Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

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Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
(NOTE: I posted this in Jimmy Blouch's excellent thread: "Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG": http://c-sng-discussion-forum.41377.n7.nabble.com/Ten-Mile-Stations-of-the-D-amp-RG-td6164.html.  I think this topic deserves a lot more discussion, but feel it would be a distraction from the content of Jimmy's excellent maps, so I decided to start a new thread here)


In the Klingers' Highline Memories and Then Some there are two photos attributed to Anna Anderson, in the A.A.Anderson Collection, that show a rotary train in Kokomo. The captions do not identify the railroad, the date of the photos is listed as "early 1900."




I'm pretty sure this is a D&RG rotary train, departing Kokomo northbound. The town itself is behind the train, the two coal bins for the D&RG bunk house and section house are at right mid frame. The C&S line appears far distant--just above and to the left of the rotary's snow plume, the C&S snowshed in the cut by the trestle is faintly visible.

The two locomotives appear to be D&RG C-class engines, as the diamond stacks look more like a D&RG diamond than an old UP diamond of the late 1880s to early 1890s. Besides, if they were C&S locomotives in early 1900 they should sporting McConnel "pancake " stacks.

So, it's likely a D&RG rotary train--or is it?





Anna Anderson also took this photo of the rotary train stopped at Kokomo, perhaps by the D&RG depot. The tender is lettered "Rotary 012". The numerals are the skinny block Gothic numerals as on D&RG 262 above, so it is consistent with D&RG period lettering.

But the problem is that none of the D&RG narrow gauge rotaries ever carried the number "012" that I can find.

The D&RG narrow gauge rotaries were not renumbered (relettered?) to the familiar "OM" and "ON" until 1907.

According to Robert Sloan in A Century + Ten of D&RG Narrow Gauge . . ., the D&RG assigned numbers to its two narrow gauge rotaries of that era, when delivered in 1889: They were numbered 1 (later OM) and 2 (later ON).  Rotary OO was acquired from the Crystal River railroad in 1916, and never carried a D&RG number. Likewise, Rotary OY was a modern machine, acquired new in 1923.

So, if the photos don't show a D&RG rotary, does it belong to the DL&G or C&S? The rotary in the photos don't look like the Jull.

The only two Cooke (Leslie) rotaries on the South Park, according to Mal Ferrel in The South Park Line, were:

a)  DSP&P 011, built in 2/1889, later renumbered to DL&G 064 in 1890, to C&S 01 in 1900, finally renumbered to our old friend C&S 99200 in 1912.
b)  Standard gauge C&S 03, built in 1900, renumbered 0270 in 1908, finally 99201 in 1912. It wasn't converted to narrow gauge until 1935, so it cant be a candidate.

The only other narrow gauge rotary was the Jull, built in 1890, originally delivered as DL&G 066, but was standard gauged after the snow plow trials, in 1890, renumbered UPD&G 025 in 1893.  

Since the original DSP&P rotary number of 011 is sequential to 012, is it possible that the DSP&P had a second rotary that we don't know about?

Are there any members of the Colorado Rotary Club on this forum, who can tell me who owned "Rotary 012" in the photo above?
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jeff Young
It's definitely not the Jull, as its front-end looked completely different.

As an interesting side-note, OO's original Crystal River designation was AB-2, leading to its nickname "Able Too" (used even by later D&RG crews).

Cheers,
Jeff.
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
In trying to identify the Rotary 012 at Kokomo, I concluded that it wasn't a D&RG rotary plow.  If so it must be a borrowed or leased rotary being used by the D&RG, either a narrow gauge plow or a standard gauge plow on narrow gauge trucks. The most likely owner of the Rotary 012, to loan the machine to the D&RG, would be the C&S or it's UP predecessors.

First the date of "1900".  Printed dates on photographs in books are notoriously inaccurate, being derived from the verbal memories of the people who took the photos, or inherited the photos. Only Doug Heitkamp seems to find vintage photos with dates written on the back. So, these photos could conceivably have been taken any time from 1887 when the Leslie plows were first built, to 1909, the last year the D&RG operated the Blue River branch.

I consulted my worn copy of Hol Wagner's The Colorado Road last night. He has a small chapter "Miscellaneous Equipment" that lists C&S system rotaries and their origins.  He only records three rotaries ever owned by the C&S and its predecessors, as listed above by Mal Ferrel.

We have to remember that equipment purchased new for the DSP&P was actually purchased by the UP owners and assigned to the South Park division of that larger UP system. The fact that the South Park's only Leslie rotary of the nineteenth century, when purchased in February of 1889, was numbered "011" might suggest that the UP management could have purchase a second rotary in the same order and numbered it "012" for use on another narrow gauge division.  

Further evidence that might be true are the subsequent numbers. Evidently in 1890, the UP began using a new numbering system for the rotaries in the UP system: The South Park rotary became "064". The Jull rotary, purchased in 1890, came pre-lettered as DL&G "066".  That leaves a vacant number "065", that could represent rotary "012" above.

So, what other UP narrow gauge subsidiary could have received Rotary 012 in 1889?  The obvious choice is the Utah & Northern, already standard gauging parts of its mainline. In 1889 to 1890, quite a bit of narrow gauge equipment was being transferred from the UP's U&N division to the South park division: The Rhode Island 2-8-0s, many freight cars and at least some cabooses.

It is possible that a newly arrived "012" was deemed unneeded on the U&N and became another Utah refugee and ended up in Colorado, perhaps leased by the UP to the D&RG.  It seems very odd, though, that the UP management would buy a new narrow gauge rotary for a narrow gauge subsidiary that was in the process of being standard gauged--but managements of large corporations often do odd things!

So I intend to research any evidence of rotaries on the U&N and other UP subsidiaries (OSL, OWRR&N, UP proper).

If anyone knows the origin of Rotary 012, please post the answer, so's I don't spend time going into rabbit holes of information.

Jim
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jerry Day
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
D&RG Rotary 012 was a standard gauge rotary, built by ALCO-Cooke. It was renumbered 018 and again to 071 in 1910. It was based in Salida and used on Tennessee Pass, the Ibex branch and La Veta Pass. It was equipped a set of narrow gauge trucks used when Rotary ON was in the shop. It was last used on the narrow gauge in 1923 on Marshall Pass. It was scrapped at Salida in1949. The photo shows 012 on the D&RG’s Blue River branch or the Ibex branch. It was used on both. It was also loaned to the C&S a couple of times.

Attached is a photo of Rotary 071 and ON at Salida in 1927. All of this will be covered in my D&RGW/RGS snow fighting history.

Jerry Day
Durango, CO
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Todd Hackett
Gerald Best's book "Snowplow" shows D&RG 071 to be Leslie construction no. 63, built in 10/1903. If this is the same rotary train as the one dated to "early 1900," then the date on the photo is off a bit.
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Jerry Day
Way to go Jerry and Todd!

I knew that some D&RG enthusiast would know the answer.

Since D&RG 012 had a build date of 10/03, then the date of the Kokomo photos would have to be winter 1903-04 to 1909-1910.

I wonder if this photo, taken on the D&RG just below the big loop on the south side of Fremont Pass, is of the same critter:





BTW, my research on UP and subsidary rotary plows did yield some interesting information. The UtahRails.net site has a complete roster of all UP system rotary snow plows: http://utahrails.net/up/snowplows-index.php


Turns out there were two Jull plows purchased by the UP in 1889-1890. The first was delivered as UP 065 and survived until 1949. The second was delivered as UP 066, assigned to the DL&G and was the Jull that participated in the Snow Plow trials on Alpine Pass. It was spun off the UP roster to the UPD&G (number 025) with the 1893 receivership and ended up as C&S standard gauge Jull rotary number 0200 in 1899, final C&S number 99210. The folio drawing in the "Files" section is of this plow:





So, UP rotary plow number 065 wasn't ever a vacated number after all.

When will your "D&RGW/RGS snow fighting history" be in print, Jerry? Were any other D&RG standard gauge rotaries used on the system's narrow gauge lines?
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jerry Day
Jim the 1899 photo is of D&RG Rotary ON. ON was built in 1889 as Rotary 2. D&RG renumbered the narrow gauge MOW equipment in 1907. ON was based in Salida for use on the 3rd divison but made many runs on the Blue River Branch, the Ibex Branch and loaned to the C&S. The Ibex branch traffic was so important to the D&RG that they brought OM up a couple of times when ON was in the shop.

Jerry Day
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jeff Young
In reply to this post by Todd Hackett
Great stuff, Jerry and Todd.  I can't wait for the book.

Cheers,
Jeff.
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jerry Day
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Jim, the D&RGW had four narrow gauge rotary snow plows...OM, ON, OO, and OY. They had two standard gauge rotarie, 070 and 071, and inherited one from the Denver & Salt Lake. 070 was based in Utah in the WWI era and 071 was based in Salida.
Only the OM and OY remain.

I am not sure when I will be able to get back to do the snowfighting book, I have a committment to do books on D&RGW K-28s and K-36s in 2017, one on C-16s after that, and my personal priority is to complete a book I started on the D&RGW Crested Butte branch.

I do want to complete the snow project as I have been doing the research since 1974,.

Jerry Day
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
Great information, Jerry!

Perhaps you can identify this rotary on the Ibex branch:

http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/p15330coll22/id/71942/rv/singleitem/rec/1






Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jerry Day
That is D&RG Rotary 2, later ON. ON was based at Salida and was the Third Divison Rotary but was used a lot out of Leadville due to the importance of the Ibex branch to the smelters.

Jerry Day
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jim Courtney
And whats this photo of "D&RG Rotary 50" about? Is it the "inherited D&SL rotary"?

http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/71941/rec/6



Seems D&RG equipment can be just as confusing as C&S stuff!

Jim
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jerry Day
In reply to this post by Todd Hackett
Todd, the problem with tracking down the snow operations on any of the railroads is there is almost no dispatcher books, train register books, or other documentation from those days except the RGS material that Bob Richardson saved. I have had to rely on newspaper accounts and they are a mixed bag, some papers reported the railroad operations in great detail and others ignored the railroads completely.

Rotary 012 was acquired in 1903 and renumbered in 1907, so the photos were taken sometime between those dates. Unfortunately the Colorado History Museum does not have Leadville newspapers for all those years. I know 012 was being used on the narrow gauge as ON had taken a beating and was in the shops a lot during those years. This item shows it in use on Marshall Pass.

Salida Mail
February 21, 1905, Tuesday
Sargents News
Late Tips: D&RG Rotary 012 was here Tuesday morning having been in use on the hill all night.
The yard seems to have a great deal of grief here lately. Monday they burned the crown sheet of engine 213 and Tuesday, during the excitement of rotary and accompanying engines here, the oil car caught fire and burned to the gound.

Jerry Day
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jerry Day
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
That is D&RG Rotary 2 (ON) with the headlight off of C class engine number 50. Look at the wheels, it is on dual gauge track, but the trucks are narrow gauge.

Jerry Day
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
Yep, I see the "2" at the left margin.  So this guy would be expected to be the most likely rotary to have worked the Blue River branch in winter, before the D&RG ceased operations there.

I can't believe the D&RG would put a fake headlight on a piece of equipment, just to confuse a railfan 110 years later!

This thread started as a complete misunderstanding on my part, but I sure am learning a lot here!
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jerry Day
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Jim,

Is it the "inherited D&SL rotary?

D&SL Rotary 10200 was a steel body rotary and the D&RGW did not get it until the D&RGW-D&SL merger in the late 40s (forget the year),

This rotary made the last D&RGW standard gauge rotary snow plow runs on the Provo Canyon Branch (now the Heber Creeper) and the Tintic branch in 1949. The photo shows it on the Provo Canyon branch pushed by two C-48 2-8-0s.

Jerry

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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

Jerry Day
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Rotary ON spent a lot of time running out of Leadville, the first time in 1890 and the last time in 1914. They had narrow gauge trucks for 012 (071) for when ON was down or if they needed an extra. Rotary OO (Crystal River AB2) also had a set of standard gauge trucks as it was used on both the narrow and standard gauge portions of the Crystal River, but they never used OO on standard gauge. I met an engineer who fired it on its first run to Crested Butte in 1916 and was pilot on it on its last run in 1952.

Essentially there was no such thing as a narrow gauge rotary, they were all standard models which could have trucks for either gauge (or both).

Jerry Day
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Re: Mystery Rotary Snow Plow 012 at Kokomo

tonyk375
Great information as always Jerry!  

Agree the picture of 012 is Leslie #63 later the D&RGW 071.  I think you can even see it has the older fan style blade compared to the paddle style on  99200, OM and ON or the scoop style blade on OO and 99201.

Question though,  wasn't Leslie #59 (C&S 99201) renumbered 012 from 03 in 1903 until renumbered 0270 in 1906? I believe you had told me one time this rotary was used for a few days on the ng until deemed it to heavy and put on the standard in June of '01.

This is a the builder photo of D,N-W&P rotary 10200. Later rebuilt with the steel body. I sure would like to know the date of the rebuild. Interesting how "cookie cutter" the rotaries could be or how many options railroads could choose such as blade style and diameter.

Moffat RD 10200 builder