Monday, January 14, 2013

New Book | 2 Comments - Click Here :

    I recently finished reading a new book (2013) by author Jim Sapp and members of the Park County Historical Society. The book is a text version of recordings made during an interview of Andy Anderson in 2005. I love reading personal stories of life on the railroad, and I found this book a very enjoyable and interesting read. I recommend it to anyone interested in South Park railroad history. 
The book is printed upon placing an order, but I found the process and shipping very fast and easy. Below is text from the authors website describing the contents.
The softcover book is available online for 12.95 from BLURB.

The life and times of Andy Anderson - An oral history of life in Como, Colorado during the early days of the railroad era in South Park.

Andy's father “Brownie” Anderson, was an engineer for the Colorado and Southern Railroad in Como and quite the pack rat, saving all things railroad oriented. Ultimately this collection will be shared with the public when the Como Depot restoration is completed.
Born in Leadville and raised in Como, Andy worked for the railroad briefly as a youngster in its final years before abandonment in 1937. His recollections of growing up in Como “back in the day” convey a sense of a simpler time in our history when small town children had all the riches America had to offer, and such things were not measured in dollars.
When America entered World War II Andy answered the call and served his country as a mechanic on Navy PBY aircraft patrolling the Pacific. The “greatest generation” is a term that we hear about to describe Americans from the 1930’s and 40’s who were the epitome of what made America the greatest country on earth. Unselfish, dedicated, capable, hard-working and self-reliant are just of few of the attributes that describe them. That concept, all too seldom experienced today, comes alive when you get to know Andy through his oral history.
At 92 years young, time is catching up with Andy. One of a very few living links to the railroad era in Park County and to life in Como when it was still a railroad town, Andy Anderson is a living treasure. His legacy can teach us all some valuable lessons – if we will just listen.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

"Along The Blue" #7 | 0 Comments - Click Here :

    I hope you'all had a great holiday season. I made some progress on the Dickey layout over the Christmas break. I've completed the front fascia and lighting valance. I need to get the backdrop up and install the lighting next. Pictures to follow soon. I promise!
    Meanwhile, I've found several stories relating to the poor condition of the branch line from Dickey to Dillon and Keystone. Many a derailment occurred along this short four mile stretch of track over the years. Here are just a few of them; all of which written with a sense of discontent:

Blue Valley Times; Sep 20,1912;
Engine 67 Has Come to Grief
Neglected Conditions Imperils Lives of Coach-Load of Passengers
    " For want of a nail the shoe is lost; for want of a shoe the horse is lost; and for want of a horse the man is lost."
No, it was this way:
    "For want of a nut the truck was lost; for want of a truck the engine was lost; and for want of an engine the train was lost."
    Monday afternoon's passenger train, with Engineer Gallagher and Conductor Kirschner in charge, had backed out of Dillon toward Dickey about three-fourths of a mile, when, on a curve, a set of trucks on the tender of the engine (No. 67) got sufficiently out of order to cause the tender to leave the rails and plow a zigzag course across the ties for about forty feet. Not less than twenty ties were broken plumb in two almost midway between the rails, and the pieces forced apart from one to inches. Finally the engine, too, left the rails, and came to a sudden stop when the drivers dropped into the rotten ties and dirt. The two coaches, going ahead of the engine and tank, were on unimpaired track and kept going about thirty feet after they had become detached from the tank and the brakes had automatically set. Nothing toppled over, and no one was hurt.
    Another engine was telegraphed for from Leadville, and it arrived about 9:30 o'clock. However, instead of hurrying the train on to it's destination, so that it's passengers might make connections at Leadville, several hours were consumed in a futile attempt to budge the derailed rattle-trap. The train got underway between 2 and 3 o'clock Tuesday morning, and the dawn of another day was visible over the Mosquito range when when the passengers were dumped off in the Cloud City.
    Tuesday afternoon a wreck train and crew arrived on the scene. A temporary set of serviceable trucks were placed under the tender and the same hauled to Dickey in the evening. The dead engine was removed and the track repaired late in the evening.
    Necessarily, Tuesday's train, both coming and going, disregarded express mail, baggage and passengers in the wilderness, whither also everything and everybody repaired and that wished to get away on that day's cannonball. Among them were a a number who had walked back to town the evening before.
Summit County Journal; Nov 14, 1913;
Up to Date Business Methods
    Five minutes after the Colorado and Southern passenger train was derailed between Dickey and Dillon Monday night, and the passengers were thinking of a way to spend a few hours at Dillon if they were there, the well known voice of Dimp Meyers was heard shouting "Any place on earth for a dollar!". And in a few minutes passengers that could find no excuse that did not satisfy the proprietor of the Dillon Star Barn, as to why they should not go to Dillon, were enjoying a ride in a three seated carryall. Dimp says the Star Barn is going to be a paying proposition if hustling counts and that he intends to follow all trains and pick up wrecked and belated passengers.