Now that I have a ton of coals, I should probably develop some loads. But all coal makes the C&S a dull road.
The Dillon-Keystone thread indicated there was a logging operation at Keystone that cut logs for mine props. Seems like a nice option to coal.
I was operating on a friends layout and using a bamboo skewer to uncouple cars and the thought occured to me that it was about the correct size for a mine prop. What's more, bamboo skewers are a bit uneven, which is even better.
So instead of watching paint dry (really!) I used my NWSL Chopper to cut up some mine props for a coal load. These appear to be about twice the height of the sides of a coal, about 6' in length. I n the posted photo, the props are placed vertically against the car sides (to create higher sides), then placed flat on the bottom of the car.
Here the little people are starting to assemble a side.
Otto Perry caught an inbound train off the South Park, outside of Denver. Four gons of mine props in a mixed consist of gons with props, a couple of boxcars and a cut of stock cars. I always assumed the mine props from Platte Canon were shipped west to Climax or Leadville--maybe these cars are consigned to a Clear Creek destination.
And here is a 1929 photo of newly repainted phase 1 (1902) gon 4350 with a similar load at Grant in January, 1929:
In the Klingers' C&S Platte Canon Memories . . .
Because of the date, I think this is one of many Denver Water Board Special photos, taken the same day at Grant, to document then current railroad business (such as it was).
Here are two others, also from the Klingers' book, same collection, same date:
Looks like boxcars were also used to transport mine props. The third boxcar seems to be loading itself!
Would make another interesting load -- a boxcar, both doors open, with the visible ends of the mine props visible in both ends of the car.
A view of the east end of the Grant siding (left) and house track with loading platform (right). There are great piles of mine props lying about, sorted by different lengths.
Looks like you might need a bigger bag of skewers, Keith.
If you look carefully, you will note most of the mine props have lots of knots
and the bark is still present. Those skewer sticks are much too straight and "clean"
to accurately look like most mine props.
Hey CD, I think this is the photo you're thinking of:
The photo is in Digerness, The Mineral Belt, Volume 2.
While not clearly labeled, it is implied that the wreck during DL&G days occurred near Michigan Spur, on the grade to Kenosha. The coal cars in the center and at the left frame have unusual sides. Maybe Ron Rudnick could help identify them.
In the same book is this photo at Braddocks, north of Breckenridge:
In this very late DL&G, or very early C&S view, almost half of the four engine train is mine props in coal cars or poles on a flat.
Rocky Ops was this weekend and after three days/ 12 cumulative hours on the clock, I am pretty tired. I got to visit/ operate on three great and very different layouts (all HO). It inspired me to do some work on the layout, but what could I do quickly? Oh, finish the mine prop load!
It turned out well and I am debating if I want to make a rubber mold and cast these in urethane? It would be an easy way to make 6-8 loads for a train.