Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ride the Leadville, Colorado & Southern in 1991

L,C & S 1991 Media from Kurt Maechner on Vimeo.

Another home video I transferred from my old VHS tapes of a family vacation to Colorado in 1991.  Here we ride the Leadville, Colorado, & Southern.  It includes shots of C&S 641 on display next to the Leadville depot, the old narrow gauge roundhouse-turned-standard gauge engine house, French Gulch water tank, and the old C&S Leadville freight house.

My favorite views are those of the engine traversing the narrow shelf right-of-way along the steep mountainside of 10 mile canyon.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Abandoned Ohio

I wish I could sneak away for a few hours here and there and snoop around the old C&S grades, but alas...I live in Ohio.

So, to satisfy my railroad skeleton-hunting bug, I've been researching abandoned railroads in my little suburb of Berea.  For years I was curious about a fitness trail that ended at old bridge abutments.  I found out that this was the grade of the old Cleveland, Southwestern, and Columbus interurban Railway.

With some safari-like adventures I located the grade on the other side of the river and then made a film of the remaining right-of-way.  I added sounds from actual interurbans to give the feel of what it was must have been like to ride this line.

Someday...someday I hope to create a video like this of some of the grades of the C&S.  In the meantime, enjoy a little taste of abandoned Ohio.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Another video of C&S 71 running!

I can't seem to embed the video, but here's the link.

I just stumbled on this group.  Has anyone heard of them?  They're known as The Blackhawk and Central City Narrow Gauge Railroad Restoration Project.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

C&S 6 still exists! sorta

There's really 5.0015 C&S locos still around!

C&S 6 lives on!  Sorta!  Kinda.

While reading Jason Midyette's book One Short Season, I was surprised by the discovery of those who worked on C&S 9 in 2005 to prepare it for its short stint on the Georgetown Loop, that its lead driver set apparently came from engine 6 (that was scrapped in 1939).

In the photo below you can see "ENG 6" on the inside of one of the wheels.

Another Answer to the Relic Mystery

I got one more response related to my nut and bolt question.  There is an error in the first sentence I think.  I think it is supposed to read, "I would say this is not a track bolt..."

I would not say this is not a track bolt for a rail joiner as the threaded lenght of the bolt is to long. The threads are only long enough for the nut, a washer and the width of on joiner. The rest of the shank of the bolt is elliptic in diameter. So the lenght of thread of a 45# bolt would be about a inch and maybe a quarter. I thought that most of the rail joiners in the Alpine Tunnel area were a majority of the Fisher type?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Answers to my Relic Mystery

In my previous post, I asked if anyone recognized this object as a piece of original C&S track work or as some more modern "junk."  

Below are some of the responses I received from the DSP&P forum group members:

If it is 1" diameter thread I have found several ooze out of the ground.
The bolt is 3/4” diameter and the nut is 1 1/2” across the faces
That would certainly support the idea it is track related. And if they were cut off in dismantling it would also account for them being scattered about.
Well - it's got a large square nut, so it's definitely old & not off a 4-wheel-drive. My guess is that you're right & it's a track bolt, but it could also be off a [rail] car or locomotive.

That definitely is a track bolt which was used for bolting rail joiners to rails.

I have seen a great many of these on the ROW of many abandoned narrow gauge railroads in the West. Initially, I picked up a few of them but since there were so many scattered around on the various abandoned ng railroads, I soon took to seeing them but otherwise ignoring them. To a 14 year old in 1990, as you describe yourself, one would fall into the category of a "precious treasure". My wife and I and our 3 year old son first visited the West Portal of Alpine Tunnel (and the East Portal) in July 1968 as you probably know from seeing my photos of this visit which I posted in 1968 in the Photos section of this List at:

I am over a generation older than you (I was 53 in 1990), so I had the advantage of exploring abandoned ng railroads by 4x4 long before 4x4s became so popular and numerous. I found all sorts of things including abandoned RR cars (one was on its side so I used the winch on my 4x4 to turn it upright) and parts which the scrappers had left behind or missed. Last summer, I donated a lot of useful such stuff to the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Museum in Nevada City, CA, which restores old wooden ng RR cars. The donations will be helpful in their restoration work.

In some cases, the railroads still were running, such as the West Side Lumber Co. in 1959 and the SP Narrow gauge in January 1960. I watched a track maintenance crew replace a section of rail, using new track bolts like the one you have, to bolt the joiners and rails together on the West Side Lumber Co. in June 1959 when I was 22. West Side narrow gauge Shay no. 9, returning to the woods with a string of 19 empty log cars that day, had to stop and wait for the track crew to finish their work. I talked with 9's engineer, Bert Bergstrom, while this was going on and before I photographed the track crew. That Shay no. 9 presently (during the summer) is in service on the Georgetown Loop RR in Colorado.

With best regards, Hart Corbett

Thanks everyone for helping solve a very old mystery for me!