John, don't forget stock cars were also pressed into coal service during shortages. It goes without saying that the cars used were not sheep cars.
Derrell has shared that C&S refers ran in blocks of two (good to know). Generally two narrow gauge cars equals one standard gauge load.
Consulting the work of Dr. Sloan, I developed my rosters and the proportion of cars based on rosters of my era (1939). The factor I have not taken into account is wrecks. I forget which rosters I consulted, but what is interesting is how different the C&S and D&RGW were.
Here is my roster list:
Note that the C&S favored boxcars to coals, indicative of the need to ship lading securely over high passes. In contrast the D&RG has twice as many gons as boxcars reflecting the importance of coal and limestone traffic on the 3rd Division. Note that in the totals, refers, flats, and tank car numbers are very small, with only stock cars approaching double digits.
What this does not account for is the number of each C&S car by phase (we will see if this works):
I II III
Box 1 2 9
Coal 6 3 2
Stock - 1 2
So...if you have a roster of 26 cars, 9 of them would most likely be Phase III boxcars in a pre-1937 period. After 1937, most all the cars assigned to Leadville were Phase III cars and none of them were stock cars, and we know the numbers thanks to a C. C. Whitman memo. What is interesting about the ratio is the need for the C&S to replace old boxcars with new SUF cars early on. On the other had, the existing coal fleet soldiered on to the end.
On the Leadville layout, this is informing my purchasing decisions. I need more Phase III boxcars, and a way to build Phase I coals (Mike McKenzie how is that 3d printed stake coming?)
Note that I did not include refers or flats in my C&S table. Also, remember that tank cars were private owners and leased. Someone responded to my query on a Leadville gas unloading location that Conoco paid the C&S to run the tanks just for advertising. Hmmm.
Regarding that 1937 memo on Leadville operations, it was directed to all points to route cars to Climax or Leadville for use on that segment after the Waterton-Climax portion was abandoned. The equipment to be moved included:
(1) passenger and baggage [#26, I wonder why? Must have been in the best shape?]
(1) caboose [1009--this does not explain the photo of 1009 and 1008 on the ground after 1943]
(1) rotary snow plow [of course!]
...and three more boxcars, nine coals and three flats were added to each of these totals.
Note the 2:1 ratio of boxcars to coals, which appear to have been used to move mine timbers and lumber.
The memo suggests that the roadmaster had a very good grasp of what equipment was in the best condition and where it was. I have no idea how railroads keep track of equipment. I can say that the folks responsible for setting aside D&RGW narrow gauge equipment for the Cumbres & Toltec in 1970 were very perceptive and attempted to select at least one example of each piece of surviving car type and class. We should all be indebted to these anonymous individuals for their knowledge and foresight.
You're forgetting that Molybdenum was shipped out in Box Cars, not in Gondolas. It was not until the advent of the Covered Hopper in the 1950's that the practice of shipping out in Box Cars was abandoned or modified.
Covered hoppers began showing up in quantities in the 1930s... primarily for hauling cement. There were earlier examples than that. On the C&Sng covered "hoppers" (box cars with lids in the roofs - sans any facsimile of an actual "hopper" - it's the "covered part I'm focused on here) show up in the early '30s - for hauling cement to Climax (there seems to have been around 8 of them all SUFs). Railroads had been using these ad-hoc covered "hopper" perhaps from the TOC - who knows when a radicle idea actually gets started. But not to argue the point that the C&S hauled more freight that needn't get wet....
Yeah, the 1950s date for Covered Hoppers was off the top of what's left of my head. I was thinking of the LNE cement hoppers, which were the first ones that I remember in quantity.
There were some earlier ones for Carbon Black as well.
The C&S's hatched Box Cars were a good fix to a nagging problem on a stretch of line that was slated to be abandoned any way. Abandonment of the South Park had been a foregone conclusion since the Q takeover in 1909.
Well I don't have a top of my head which is why I say a LOT of boneheaded things. I think a lot of them get missed or people are just being kind...
I happen to be a closet Southern Pacific fan and I like Covered Hoppers and Tank Cars - two anemic classes on the ng - so ya sorta got ambushed - sorry about that.
The C&Sng roof hatch cars have not really been discussed on this forum yet. It is an interesting mystery. The Schwedlers pointed them out to me many years ago and it took a bit of forensic investigation to find out as little as we know today. At least one car went to the RGS - 8308 iirc. There are photos of such cars on the Highline to Climax as well as Alma and others. They show up in the early '30s about the time the big mill at Climax was being built. I'm not sure when the mill at Alma was built (off the non existent top of my head). Anyway as the fog slowly burns off we see in the bigger picture - a proliferation (?) of cement transport by rail all over the country. Big concrete mills? Box cars with roof hatches? Seems sorta obvious....
Abandonment is another issue and I couldn't agree more about the forgone conclusions in 1909. Geez; in about 2 years they (the Q) had induced a shut down of what? 2/3rds of the line? Like the end of 1910 was some kind of target date! Okay, maybe half. But it was a significant chunk.