The 1880-1884 original line of the D&RG and the DSP&P between Buena Vista and Nathrop is under the current Hwy 285, Mac Poor and E.J.Haley in DSP&P show the new, arrow straight re-alignment of the D&RG and the intersecting DSP&P line as being 1884-1908. The twin Howe truss Bridges of the DSP&P date from 1883.
This next photo of the D&RG steel truss under construction is the only picture I've seen showing the DSP&P Truss bridge to date.
And in that vein is a bit of an enigma. The massive abutments are of poured Concrete, something I associate from the 1920's not the 1904 period and indeed in 1924- the D&RG did reduce curvature from Salida to Leadville.
There is no actual date of the D&RG re-allignment Nathrop to Buena Vista in any of the books* I have checked. Surely if this was at the end of the C&S in 1924 just how did the D&RG(W) operate the Mainline during the time period this new Bridge was under construction? At that time the Tennessee Pass line was the only route. As the RGW Derrick figures in this, given the Grande's tangled corporate history, does 1904 fit better?
Was perhaps the D&RG original line(under Hwy) retained until the reconstruction in 1924? Certainly I doubt E.J.Haley would be remiss in this or were the D&RG lines shown for illustrative purposes a side-show?
many thanks for posting it! Very interesting to see it at that point in the assembly sequence. I see some things I wish I could have used in assembling my model, for instance taking advantage of the turnbuckles in the stabilizer rods to allow installing them in two separate pieces. If I expand the image by the right amount on my screen the workers become about HO size, that's exactly the bridge crew I need to work on my model, they clearly know what they're doing....
So this map must be after the Joint Operating Agreement was voided.
It suggests the South Park (under UP ownership) built its own line from Buena Vista to Nathrop, on the west side of the Arkansas, no longer using D&RG track. The two lines appear to cross at the upper top right . . . right?
I would be thinking same Jim as the DSP&P wooden Truss was built in 1883: this nagging doubt I have as to the concrete Abutment construction of the new D&RG Steel Truss has me thinking that the Nathrop Diamond on the North side of the Arkansas would not have existed in that location until the D&RG rebuilt their line in either 1904-ish or 1924-ish, but on the South bank closer to Nathrop, possibly the intersection of Hwy 285 and Trail Road on Google maps.
An aside: once on a trip around those parts I was speaking with a gentleman who used the pronunciation of "Are-Kansas" River not like the State of "Ah-Can-Sore".
What say ye Northern Dwellers?
EDIT: I was given to the understanding that the locals refered to the river being pronounced it like that, not the same way as the State.
The line coming in from the top left is the new DSP&P alignment from coming from the wooden truss bridge.There are two spurs to the local quarry which appear to only be connected to the D&RG.There would be no reason for the DSP&P to build an independent line west of the river..Remember that it was the DSP&P that built the track on the D&RG grade from BV to Nathrop prior to the D&RG reaching Nathrop.
John Schapekahm in the "Diamond in the Rough" thread, posted this C&S map of the Buena Vista - Nathrop area:
The "Note" is fascinating, as is an enlargement of the Buena Vista area on the right:
Thanks to John, I've learned a few new things here:
1. The lower Trout Creek flood of August 1908 not only washed out the C&S track exiting Box canon, but apparently washed out most of the trackage at Schwanders as well. Presumably the coal trestle and chutes disappeared at that time. The Schwanders water tank, to the west (compass south) of the station tracks, seems to have survived until the 1920s (I've read that Sam Speas bought the tank for $25.00, demolished it with the help of a C&S locomotive and cables, and salvaged all the redwood for his house).
2. A new connection, using the original roadbed alignment, was constructed from the tail track of the Macune wye to Schwanders, to replaced the lost trackage in Box Canyon..
3. The C&S connection to the D&RG dual gauge (to allow C&S trains to access Leadville when the Trout Creek line was washed out), was actually two connections, forming a "wye". I'd wondered how the C&S locomotives were turned at Buena Vista, thinking that surely they didn't run all the way back to Macune to turn. Do you think that when C&S locomotives turned at Buena Vista, that they actually used the D&RG 3-rail main as one leg of the wye?
The 1885 map I posted shows the original location for both the D&RG RR and DSP&P.
I located my D&RG RR 1904 map for line change at Nathrop.
It is way too large to scan so I tried a couple of photos, which didn't turn out all that great.
Relocation work was done during 1903 and opened for business December 4, 1903.
This map shows both the original line and the relocated line of 1903.
The relocation starts out east of the depot area and proceeds west in a straight line.
The new bridge 233A has notation of being 150' plate deck girder with concrete abutments.
Thank You Jimmy,
E.J. Haley drew the maps for Mac Poor's DSP&P and has three maps in the Pocket at back showing the various trackage arrangements, these maps somewhat abridged, were published in Tom Klinger's Gunnison Divison Memories.
If I had only perused the Haley "all time trackage" map a little closer I would have seen the "abnd 1904" notation(missing in Gunnison Memories) along what is now Hwy 285. An eye-opener to know that they were using Concrete for such huge abutments that early. I wonder just how many pours went into each?
The DSP&P stonework is indeed quite wonderful, with the tapered buttress up the middle and the corbels, a very elegant design. Do I remember reading that imported European stonemasons did a lot of work on the DSP&P? This looks like cathedral architecture. It's intriguing to speculate why it was built this way and then apparently never used. Or maybe it was, and this simple beam span was a replacement?
Thanks for posting these!
The story in Como is that there were Italian Stonemasons up here, not sure of the origin however. I know there were Italian Coal Miners who were booted out in late 1879, wondered if there was a connection/ confusion.
I believe works such as Buildings. Bridges etc were let to Construction companies, and they would have put together a labour gang to undertake the work.
As is today seems reasonable that many of these gangs were specific to one country/language. At the lower Como/King mines the town was divided into different ethnic groups.
Rebar is actually a very old technology in masonry, some iron rebar has lasted for centuries. Reinforced concrete was developed around 1849 by Monier, and the first reinforced concrete bridge was reportedly built in 1889. I wonder where the Portland cement for these abutments came from. That's a lot of concrete, must have come from a very substantial cement kiln operation. Of course, it could have come from anywhere by rail.