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Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

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Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jimmy Blouch


A while back, July 2015 to be exact, a request was presented about the posting of D&RG maps for stations along the Blue River Branch.

I'll start off with Dillon

Jimmy

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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
Great stuff, Jimmy!

I can't wait for more!
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Southpark
Jimmy has posted the DRG map at Dillon.  Now let us consider the South Park.  So a west bound passenger train comes to Dickey.  Does it take water at that time?  This passenger train  backs to Dillon( no wye at Dillon, note photos) if there is not any heavy snow.  Is this correct?  If there is heavy snow the train heads down grade to Dillon and then backs to Dickey.  Is this correct?  When the passenger train is back at Dickey do they top off the tank before going up the Ten Mile?  The same questions hold for an east bound passenger train before it heads for Boreas .
About a freight going to Keystone, doing work along the branch or loading stock.  It is 6.9 miles from Dickey to Keystone.  With the small tanks of the "old days" could the crew make the run to Keystone, do the work and get back to Dickey?  Did I miss a tank along the Dickey to Dillon to Keystone?  What about stock loading and engine water?  If you have a C&S Valuation map match it to the DRG map Jimmy has posted and check out the track work.  Very interesting. This is a great place model both the C&S as well as the D&RG!  Now there is also the issue of how the DRG did their paper work at Dillon--just the facts on that!  Too bad there are not more photos of the operations in that area.
Just questions.
Tom Klinger
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
Hey Tom,

We've discussed a lot of the aspects of Dillon and the Keystone branch in the past: http://c-sng-discussion-forum.41377.n7.nabble.com/Freight-trains-at-Dillon-or-Keystone-td1868.html#a1885

As to your points/questions:

I am of the opinion that both the eastbound and westbound passenger trains backed from Dickey to Dillon, as every photo that I've seen of a passenger train at the Dillon depot, has the engine pointed south (upgrade) toward Dickey.

I have come to think that the DL&G / C&S facilities at Dillon were joint facilities, the C&S depot being used as a "union" depot for the two roads. I've never seen evidence that the D&RG maintained a depot there. Perhaps both agents worked out of the depot, or a single agent paid for by the two roads did all the clerical work.




The short red D&RG track connecting to the C&S House Track on Jimmy's map would have allowed the D&RG mixed to arrive at Dillon, turn on the D&RG wye, then back all the way up to the depot platform, before returning south to Leadville via Fremont Pass.

The 1918 valuiation map from your book shows the connection better:



On Jimmy's map, the short C&S spur that crosses the D&RG stock yard track, looks to be much longer, perhaps following the west bank of Tenmile Creek into downtown Dillon proper.

Written references exist that Dillon was the largest livestock shipping point on the C&S system, but the only stockyards in town were the D&RG stockyards, again, perhaps used as a joint ("union") stockyards by both roads.




As to watering engines, I have read at least one reference that states that the D&RG had a water tank at Dillon, but I have not located it on any of the maps that I have seen (makes sense, as Dillon was the end of the Blue River Branch of the D&RG). Jimmy, do you have more info on this?

If there was a D&RG tank at Dillon, perhaps C&S engines used it as a joint water tank as well.  The passenger trains likely never needed to water at Dillon, but your point about C&S freights to Keystone is a good one: Could they make a round trip to Keystone and back to Dickey without watering??

I have never seen a photo or map of Dillon that describes any D&RG facilities there other than the wye -- no sidings, spurs, section houses, tool houses, etc.  Any D&RG records that might further describe that roads trackage and facilities there?
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Robert McFarland
Didn't C&S control the D&RG Blue River branch after the shutdown of the Gunnison Division?Did they ever use any of the D&RG trackage?
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
Did they ever use any of the D&RG trackage?

Robert, it is my understanding that the only D&RG trackage that the C&S commonly used, after they began operating the D&RG's Blue River branch in February, 1911, was the D&RG track to the stockyards at Dillon. CRA Annual 12 does state that a connection to the D&RG's spur to the Wilson Mill in Robinson was also made in 1911, to service that industry.

After  June, 1911, it seems any D&RG freight business, at stations on the former Blue River branch, was loaded at the nearest C&S siding or spurs, handled by C&S locomotives in C&S freight trains on the C&S mainline from Dillon to Dickey, thence up the Tenmile, over Fremont Pass at Climax and then down to Leadville.

There are several photos as late as the mid-1920s that show D&RG freight cars in C&S trains or on C&S sidings, between Dillon and Leadville. Perhaps freight consigned to the D&RG on its former branch were shipped in D&RG cars, but handled in C&S trains.


C&S freight at Kokomo, c1923. The first 3 boxcars appear to be D&RG cars.



Climax, 1924. Note D&RG boxcar on siding.


Although photos into the late teens and early twenties show some D&RG trackage, at various stations still in place, it was apparently never used after 1911.  

http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/36909/rec/64

Climax, c1918. Note D&RG Fremont Pass sidings, still in place, in the foreground.

The D&RG applied for abandonment of its trackage from Dillon to Leadville in October, 1923, with ICC approval given on December 1, 1923. Sometime thereafter, probably the following spring, the D&RG track was taken up.

(Source: Chappell, et al, Colorado Rail Annual Number 12, page 123.)
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jeff Young
Fascinating stuff, Jim.  I know those pictures well and never noticed the D&RG boxcars in them.

Cheers,
Jeff.
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Southpark
Back to Dillon.  So a empty stock train from Como comes into Dickey.  Would they stop for coal and water first for a fast "get away" with the loads to get to the Denver stock yards without watering the stock?  Then pull to the west wye switch to back to Dillon.  Would the move be to run just past the DRG cut off switch, cut off the caboose and run up that cut off to the DRG track and then back the stock cars to the DRG pens?  When stock was loaded repeat the moves and pick up the caboose and run to the east wye leg for the "fast" run to Como.   While all this is going on the passenger train could run down to Dillon from Dickey.  Did not anyone have an old box camera to take a photo of all of this?
 I guess in Como power would be changed and the caboose changed with new power headed for Denver with a Platte Canon crew.
In the Tom Gibbony collection there is a photo of a snow covered engine headed north at the Dillon depot that would then back to Dickey.  What a cold place to be the agent!
Tom Klinger
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by Jeff Young
Yes, Jeff, and it gives you an excuse to add a D&RG freight car or two to a C&S consist running through your Kokomo.

Jim
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Southpark
Tom,

It is also possible that the C&S freight crew might shove a string of stock cars down the branch to Dillon, then back through the C&S house track and D&RG connecting track to the D&RG stock yard track, and then finally shove the stock cars up to the loading ramps at the stock yards; when stock was loaded, the moves could be done in reverse to return to Dickey.

Consider a photo from one of your own books, C&S Highline Memories . . . :




The C&S didn't always run trains with the locomotive on the head end.  This C&S freight in the early teens is working up the Keystone branch, beyond Dillon, and is crossing the Snake River bridge, about half way between Dillon and Keystone (or is it backing down grade, back to Dillon?).  

And it looks like more D&RG boxcars in the consist, behind the locomotive.

Jim

PS. It looks like Jimmy's thread is going to be a great one. Look at all the things we've discussed, and we haven't even started up the Tenmile from Dillon!
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by Southpark
In the Tom Gibbony collection there is a photo of a snow covered engine headed north at the Dillon depot that would then back to Dickey.

Tom, any chance you could post a copy of this photo?

Jim
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Mike McKenzie
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Great thread so far. Not as familiar with Dillon and the lines to Leadville as I'd like to be, so still trying to figure out where things are. For instance, Dickey is roughly 2 miles S-SW of Dillon, presently underwater, correct?

The D&RG went from Dillon to Leadville via Frisco and the C&S went to Leadville via Dicky. Have a good number of the C&S books commonly cited on this forum, but I need me a good map...

Also, couldn't match any of present-day Dillon (on Google maps) to the valuation maps posted above. Is it fair to say those portions of Dillon are also currently submerged, or simply erased over time by progress?

Again, fascinating. Looking forward to the rest of the story...

Mike
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
Mike,

Dillon is far underwater, at the bottom of the Dillon Reservoir.

Keystone resort sits atop the old C&S yards there -- the tack barn for the resort's stables is the old C&S Keystone depot.

Dickey is, most of the time, underwater under the Blue River arm of the same reservoir. Recent posts have shown photos of the Dickey site during a recent drought, when the reservoir was at record lows.

The current Interstate in Tenmile Canon pretty much sits atop the old D&RG grade.  From Frisco to Wheeler (Solitude) the C&S grade persists as a hike and bike trail. (If you ever decide to bike the trail, have one of the bike rental shops in Frisco drive you up to Copper Mountain or Vail Pass and bike it down grade. A four percent grade at that altitude is a pretty hard bike climb!)

The old site of Wheeler on the D&RG is pretty much covered by the Copper Mountain Ski resort, where the Interstate turns west to climb Vail Pass.

Map of lower Tenmile Canon coming, and who knows what Jimmy has up his sleeve!

Jim
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Keith Hayes
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Jim, I  know I have a mess on my hands when the locomotive ends up in the middle as in the photo! Poor crew.

Everyone note the D&RG did not remove the third rail from Salida to Malta until the mid-20s. This allowed interchange of cars to that date, though I suspect interchange greatly diminished towards the end. I am aware of no visits to Leadville by K-series locomotives.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
Yep, the impending removal of the 3rd rail to Leadville may have been the impetus for the D&RG to pull up the Blue River branch rails in 1923-24, which hadn't seen a train in nearly 25 years.

The only photos of D&RG narrow gauge power that I've seen in Leadville / Blue River were class 60 and class 70 2-8-0s (they were gone from the Cloud City before they were re-classed C-16 and C-19).

I read somewhere that the D&RG didn't even use narrow gauge power to move narrow gauge cars between Salida and Leadville, only moving NG cars behind standard gauge power.  If so, the only narrow gauge locomotives to use the 3rd rail were the C&S locomotives on the Buena Vista to Hancock branch, when they had to be moved back to C&S rails at Leadville to return to Denver for shopping.  But I guess the D&RG narrow gauge power working out of the Leadville district had to make the same kind of trip to Salida for repairs.

Jim

Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jimmy Blouch
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
The D&RG did not have a depot or water tank located at Dillon.
The only structures they had at that location were the stockyards.
The map I posted appears to show the “South Park” having a line to the stock yards as well.  In that case it would not have been necessary for a track to be constructed after the Grande left.

As for the “South Park” depot, it was not a joint depot and I don’t believe each road had an agent there.
Some sort of agreement would have been in place that allowed the D&RG trackage rights to the depot.  And through that agreement the D&RG would have been periodically billed a certain percentage of the expenses.

And how about this for a scenario, that agreement might have also provided the “South Park” trackage rights for the use of the wye.

Jimmy
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
Okay, Jimmy, this is getting fascinating!

The map I posted appears to show the “South Park” having a line to the stock yards as well.

Since D&RG trackage is in red, the only black line near the stock yard on your map looks more like the DL&G easement line to me:

 

On the valuation map that I posted above, the same lines are dashed - dot - dot -dashed lines, indicating the property easment boundary on each side of the C&S mainline at the depot.

The only other map of the railroads at Dillon, besides the valuation map, that I have seen is this map reproduced in Sandra F. Pritchard's Roadside Summit:




It doesn't show any track at the stock yard but the D&RG track, the north leg of the D&RG wye.

As for the “South Park” depot, it was not a joint depot and I don’t believe each road had an agent there.
Some sort of agreement would have been in place that allowed the D&RG trackage rights to the depot.  And through that agreement the D&RG would have been periodically billed a certain percentage of the expenses.

And how about this for a scenario, that agreement might have also provided the “South Park” trackage rights for the use of the wye.


I hadn't considered that!  The C&S could have used the D&RG wye to turn the passenger trains, at least up until the D&RG tore up the tracks in the 1920s.  In that scenario, early C&S passenger trains would arrive and depart the Dillon depot with the locomotive on the head end of the train, no need for backing!

If true, it logically leads to a really cool model railroad operating scenario:  Each passenger train would pass over the C&S Tenmile Creek trestle twice, arriving and departing Dillon; and to turn the train, the passenger trains would have to traverse the parallel D&RG Howe truss bridge twice as well, going to and coming from the wye:

http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/p15330coll22/id/5656/rv/singleitem/rec/39

C&S trestle over Tenmile Creek in foreground, D&RG bridge in background.


The D&RG did not have a depot or water tank located at Dillon.

So, no water tank at Dillon, pity.  I know the D&RG had water tanks at Kokomo and Wheeler, but the run from Wheeler to Dillon and back seems a bit long without a watering opportunity.

Was there a D&RG water tank at Frisco . . . or will that be in your next map??




Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jimmy Blouch
<quote author="Jim Courtney">
Okay, Jimmy, this is getting fascinating!

<iWas there a D&RG water tank at Frisco . . . or will that be in your next map??
</quote>

I plan to post a Frisco map next, after this one has run its course,  we could cover that question at that time.

Also, I have another map of Dillon that I am looking for.  If I am able to locate it I'll add it to this thread.

Jimmy
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Jim Courtney
Can't wait to ride up Tenmile Creek on the D&RG mixed, with your maps, Jimmy.

And I propose that we illustrate each stop along the way with as many D&RG and DSP&P / C&S photos as our collections allow.

Like I said, this is going to be a great thread . . .
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Ten Mile Stations of the D&RG

Keith Hayes
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
What a great set of posts about a previously less- well documented than we thought site.

I am particularly curious about the tight arrangement of main lines, siding, interchange and diamond. Good thing this place saw infrequent trains: there does not seem to be much space to work.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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