I am still fiddling with the proper way to upload images, so I will attempt one in smaller format than I did on my first attempt.
This is my newly completed model of C&S #75, which I needed to build to replace my original which was sold on consignment and sent to Switzerland in 1994. I have reacquired my original #74, which was my first attempt at a significant rebuild, and also my #76, which had a bit of a Nomadic life after it too was sold in '94. I mentioned yesterday that I also have my #537.
Just as a bit of quick background, at the time I left HOn3 and dived headlong into On3 in January 1980, a small group of members from the Boulder Model RR Club in Boulder had assumed the responsibilities of upkeep of our "Train in the Park", which included "Old No.30", and a coach and caboose. This had not only included various efforts to stabilize and preserve the display, but also to assist in a project to move the train within the park and away from it's proximity to Boulder Creek. This included actually building the track, which would have been totally impossible without help from our excellent friends at the Georgetown Loop RR, including Rick Steele and Phil Johnson.
Because of my lifelong association with #30, which was also C&S #74, and because of my lifelong association with the C&S and having grown up as my Father's Son, it was a natural fit that I would pursue modeling interests involving the C&S Narrow Gauge. Much has been published in various venues and publications over the years about the C&S and it's history, but I am still amazed how little is understood about the Mainline Operations of the C&S between Denver and Leadville by so many people who are interested in the C&S. To many enthusiasts, the C&S was as has been depicted so well by the long running series of articles by Harry Brunk in the NG & SL Gazette. Small, quaint trains working freight up Clear Creek through Idaho Springs and Georgetown to Silver Plume.
Readers of this Forum are much more aware, however, of the bigger picture of what the C&S narrow gauge operation entailed, with much more complicated and interesting operations between Denver and Leadville. While operations up the Clear Creek Branch were sometimes doubleheaded, Freight operations between Denver and Leadville required multiple locomotives, at least three and often four at a time. There were complex issues regarding the movements of helpers as the freight trains worked their way over two subdivisions, requiring two days to complete each train over the line.
To properly depict these operations, and also to be able to build an actual roster of C&S Motive Power at a time when only two C&S locomotives had ever been produced in On3 was a bit of a daunting challenge. Those two models were the PFM 2-6-0's, typical of #12, #13, #21, and #22, and a pretty strange looking model of #74 by Sunset Models.
Even to get the Sunset model to actually look like #74 took a lot of work, but I went after it pretty hard, replacing the running boards, numerous castings and all of the plumbing. Still a few compromises along the way, but I was happy with the results. Happy enough that I decided to try to build #74's sister engines, the #75 and #76. Other than having to cobble up piston valve cylinders, and a whole lot of differences that the three of them share among them, things went along very well. By the end of 1982, my collection of the B-4-F class was complete. Then I took on #537, which was my most complicated project of all, followed by Rotary #99200. I'll address those later.
Two years ago,when I woke up and started working "On the C&S" again, there was a lot that could be done to upgrade some of my previous work on the #74 and #76, including total rebuilds of the tenders, which added a great deal to the accuracy and appearance of the models. So when I took on #75, I was ready.
One of the issues that Samhongsa/Sunset Models did with the model as produced was that they used the C&S Folio drawing of the B-4-F Class, which unfortunately for them, was made of #75. The two features of #75 which are most distinctive are the replacement "high profile" sand dome, and the "low profile" and extended coal bunker. Both #74 and #76 retained their Brooks sand domes, and the coal bunkers were built 2' high, with a 5' deck behind the bunker. For whatever reason, #75's bunker, which was also originally 2' high, had only a 4' deck behind the coal bunker. #75 rolled over into the Platte River near Estabrook, and the Shop crews determined that the tender was top heavy, so they shortened the height of the side sheets 1'.
Another unique feature was pointed out to me by John Coker, who convinced me that #75's numberplate, which featured brass numerals taked on to the old Brooks plate, was unpainted. I gave the plate a tarnished appearance and applied gold Coach numbers, which gives it just the right look. I'll try a better picture of that if this works.
Anyway, sorry to be long winded, but I don't know how else anyone might understand how anybody would take on so much work just to have a couple more locomotives. In summary, C&S= many locomotives and some of them are really big!
Keith, just a quick word, yes, the "Big Hoss" B-4-F class was absolutely C&S, and operations to Leadville simply couldn't have lasted to 1937 (1943, actually) without them.
Beautiful models Mike. I hope we'll see more of these and your other work too (structures, track accoutrements). I also hope you'll share photos of the Todd Hackett structures you have. I have been working on an Sn3 version of No. 58 circa 1936 for Dan Pyzl (for far, far longer than I should have - shame on me). One of the tasks was to resize the tender tank. Not too bad as a simple matter of taking a foot out of the length. Another, more challenging task, was to replace the small-door UP smoke box front of No. 60 with the appropriate 6 dog style. There have been other fun things to do as well. It's all good.
Anyone who does this kind of work is a proven craftsman in my book. That isn't to say those who haven't are not, as well. I live about 20 miles from Larry Edwards and it is amazing to behold the fruit of his talents! Soldering is a special skill set. Anyone can do it if they truly understand the cold hard rules. It ain't ACC. It ain't MEK and it ain't epoxy! (Don't use epoxy on a brass model! When I heat it up to fix it you poison me! grrrrrrr). I find soldering takes at least 6 times longer than any other form of "adhesive" joining - maybe that's just me.
And no argument that 74 - 76 were indeed property of the C&S (since they traded Morris Brothers 1 old B-4-A and 4, B-4- Bs for them...)
Here's one more image, now that I've figured out how to do this right....
Yes, Rick, after the 1936 wreck, #75 received a new, more rounded top on the Steam dome. I have pictures taken both at the wreck site and at Como while the engine was being readied for transport to the Shops in Denver for repair that clearly show the Brooks steam dome cover. There does not appear to be any damage, but it may have been cracked or broken on the other side.
The other aspect that was changed after that wreck was the configuration of the front cab doors, which after rebuilding swung outward. Prior to that time, the front cab doors swung inward, as did #74's and #75's.
Here's why I have chosen to depict this engine as I did. According to old Doug Schnurbush, whom I had the greatest pleasure in knowing back in the 80's, the #75 was considered to be a "Jonah" (or "Joner", as he called it). He said, "Any time there was trouble on the railroad, that engine was there". In addition to the wreck in the Platte River in '22 and the wreck on Boeras in '36, #75 was inside the wood remnant of the Como roundhouse in 1935 when a spark ignited a birds nest in the rafters and burned the whole thing to the ground, including the wood sheathing from the Rotary.
I have a model of the Rotary, which is as it was before the fire. After the fire it was fitted with steel side sheathing and a slope back tender. #72 was also in the shed that night and lost it's cab and box headlight. My Overland model of #72 was finished with a box headlight for the same reason. Rob Smith has that engine now. Tom Marsh wanted the model imported as it last appeared with the undersized Pyle headlight. But my timeframe is before the 1935 fire.
The following picture shows #75 beside #73, and it is remarkable how much larger the #75 is in comparison. The night of the wreck in January, 1936, at about 1AM in a driving blizzard, both of these engines were cut off the train at Boreas and sent down the hill ahead of the train, with #537. For whatever reason, and I can't speak to whether this was at all common practice, #73 was on the point, with #75 behind. Between the engines was a car flanger. The flanger derailed, which derailed #73's tender, and both engines went over the hill, killing #75's engineer, Charlie Williamson. Looking at the shocking disparity of size, one wonders how anyone might think it was a good idea at all to couple a small engine ahead of a large one at any time, let alone downhill at night in a blinding snowstorm.
There are some interesting details regarding this wreck which Rick and I have discussed, and should discuss a little more. Maybe we can shed some additional light on this at some point in the future.
Interesting that Rick posted his question about the wreck as I was getting ready to post this photo. Both of the engines in the photo, #75 and #73, each carry a small piece of glass, and a small lump of crushed coal recovered from the wreck site, from each of their respective prototypes, in the tenders as a respectful tribute and link to their origin and history. Both engines appear as close as I can make them, to that cold night long ago.
For anyone curious, the pallet like objects in the bunkers are the upper coal gates, used as needed above the larger planks which retained coal between the sides of the cistern. As the coal loads diminished, these upper gates were placed in the bunker or sometimes behind the bunker ahead of the water hatch. They often appear in photos. The sizes vary depending on the with between the steel locker boxes. They were almost always four 2X4's high. Naturally, #76 and #74's were both different.
Much of the detail work you see in my photos is done with epoxy and ACC, as I have never really developed the skill, nor invested the money into proper equipment. Properly handled, properly fixed, I've have very little trouble, and have always regarded the most fragile component of a brass model the paint that covers it. Some of it is soldered, but I always have tried to get all that stuff out of the way first so as not to poison myself in the process. So far so good.
Larry made the smokebox fronts for #76 and my original #75. They really made it possible to complete the models, as you can see in one of the photos, #74 has the later flat style. As did #9, and #71.
To make the new #75's front end, I ground off the entire center of the original flat front, and then ground off the entire rear of a spare Overland #8 front end, and then ground and sanded until the edges were paper thin, as thin as I could get them, and then simply ACC'd the new center in place. Took quite a while to do it, but it looked fine. If this hadn't worked out, I'd have somehow contacted Larry for help. It was funny, when he made the originals for me, he also used the original flat castings, but he removed the center door and dogs on a lathe. Then he turned the new profiled centers, made seperate doors for them, and soldered them onto the original. He was dissapointed that the two profiles had turned out differently, one was deeper than the other by a noticable margin. He asked if I wanted him to redo ont of them, but I was thrilled, because in reality, #76's front end had a more shallow profile than #75's, so they were both perfect. B-3-C #8 had the deepest profile among the Moguls, and I had a spare, which I had kept all these years wondering if I could make a new UP style smokebox using one if I ever needed to.
So there you go. Never throw anything away. I'll post a couple pictures of #7 soon. For that engine, I used the UP front end from an Overland #22, which I bought on ebay. What is the diameter of that #58's smokebox?
And please tell Larry I said hello. I lost track of hm a few years back, but I've never forgotten how much he inspired and taught me years ago.
Mike (and Rick), welcome to the forum. It is nice to have another Leadville modeler online. I am excited to read your future posts.
You are spot on that the Denver-Leadville operation was complicated. Mal Ferrell has a couple pics of a 4-engine train preparing to leave Denver. There is also a short film segment I have seen of a similar consist barking its way up Platte Canyon. Wow. Working slowly up the water level grade to Webster to finally get to the 4% over Kenosha and then downhill (mostly) to Como. Once you get there, the locomotives are moved to the opposite end of the train to depart for Leadville via Boreas and Fremont passes.
Each of the big engines could handle 15 cars from Denver to Waterton and probably about 10 cars beyond to Webster, but only about 4 cars from Webster to Kenosha. Must have driven the operations guys nuts!
A blank SB front with proper rivets mounted for milling hinge slots (on scale drawing).
PSC part 7500.1 (rom O scale kit) were used (with slight modifications) for dogs.
Completed SB front - note heavy insert backing. This is a heavy part and will contribute to traction.
The new front end makes a distict break from the stock No. 60 model.
The part was made to fit an OMI, S scale, no. 60 . By multiplying the inside diameter of the smoke box by 64 the scale diameter of the inside of the smoke box comes to 51 scale inches. This appears to be the outside diameter according to Maxwell's Drawing DSP-106.
I did a smoke box front for my O scale 72 many years ago sorta like you did yours - by modifying an existing part. But while that worked I just was not happy with the effort in S scale using one of several spare No. 60 SB fronts. So I turned the blanks as you see here. Reviewing my notes there are 6 different SB fronts 6 (!) B-4-Cs. Differences are number of rivets number of dogs, lapped doors as opposed to inset doors, rounded edges as opposed to cornered edges and perhaps the profiles of the raised door openings. Yikes to the third power!
I'll forgive you for the epoxy - sort of a Grandfather Clause, we'll call it. In my experience brass HATES everything you wish to stick on it; paint glue solder - except finger prints! Solder has the best chance of working. Or maybe it just me. Anyway when I paint a model I go to epic lengths to insure the paint sticks. I feel you must do the same to epoxy. Or maybe that's just me again. My hat is off to you for your success with catalytic resins.
When I see Larry again I will convey your salutations. Randy Lee came thru last summer and we trierd to contact Larry and have Dinner at Romeo's in Ste4vensville where Larry lives. It was a Sunday afternoon and Larry wasn't home. As it turned out Romeo's wasn't open either....
Robert, I have been watching that conversation with some amusement. The scrapping team chalked the D&RG logo on the tank, just like they picked up all the flotsom and jetsom and decorated the engine with it as they made their way east. Also, the number plates of both 58 and 71 got white trim. It was slow work, and the engine crew was no doubt bored.
According to history and because of a labor dispute in 1902 or 3 (iirc) the number of engines was limited to 4 on C&Sng trains. I think we can find exceptions when bucking snow (... maybe) this had to do with how the engine crews were paid....
Take it from there Rick! (d's scurrilous cop-out on reviewing the data)
Right, Keith, the B-4-F's were rated at 145 tons on the 4% ruling grade. Five loads. The ruling grade on the West End was also 4% on Boreas in both directions.
You are describing that the trains were not turned at Como, but ran in opposite direction than they had arrived. While the train may not have been turned, there would have been some switching required to set out any cars coming in from Denver that were to be set out between Como and Denver, as no switching was ever done Westbound. Coal gons for the tipple were probably set off at Dickey Westbound, but all revenue freight went straight to Leadville and was switched Eastbound. All of it, every time, and this caused a lot of antimosity among the engine crews who with one exception lived in Como. All of the trainmen lived in Leadville. As a "Leadville" guy, you'd be interested in that.
As you shared, I figured the train would pull into Como from Denver, and the locos cut off, wyed and moved to the opposite end of the train. I suppose it is possible that one set of locos (the 537 among them) worked the east end, and another the high light. I leave it to you to fill me in on that.
I had long suspected the Climax loads were worked all the way to Leadville given the photos of timbers in coals in the Leadville yard. Do you know why this was done? In retrospect, they had a heavier train downgrade that they just had to move back upgrade to Leadville. On the other hand, that would mean there were few cars left in Leadville after the eastbound departed, save for the freight house, as the Climax empties would return directly for Denver.
I bet that meant a long day for the eastbound crew, having to switch Climax along the way.
This actually came from notes that Margi Coel had from discussions she had had with her Father, Sam Speas. I helped her with her manuscript for "Goin' Railroading", which is a must have for anyone interested in the C&S at all. According to her information, the President of the DSP&P was determined that the South Park Line would have the "Fastest Freight to Leadville" in an effort to get a competitive edge on the D&RG. Running all the main freight directly to Leadville beat the D&RG by hours, so they adopted this practice, doing all the switching Eastbound very early on. In my time with Doug Schnurbush, he was still bitter about the fact that this was done, and said , "All us guys were mad about it, them Trainmen got to go home early, sometimes as early as 3:00, and we had to ly around doing nothing until the next day when we were called. The only good thing about it was that we could drive home early on Thursdays."
Yes, they got in very late when they were on their homebound trips on Mondays and Wednesdays. We'll discuss more about this later, as it was a big deal for them. They thought the Conductors did it on purpose just to aggrivate and take advantage of them. But in fact, the practice dated back to the 1880's and was never changed and was long forgotten for years.
All this talk about the B-4-Fs inspired me to get out my model of 75:
Darel came over for an operating session (more on that in a future post), and my locomotives have persistent shorting issues. I promised Darel I would install some 'keep alives' in the fleet, and picked a couple up yesterday at Caboose. I took 75's tender apart and found there is no common blue wire (it was cut off short), so I need to find out what other wire to connect the 'keep alive' to. Perhaps I will take apart 74 to see if it is different.
I put 75 back together and figured while I had the tweezers and foam cradle on the bench I would go ahead and hook it up and give it a run. Darel you will be pleased to know that it ran back and forth quite well with few shorts. And gosh it looks good with the inboard piston cylinders and Stephenson valve gear!
This leads me to believe that the shorting issue has to do with paint flecks and junk that come off my older models.
Now I will have to make some more flue tools for the firemen, and make some coal gates!