal; Apr 7, 1906;
    On last Sunday, a new system of signals and train orders went into effect on the South Park railroad. Hereafter, the semaphore displayed at all telegraph stations must show "red" at all times, save when a train is at station, and no train is allowed to pass a telegraph station unless signalled to proceed.
    Henceforth, when a train approaches the station, the engineer not only sounds the regular "long" whistle, but must, upon coming in sight of the semaphore, which will show "red", sound four "short" blasts. If the station agent has "no orders" and has no occasion to hold the train, he turns his semaphore to "white", which signal the engineer acknowledges with two "short" blasts of the whistle.
    As soon as the train has departed from the station, the semaphore is turned back to "red", and in that position it remains till the next train comes along.
    The recent D.&R.G. wreck* at Adobe is responsible for this new system of signalling and moving trains, which seems to be much safer than the old service.

* The head-on wreck at Adobe occurred because the operator at Swallows fell asleep (while his semaphore displayed "white") and failed to deliver orders to a passing train, thus resulting in the loss of 35 lives.

Summit County Journal; Mar 13, 1915;
A Fair Sample of Our Railroad Service
    Here is a fair sample of the service the Colorado & Southern is giving this section:
  • Tuesday morning a freight left Denver.
  • Tuesday night a car was left at Como, instead of being brought through.
  • Wednesday morning the passenger train for the west picked up the freight car, and ran as a local freight train.
  • At Breckenridge, the freight car was switched on a siding by the passenger engine.
  • Before departing for Leadville, the baggage car was pulled up alongside the boxcar and the train crew, assisted by the depot force and Roadmaster, transferred the freight to the express car.
The train was filled with passengers, paying to ride on a passenger train, but getting local freight train service. Thanks Mr. Railroad.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Along The Blue" #15 | 1 Comments - Click Here :

Blue Valley Times; Oct 10, 1914;
Fine Dining
    Because through traffic on the Colorado & Southern railway branch which serves this territory was reopened before the 10th of this month, this Times man had to eat his straw-hat.
    As the straw-hat season was just over anyway, parting with the hat was easy. The exigencies of repeated railroad blockades have accustomed our systems to dishes of straw, sage-roots and pine needles, and our kitchens are presided over by some of the best cooks on earth. Moreover, these concoctions are deliciously flavored with reflections on how the prospect of making us eat them, has inspired the workers on the impaired railroad grade to supreme their efforts.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Along The Blue" #14 | 3 Comments - Click Here :

Blue Valley Times; May 16, 1914;
Queer Railroading.
    The snowslide which blocked the C.& S. track in the Ten Mile canon last Friday afternoon was shoveled through Sunday afternoon, and Friday's train No. 70, after visiting Breckenridge and Dillon again, finished it's trip to Leadville.
    Much dissatisfaction was caused by the fact that, although Boreas Pass was open, this train was held at Dickey all day Saturday, and that day's train No. 70 from Denver was ordered to return to that city from Como.
    The Dickey train could have easily formed No. 71 from Dickey that day, and No. 70 come through to Dickey. This was shiftless management of the  C.& S. in not giving us a train over Boreas on Saturday, when there was nothing to prevent the service except uncertain proclivities.

Conductor Tom St. John awaits orders at Dickey last Saturday afternoon.
The train however, did not depart for Leadville until Sunday.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Passing The Time | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Uggh... this sucks. Thank God for Roper. At least he understands.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Along The Blue" #13 | 0 Comments - Click Here :

    Work on either the layout or at the workbench has been pretty much non-existent, having now been laid up with a bum foot for over a month. And that idleness will probably continue now as the busy rodeo season kicks off. However, I have been able to gather more stories for "Along The Blue".
    For me, historical railroad modeling should tell a story. With these regular series of posts, it was my intention to present (and record for myself) a way of life. In a previous post entitled The Human Element , I spoke to the importance of a knowledge and understanding of this when modeling historical periods. Rivet counting is one thing; knowing the story is another. Not everything was always happy, or evolved around the railroad either. Sometimes life was extremely tragic, such as the story below.
    Though non-railroad related, I will continue to document stories such as these here, as they help convey to me a sense of time and place, and add a personal side to my modeling.

Breckenridge Bulletin; May 19, 1900;
Three Little Children are Carried to Death by the Infuriated Blue.
    Almost in the identical spot where young Fred Palmer was drowned last August, on Sunday afternoon last, three more children lost their lives in a similar manner. On that afternoon Mr. Emmet Emmons and his family, consisting of wife and three children, had gone across the Blue on a visit with the family of U.G. McKinley. And after a pleasant stay of several hours were returning home again, accompanied by Mrs. McKinley and little son.
    When the party had reached the bridge above Dickey, the horses became unmanageable for some reason, and upset the wagon and all its occupants into the river. When the accident occurred, Mr. C.G. Richardson was standing near the bridge, and he at once began the work of rescue, succeeding in saving both the ladies and one of the children. The other three, two of Mr. Emmons and one of Mr. McKinley's, between the ages of  two and four years were taken away by the mad waters to a horrible death.
    As soon as possible, searching parties for the missing children organized. About nine or ten o'clock one of the Emmons children and the McKinley boy were found about three-fourths of a mile down the river, and about eleven o'clock Mr. I.C. Palmer started for this place to procure caskets for their burial, which occurred Monday afternoon, being conducted by Rev. C.M. Cooper, who returned with Mr. Palmer.
    At last accounts the third child had not been found, and since the Blue is very full of water, it is doubtful if the body will be recovered. As a matter of course, the Emmons and McKinley families are prostrated with grief over the catastrophe, and in fact, it has cast a glean of sadness over the entire county that will require a long time to efface.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lucky Dog | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Roper has South Park in his blood!
Too bad he is of little knowledge when it comes to historical information.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Roper Sez: | 2 Comments - Click Here :

Stay Thirsty My Friends!

Monday, April 22, 2013

"Along The Blue" #12 | 0 Comments - Click Here :

Just a normal week on the High Line:

Summit County Journal; Mar 6, 1909
Ice King Reigns in Realm of Boreas
 Here is the week's diary of railroading on the High Line:
    Friday - Train No. 71 arrives here in Breckenridge at midnight in the wake of a crew of shovelers who had performed a hard and long day's work. All put up at Dickey for the night. Four days' blockade is broken.
    Saturday - No. 72, from Dickey, goes through on time, but has only reached Argentine when No. 71 passes it. It then gets through all right. No. 71 but a few minutes late until it leaves Dillon, when the engine leaves track and topples over, Engineer Thady breaking his wrist. With another engine the train proceeds on it's way to Leadville, arriving there at 9 p.m.
    Sunday - Opinions of orthodox people not withstanding, Sunday is the day of days for travel on the South Park. The day was fine, and everything moved nearly on schedule time. No. 72 brought in thirteen mails by way of Leadville, and Breckenridge was in touch with the course of events once more.
    Monday - No.72 on time here, but five hours late in Como. No. 71 had a hard time of it through South Park and did not arrive here till midnight.
    Tuesday - A howling wind creates further havoc on the pass. Two engines put in the afternoon in a vain attempt to push through from this side. No. 72 arrives from Leadville at 6 p.m., and returns to that city.
    Wednesday - Though it was a veritable summer day, so far as sunshine and warmth were concerned, it not only failed to lift the blockade, but added to the treacherous ice which is now the chief difficulty. When 72 had arrived, but a few minutes late, three engines and a gang of section men started for the pass to open the road. No word having been received from them by 4 o'clock, 72 returned to Leadville.
    Thursday - Nothing moved over the pass. No. 72 returned to Leadville on 71's time. Weather fine.
    Friday - No change apparent.

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Along The Blue" #11 | 0 Comments - Click Here :

    A severely sprained ankle has sidelined me for the last week. And as a result, absolutely no progress has been made towards the layout or even my workbench for that matter. I've been doing some reading though, and I thought I'd share a little more of  life in the valley with you:

The Blue Valley Times; Jul 4, 1913;
Small Blaze At Dillon Depot
    Sparks from a locomotive found lodging between the boards of the rather dilapidated platform on the west side of Dillon's railroad depot on Tuesday ignited a stringer near the north end of Agent Kellar's new summer kitchen. The fact was discovered and the incipient blaze put out.
    That is, it was thought to have been put out. But on Wednesday afternoon the platform burst into flames near the south end of the summer kitchen, and it was found that the smoldering fire had eaten its way along the affected stringer underneath the kitchen, for a distance of about 20 feet. With the aid of some section men and others who were handy, the blaze was speedily put out.
    It happened that the Superintendent of bridges and buildings was at the depot at the time, which fact promises to lead to some needed repairs around the place.

The Blue Valley Times; Aug 8, 1913;
Six Cars of Calves
    Six carloads of yearling cattle, consigned to Hamilton & Bach, of the Blue River valley, were unloaded at the corral of the Dillon railroad yard last night. There were 186 head. The cattle were bought in northern Alberta, Canada, and shipped here in charge of Mr. Levine, a former ranch-man of Grand County. They were on the road three weeks and traveled 2,000 miles. Mr. Levine declares as unfounded, the report in a Denver paper that forty-five head of the consignment disappeared at Greeley.
    Though the Dickey section house is only three miles away and a crew of section men had been dilly-dallying in the vicinity of Dillon yard all summer, the late announcement of the six cars of cattle billed for Dillon and would arrive here after dark, found the siding un-repaired and unsafe.
    To put it in shape for a reasonably safe reception of the six cars of cattle, a crew of laborers had to be collected and a special train made up in Leadville to come to Dillon and repair the siding leading to the stock chute. The train arrived with a car of half-rotten ties collected en route for the emergency, and the laborers were kept busy putting the track in shape till 'way after midnight.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Along The Blue" #10 | 1 Comments - Click Here :

Leadville Herald Democrat; Feb 11, 1893;
The White Death
The Crew of a Rotary on the South Park Meet With a Terrible Fate
    Frisco, Colo. Feb, 10 - A snow slide struck a Union Pacific snow plow and two engines at this place at 9 O'clock this morning, and instantly killed Engineer Lynch and Fireman Smith, and seriously injured Engineers Boynton and McGreevey and Brakeman Hawkins. A mountain of snow covered the unfortunate men, and it took several hours to dig out the dead and injured.
Details of the Disaster.
    The terrible accident has caused intense excitement. The accident occurred about a mile west of Frisco, and not far from Dickey, about thirty one miles from Leadville. At this point the road runs along the side of the mountain, which is very steep, and there is a deep gulch below, extending down probably several hundred feet.
    The rotary had been ordered out in the morning to keep the track clear and was standing on the track steaming up. John Lynch, the engineer on the rotary, was engaged in oiling the machine, and J.B. Smith, the fireman on the rotary, was also standing near, as were John Roan, a Fireman, Dan McGreevey, an engineer, and William Boynton, engineer of engine 263.
    There was some snow falling, and all hands were busy preparing for a vigorous campaign against the heavy drifts. Suddenly, against the noise of the escaping steam, could be heard a distant rumble. It grew louder and louder, and suddenly the men realized that an avalanche was upon them. An effort was made to escape from the impending danger, for it was now seen that the awful snow slide was directly above them. It was too late, and with a frightful roar the mass of rock and snow plunged down like lighting, crashing everything beneath it into the gulch below.
    When those who escaped alive were able to realize what had occurred, an awful site met their gaze. The rotary had been knocked off the ledge and was a total wreck. Engine 263 was knocked off the side, and was covered with snow, while beneath a mass of snow and rock 150 feet long and ten feet deep were the bodies of Lynch, the engineer, and J.B. Smith, the Fireman of the Rotary. Roan had his nose broken and head bruised, but not seriously, while William Boynton, of engine 263, has a badly sprained and bruised ankle.
    The officials were at once notified of the accident and a wrecking crew dispatched to the scene. The injured men were all sent to Denver. The remains of Lynch were sent to Breckenridge for burial. The other man, Smith, is from Como, and his remains were taken there.
    The track in the vicinity of the accident has been cleared away, and traffic is moving, another rotary having been dispatched to the scene of the trouble in order to keep everything clear.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Funky Business | 2 Comments - Click Here :

    It's been a month since my last blog entry. For whatever the reason, I've been in a funk when it has come to working on the layout. I had a cold for a week, which went away and then returned with a vengeance for another two weeks. That really didn't help put me in the mood to do anything. I did acquire a few things that are needed though. One of those was the skirting, and I managed to get it installed. I acquired an C&S #22, a #70, and an NCE Cab04pr throttle. I also collected the necessary parts to build a "walk-around" sound system as Lance Mindheim has described and installed. I plan to have individual sound in all of my locomotives. But when operating alone, it will be nice to listen to the chest thumping bass as if I were seated in the cab of the locomotive.
There are a few more little tasks that need to be completed so I can get them off my plate and move forward. What really needs to happen; is that I get up the nerve to start painting the backdrop.

I ordered the skirting from Premier Table Linens. It is attached with Velcro for ease of installation.

Here is the hinged information panel on the left side of the layout. It includes a Sony digital photo frame and a PVC sign. The right side panel will receive similar treatment with information and photos pertaining to the High Line.

    I need to step it up with rodeo season fast approaching. I'm considering putting together a tool kit containing enough supplies to build rolling stock during idle times out on the road.
~Cowboy Up!