A wealth of railfan history exists in the archives of the Rocky Mountain Rail Report, the newsletter of the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club started in 1939. Here is some more miscellaneous South Park Line/C&S-related news from the 1975 editions.
(First Bridge Complete on Georgetown Loop)
THE FIRST ANNUM, RAILFAN WEEKEND AT THE GEORGETOWN LOOP took place on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22. Engine No. 44 operated with a five car freight and the diesel ran with two passenger cars throughout both days to offer a ride that has not been possible for many years. The track is completed down to the first crossing of the creek and preparations are well under way to lay rails across the second bridge. The depot at Silver Plume is on its foundation and SeeBees are working on the platforms. To hear the barking exhaust of the engine working up the grade and the steam whistle echoing through the valley was enough to even give camera lenses the goose bumps. Needless to say, the operation provided a very pleasant way to spend the weekend.
(Working Towards the Turntable Bridge on Georgetown Loop)
|turntable bridge (2009) after being replaced|
WORK IS CONTINUING ON THE GEORGETOWN LOOP PROJECT - Track is being layed in and cut between the two upper bridges and it is planned to have the turntable bridge approaches completed and track across it by the end of August. The railroad is offering limited service on the weekends for the present. The Silver Plume depot platform was also recently completed.
September(Work at the Climax Molybdenum Mine)
A MAJOR STEP in the completion of the Henderson Project by Climax Molybdenum Co. took place on July 15, with the holing through of the 9.6 mile long Henderson Railroad Tunnel under the Continental Divide west of Berthoud Pass. The tunnel is said to be the third longest railroad tunnel in the world and will be used to transport molybdenum from a mine below Jones Pass to an ore processing mill in the Williams Fork Valley south of Parshall, Colorado. Total length of the double track, computer controlled, narrow gauge electric railroad is about 15 miles long. The tunnel begins at the mine which itself is located over 2,000 feet below the surface just west of the foot of Berthoud Pass. From there, the 30 car ore trains, each pulled by four 50-ton electric locomotives, will haul 42,000 tons of material to the mill each day. Molybdenum is used as a strengthening agent in the production of steel and makes possible the manufacturing of stainless steel.
(Ed. This is the mine that kept the final leg of the South Park narrow gauge running until August of 1943. The line was then standard gauged and the C&S was still operating this isolated branch between Climax and Leadville at the time of this newsletter)
(Bailey Depot is Destroyed)
The old Denver, South Park & Pacific depot at Bailey is no more. Around the first of June, the building was burned and bulldozed into dust. Attempt was made by several groups to save the building even though it was badly deteriorated, but the local fire department had other ideas.
(Alpine Tunnel Enginehouse Water Tank Collapses)
|watertank remains (right) 2003|
SLOWLY DISAPPEARING - The old water tank located in the corner of the engine house at the Alpine Tunnel collapsed into a pile of rubble last winter. The walls are still there, but the tank underframe is gone.
(Turntable Bridge Tested on Georgetown Loop)
IT'S GETTING THERE - The Georgetown Loop Historic Site is being prepared for the winter hibernation period. Most track work for this season is finished. Rails are now spiked down over the second (turntable) bridge. The bridge was "tested" by putting a locomotive on it, the diesel of course.