1 ... 209 210 211 212 213 ... 251
NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 8:09 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

That one's kinda on the railroad. Why is there an ungated, unsignalled crossing on a line that is running 80mph passenger service? But it also does demonstrate the safety of modern passenger trains. As bad as that accident looks, there are only three deaths. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 9:18 a.m.

 

Two of the D&RGW's K-37s, #497 and #498, in May of 1960 after being recovered from a wreck that happened in Feb. 1960. It had been snowing and the dispatcher decided to run the eastbound out of Cumbres with both locomotives on the head end instead of sending the helper ahead light engine. Just west of MP 326, above Los Pinos, on a left hand curve that had crusted over with hard packed snow and ice, #498 derailed and headed straight down the hill and #497 followed, ending up on it's side next to the track.
The train derailed and ran past #497, crashing and piling up in the gulch ahead of them.

The story is recounted by Eldon Morgan, who was firing #497. His engineer shouted, "Hang on! Bennie's going over!"(Bennie Hindelang, the engineer on #498) As #497 started to tip over to the right, he planted his right foot on the blower pipe, grabbed on the cab window arm rest and held on for dear life until it was over, knowing that if he fell he would end up under the tender. He said the scariest part was the train running past the engine, smashing against the bottom side and piling up ahead of them. He expected the cars to knock the engine the rest of the way over.

Luckily, #497 held its ground and the truly amazing thing is that no one got hurt. Bennie had to get dug out of the snow that filled the lower part of #498's cab, but they all walked away. The head end brakeman, who was supposed to be riding in #498's doghouse, opted to ride in #497's as #498's house didn't have functioning heat. This was quite fortunate as when #498's tank went over, #497 cut the doghouse off the top of the tender and reduced it to kindling. They left the engines and wrecked cars until spring because the conditions were too rough to recover them. When the snow melted, it showed that #497 came to rest on a nice rock outcropping that kept her from going over completely. When they rerailed #497 and #498, they took them to Cumbres and they sat on the tail of the wye for a few months.

Both engines were repaired and returned to service and ran until the end D&RGW service in 1968. Both tenders were a total loss and tenders from retired locomotives replaced them, with #497 receiving #490's tender and no one is quite sure which engine the #498's came from. To this day there are still more K-37's than tenders. #497 went on to a short career with the Durango & Silverton and Cumbres & Toltec and hasn't run since 2004 or so. It had an issue with the trailing truck, perhaps from this collision, that was mistaken as a normal operating characteristic of K-37s, that caused the D&S and C&T to both view the K-37s as hard on the track and made them pariahs. It was only fairly recently, when D&S restored the #493, that this was discovered, and C&T is now considering returning the #497 to operation. The #498 was on the last revenue eastbound freight in late August, 1968. She has never run again and is now stored in the roundhouse at Durango.

Today there are still reminder's here and there: #497 has a bend in the cab overhang and bent running board on the right side. At the wreck site, there are coal piles where the two tenders went over, and down in the gulch there is coal and shattered wood from the wrecked dump gondolas of coal that were behind the engines. Down in the trees, there is piece of #498's running board sticking out of the ground, and the snowplow that #498 was wearing is bent and mangled where is came off the front of the engine.

Through the '50s and '60s, the D&RGW was intent on trying to abandon the narrow gauge network as much as possible, and so that was why they never dieselized. It also meant that they didn't want to buy new power for the line, so they were constantly cannibalizing engines and repairing them with baling twine and shoestring anytime they were wrecked. And damn near every engine that the D&RGW had was smashed up spectacularly at some point, between avalanches, rockslides, and derailments. It's a miracle that so many of the K-36s and K-37s survive, considering the rough life that they had, and the various accidents and repairs has given all of them unique personalities in terms of how they operate.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 9:49 a.m.

C-19 Consolidation #268 at Crested Butte depot with an ore train behind it.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 9:50 a.m.

C-16 Consolidation #223 with a 27-car freight train north of Gunnison. The smoke plume in the distance is from later Consolidation #278 shoving on the back end. Interestingly, both of these engines still survive. The #223 was at Ogden undergoing an operational restoration with hopes of taking it to Cumbres & Toltec, only for the museum to step in and evict the group restoring #223, leaving it's future uncertain as it sits outside in many pieces. A pity too, because #223 is one of just two surviving engines built by Grant Locomotive Works. I will admit that while the museum's historical claim to the locomotive is a bit dubious and they didn't act in the best interest of the locomotive, the group restoring it was also a tad naive thinking they were just going to restore a locomotive owned by the museum and then stroll off completely out of the state with it and no think that the museum would have an issue. The #278 meanwhile is on static display at the Cimarron Canyon trestle outside Cimarron, Colorado, which is the last remaining bridge on the old D&RGW Black Canyon Route

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 11:39 a.m.

K-27 #453 at Pandora, Colorado on the Rio Grande Southern.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 11:41 a.m.

K-28 #473 near Otowi, NM on March 22, 1941. It's early in spring, and there's likely still snow in the mountains, so it's still wearing the large pilot plow.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 11:42 a.m.

#477 at Cumbres with the San Juan Express.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 11:44 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 11:56 a.m.

K-36 #485 on the San Juan Express. The #485 had actually just been overhauled at the time it fell in the pit, on December 7th, 1953, and likely had a leaky throttle and "sleep-walked" into the pit when a hostler forgot to center the reverser and put a chain under her drivers. Rather than a straight-on, nose-first dive into the pits, it ran out partway onto the turntable before rolling off onto it's side. This was what doomed the #485, since landing on it's side broke the cylinder saddle casting and really screwed up the frame. There actually were a lot of near new parts on her from her overhaul, and they stripped the #485 down before scrapping it, with many of those used when the shop crew overhauled #489, the last locomotive overhauled in Salida before the shop was closed. When Cumbres & Toltec overhauled #489 to put her back in service, they found quite a few parts numbered "485" on her at that time.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 12:21 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 12:23 p.m.

Three K-36s hard at work with a train at Cresco, NM. The #488 and #489 are on the head end and the smoke from the #484 on the tail end is visible.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 12:25 p.m.

A K-28 and a K-37 are hard at work on the front of this train leaving Sargent, with another K-37 shoving at the back.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 12:29 p.m.

K-28s #473 and #476 at Hermosa, Colorado with a Rocky Mountain Railroad Club excursion. The #473 and #476 still operate on this portion of the line, now under Durango & Silverton ownership, and sister engine #478 is stored there as well. All the other K-28s were sent north to Alaska during WWII for use on the White Pass & Yukon and were scrapped after the war. The water tower at Hermosa is also still in use by the Durango & Silverton. The diamond stack on the #473 is a bit of a story as well.

It was installed on the #473 to "backdate" it for a beer advertisement in 1950 and he engine was also dolled up in what is often today called a "Bumblebee" paint scheme. The #473 was then derailed while clearing the Silverton Branch for filming scenes for Denver & Rio Grande in 1952 and went into the Alamosa shop for repairs. The stack was removed from #473 and used on #476 for that "Old West" look on the branch and was also featured in some other movie in the '50s. In 1957, engine #478 was fitted with a new fake diamond stack, also for use on the The Silverton, which then was only run three times a week, but was gaining popularity. In 1960, the ICC denied the D&RGW's final petition for abandonment of the Silverton Branch, and the railroad decided that if they couldn't quit running it, they would make a serious effort to make it as profitable as possible. Several changes were made to upgrade the train and facilities. One of them was that they decided to promote the train as a "Return to Yesterday". Part of the image the railroad pressed for The Silverton was the "Grande Gold/Aspen Gold/Prospector Gold paint on the coaches that had been officially adopted by the D&RGW for passenger use on the standard-gauge system in 1948. In 1962, engine #473, which had been in use mostly as the Durango switcher, was repainted and fitted with a new fake diamond stack. In 1964, the second train was added. After that, the three 470's were regularly rotated in "Silverton" service until 1981, as long as the D&RGW operated the line. Durango & Silverton later retired the diamond stacks on the K-28s, thankfully.
 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/28/22 12:44 p.m.

K-37 #493 with a train load of pipeline, likely headed for Farmington, in September of 1967. The oil-drilling made the previously unremarkable Farmington branch into quite a profitable operation, but eventually trucks took away that business, and the D&RGW closed it down in 1968.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/29/22 10:12 a.m.

Narrow-gauge C-19 Consolidations #360 and #361 in snow-fighting duty. Between the two engines is a flanger, and then a Jordan spreader is in between the #361 and the caboose.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/29/22 10:32 a.m.

C-19 in the Cimarron Canyon with a freight train.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/29/22 10:33 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/29/22 11:29 a.m.

A C-19 and a K-27 on the Rio Grande Southern, with a pretty healthy freight train in tow.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/29/22 11:32 a.m.

K-37 #493 near Crested Butte. The D&RGW was originally investigating the purchase of narrow gauge 2-8-8-2s, both single-expansion and compound, as the next step up in motive power after the K-36s, but ultimately went with more Mikados. The K-37s were rebuilt from standard gauge Consolidations, reusing the boiler package and tender on top of a frame and running gear.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/29/22 11:52 a.m.

D&RGW #478 near Durango with the San Juan Express. The #478 was operated by Durango & Silverton from when they began operation in 1981 up until 2016 but was taken out of service, when #476 was returned to service after a 17 year hiatus and a conversion to oil-burning. The #478 is now waiting it's turn for a restoration, but I'm not sure how high a priority it is. The K-36s are preferred power and the K-37s are experiencing a bit of a renaissance, whereas the lighter K-28s are largely fill-in power.

llysgennad
llysgennad Reader
6/29/22 11:58 a.m.
NickD said:

D&RGW K-28 narrow gauge Mikado at Durango, Colorado in 1962 with a Rocky Mountain Railroad Club excursion.

476 leading the way 4 weeks ago at the stop in Silverton. 473 is behind it. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/29/22 12:00 p.m.

K-28 #475 just a year before it was shipped up to Alaska in 1942. The closing of the Chili Line and the arrival of the K-37s made the K-28s less relevant, and so when the US Army wanted additional motive power for the White Pass & Yukon, they purchased 7 of the 10 K-28s and shipped them north. The K-28s weren't well-suited to operation in Alaska and were all withdrawn from service by '44. They were then barged south to Seattle, along with the ET&WNC engines that the US Army had also purchased, and scrapped by '46.

llysgennad
llysgennad Reader
6/29/22 12:02 p.m.

The afore-mentioned golden cars and a glass roof in service again

llysgennad
llysgennad Reader
6/29/22 12:05 p.m.

Internet photo of the full roundhouse at Durango in 2019

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/29/22 12:15 p.m.

In reply to llysgennad :

I need to get out there. I bought plane and train tickets and had hotel reservations made in the end of 2019 for the beginning of the season in 2020. And then 2020 happened. Hopefully a year or so in the future.

1 ... 209 210 211 212 213 ... 251
Our Preferred Partners
WqrzuSjnkFu31vMLn0KeW8xSde9WmcdsFcEfAUHbG9Oxf4SPOteRPxqaxyBOLamR