I have a picture in one of my "Trails Among the Columbines" which shows what I think is a C&S gon in Crested Butte. Have any of you more knowledgable C&S modelers ever heard of this? I think adding a couple C&S gons would add a bit variety, but if it's prototypical even better. I assume it could be possible but I'm one of those guys who likes the facts. Thanks for any help on this subject.
Hi William, I'd add this to the "Never say never" bag. Anything is possible, but that would have been a sight. Is it possible that this could have been a stray RGS former C&S car? The RGS had a lot of former C&S equipment after '40 or so.
Chris your absolutely correct and a freshly painted gon at that. Wonder why I never noticed that. It states the D&RGW had a shortage of gons and pressing stock cars into coal service occurred. I wonder if they leased a number of C&S gons?
The shot I was referring to is on page 148-49 there are two gons just above the section houses on the east leg of the wye. They appear to have larger lettering than the rest of the Flying Grande cars, but after pulling out the magnifine glass I'm doubting they are anything but D&RGW. It kind of looks like they are double stenciled. Thanks for the lead on page 130.
When I was volunteering at the Colorado Railroad Museum, back when the earth was young, Bob Richardson had all kinds of Interchange Sheets between the D&RGW and the C&S 3' gauges.
Just because photos of C&S equipment on the D&RGW aren't common it does not mean that it did not happen. It was much more common than we give it credit for today.
Remember, most of the photos that we see of the D&RGW 3' gauge were taken after WWII. The C&S had abandoned all of their 3' gauge by then. Some of the shots that survive from the late 1930's also are not necessarily representative of what went on, as the South Park, where most of the interchange would have taken place was for all intents and purposes gone by the late 1930's.
The answer to your original question is "Yes" interchange did take place and although there isn't a lot of photographs of it, it was not as unusual as photos would make it seem.
I'd like to see that photo but I don't have that book. I'm not saying Never but here are some key factors to consider - for those who do have the photo:
1911 is typically recognized as the last year any C&Sng would have appeared west of the Tunnel - and they were on their way over Marshall Pass to Leadville.
Iirc the Flying Rio Grande trademark was a 1940s Herald. By then all C&Sng freight cars were either in Leadville or the Denver area - or in hayfields and barn years disguised as sheds.I would be amused - maybe even surprised to see a Block Lettered ng Coal car next to a Flying Herald Gon. Not saying never but seems highly unlikely.
The RGS never had any C&Sng Coal cars so pretty sure it wasn't from that road.
On the other hand there is that photo on page 141 of "Goin' Railroading' with what looks like D&RG gons at the Golf Mill below Romley in 1918. That makes plenty of sense since the third rail was still in place in the Arkansas Valley.
I don't know that I have the book that is mentioned.
Derrell is correct that the Flying Grande herald dates to about 1939, which I why I chose that year to model. It was a busy year on the Grande--the narrow gauge passenger trains were rebuilt and debuted in 1939, the flying herald appeared and the steel tank cars were on the line. Also, I believe the 'sunrise' RGS herald appeared about this time. Others can fulminate over the exact dates, but the broad application of the flying Grande herald did not occur until the 40s.
The C&S ceased operations on the Gunny District prior to WWI, and the D&RGW pulled the third rail between Salida and Malta (below Leadville) in 1925. This was right after delivery of the K-28s, for those who care. The Rio Grande always--always--assigned the heaviest power to Marshall Pass. C-19s, K-27s, 36s and 37s all started their careers on Marshall to protect the CF&I gravy train of coal flowing between Crested Butte and Salida, and the limestone between Monarch and Salida (except when they flipped the 36s back to Marshall at the end). If you want to model big time narrow gauge railroading, I suggest the late 1920s Marshall Pass, and Mr. Pat Student is the expert here. I doubt the 3rd rail north of Salida was revised such that K class locos could operate to Leadville. But enough about the Evil Empire.
After 1911, the only way interchange could happen is via the Salida-Malta connection. It is plausible that prior to 1925, interchange between the D&RG(W) and C&S occurred. Given that the Arkansas Valley Smelter is located in Leadville, it seems reasonable to me that coal and ore from the San Juans could easily be consigned to this location. The area around Crested Butte contains deposits of anthracite coal, one of the few outside Appalachia, and this is important because it burns both hot AND clean (remember those Phoebe Snow rhymes?) Jerry Day has reported that Baldwin coal was a favorite of several particular customers, and there are photos of solid trains of drop-bottom gons coming off the Baldwin branch. I don't yet know enough about the particulars of the Arkansas Valley Smelter (later American Smelting And Refining COmpany and finally ASARCO) to know what kind of ore they processed at Leadville and what kinds of coal they used. It was a big operation though and consumed a lot of carloads of stuff. As I understand, an agent would prefer to consign a home road car for a load to a foreign road, as there is money for the home road in that; next they would prefer to get the foreign road car off the home road to avoid lease fees. Perhaps Mike and Rick can enlighten us on the NG applications of this practice.
I share all this because it makes sense for me to place a D&RG(W) NG car in Leadville, and I could see a D&RG box car with bullion or refined ore (it would be to valuable to ship in an open car) even make it to Denver. A scenario where a C&S car would travel to Crested Butte is more difficult. The AVS would receive some coal or ore from a C&S mine, the car would be spotted among D&RG gons, and when it was time to return the gons, the C&S car would be part of the cut, perhaps mistaken for a 9000 series D&RG gon. Alternatively, a shipper could consign product from Denver to Crested Butte via the C&S, like the 'mine on a flatcar' shown in Idaho Springs. Anything could be possible.
All the Miller Cars were shipped from their loading point in Denver at the Rice Yards on SG to the RGS. I am unsure whether these were consigned to Ridgeway or Salida.
At Leadville, narrow gauge cars from a number of roads intermingle in the yards.
In my study of the history of the Colorado Midland Rwy, I found that the C&S exchanged Baldwin coal at Newett for use both in Leadville and Cripple Creek. This occurred after the C&S gained control of the CM in 1900.