Coal and Water (on the South Park)

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Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Keith Hayes
Questions. I have questions.

First, it is peculiar that on the South Park coaling and water facilities only coincided at Denver, Como, Dickey, Leadville, (Hancock), Pitkin and Gunnison. No wonder this was an expensive railroad to operate: trains could rarely stop for fuel and water at the same place! Okay, maybe it was only at Pine Grove.

Here is a compilation for coaling locations from the 1922 Timetable (with some help from other sources).

I did not include the coaling platforms that were likely at Boreas, Climax, Hancock and Alpine Tunnel, as these were not listed (though if popular demand asks for it, I will include them and any other corrections). Note that coal docks are about 40 miles apart.

What got me thinking about this is how many carloads of coal a locomotive requires. John was kind enough to log all of the D&RGW tender capacities in his post on C&S #70, but I cannot find that he compiled C&S tender capacities anywhere. What's up with that John? Anyway, knowing the tender capacity (heaped) would tell us how many carloads need to be delivered at Dickey or Pine Grove. One can imagine that those four-locomotive freights pounding up Platte Canon required an extra locomotive just to haul the coal to refuel the train!

In contrast, here is the data I could find on watering holes:

I am sure there are some missing tanks here. Some moved, and a few were abandoned. I find it hard to believe there is not a tank between Como and Bakers Tank (the latter is not listed on the 1922 timetable, nor is French Gulch or Three Mile).  On the other hand Solitude and Kokomo seem redundant. Distance between water tanks averages just under 10 miles, or three water stops for each coal stop. Also of note is the number of water columns and odd spouts (Breck and Mount Princeton) in contrast to the more iconic wooden water tanks. In fact, considering the examples at Dome Rock and Garos, one is apt to conclude there is no such thing as at typical South Park water tank.

So there you have it. Talk amongst yourselves.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Chris Walker
Riverview Tank (aka Buffalo) at MP 38.8
Riceville MP 60.00
Hoosier MP 73.83 (mentions bad, limited water)
==========
Halfway MP 93.95
Selkirk MP 96.09 (1912 listing 1mile below spur)
Boreas MP 98.84
Wheeler MP 126.16
==========
Hortense MP 142.09
Midway Tank at MP 168.66  

Platte River tank was at MP 112.78

Also Schwanders had a Coaling Platform later a 8 pocket Chute.
"  "   Boreas had a coal bin16'x45' burned 1909
"   "  Breckenridge coal bin12'x85'

All those came from Mac Poor DSP&P Mem. Ed.

p.s.  How do you get water at Pine Grove?
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
According to Poor in his Denver, South Park . . ., Grant, MP 66.15, at one time had a 47,500 gallon tank that was removed "prior to 1912".  

Since Grant was only 3 miles below Webster, the tank spacing here is pretty close.  I suspect westbound trains may have added additional helpers here for Kenosha, as light engines assigned as helpers could come over from Como and turn on the wye (none at Webster), take water and also coal if needed (Poor list a 13 x 363 foot coal bin as well).  Or, when Kenosha was blockaded with snow, this might have been as far west as trains got during some winter months.

From the one photo of Grant that that I've ever seen that includes the tank, an 1880 photo on page 183 of Mineral Belt I, the tank and coal bin appear to be at the far east end of the siding that was on the south side of the main.

Derrell published an article in the 2006 CNGQ, stating that the tank and original coaling bin were removed between 1893 and 1894.  Curious, it seems that the tank would have been convenient in later years, as the "Fish Trains" usually tied up on Sunday night at Grant, turned and returned to Denver the following morning.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Robert McFarland
In one of the early photos of Webster on the DPL,there appears to be a wye.
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Robert McFarland
Check out DPL photo X-14031.
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Here you go, Keith, a perfectly efficient water and coal station on the South Park -- Grant, early 1880s:


Photo credited to Alex Martin, Richard Ronzio Collection, Mineral Belt I, D.S. Digerness, Sundance Pub. Ltd, 1977, page 183.

The tank and coal bin are in the distance at the east end of the little yard.  The wye was located just behind the little pond over the depot (center, 3 chimneys) and isn't clearly visible, perhaps it hasn't been installed yet.

In a typical Union Pacific management decision, the facilities here were deemed too efficient and were removed in 1893 or 1894, according to Derrell's article in the 2006 CNGQ.  Derrell also speculated that an engine house might also have been located here, but I can't make one out.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Derrell Poole
From memory - according to a contemporary news article the engine house burned down in late 1879 with loco 24 in it. In those days it was a division station.
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Chris Walker
In reply to this post by Robert McFarland
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Jim Courtney
Thanks for posting these 2 photos, Chris.  Sorry though, I can't convince myself that there is a wye in the first photo.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Chris Walker



Does that help?
Dare I point out the Tank has been relocated? {:))
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Bill Uffelman
I will display my ignorance and blame it on all of my reference materials being in storage. Are the three "humps" in the second photo of the first batch charcoal kilns? Any idea what the little black piles arrayed around the plot partially hidden by power pole are in the same photo? Almost look like mulch around trees making a grove.

Bill Uffelman
Ocean View DE


On Wednesday, February 25, 2015 4:45 PM, Chris Walker [via C&Sn3 Discussion Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:





Does that help?
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand



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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Chris Walker
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Bill Uffelman
So I have not lost my photo analysis skills!

Thanks.

Bill Uffelman


On Wednesday, February 25, 2015 5:12 PM, Chris Walker [via C&Sn3 Discussion Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:



http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/p15330coll22/id/42523/rv/singleitem/rec/25
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand



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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by Chris Walker
Okay, I'm starting to buy it!
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Coal and Water (on the South Park)

Chris Walker
An update to this thread with the following.  
A photo by R. Kindig printed inside the front cover of Mal Ferrell's C&Sng and on pg193 of Mineral Belt V-1 shows the Footings of a former Water Tank at the approaches to Kenosha Pass on the East side of the Wye.

In Klinger's C&S Highline Memories on pg229 there is a picture of the 3-Mile Tank near Leadville: This shows clearly yet another W.T. with Cast Iron support columns w/rod braces of the same type as the 2nd Idaho Springs(4th & 5th Ave) Tank.
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand