Weekly Dickey Operations

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Weekly Dickey Operations

Mike Trent
Administrator
Some months ago, I started doing some daily walking, prompted by a Samsung watch that is connected by magic, apparently, to my Galaxy phone. Anyway, about a month and half ago, I started going out between 5 and 6 in the morning to get about half of the steps my watch demands that I do. So, naturally during this time, other than an occasional fox or deer sighting, or somebody going to work or an early breakfast, my mind is free to wander. Not always a good thing. But the last day or two, I started thinking about what might be going on in my representation of Dickey, over the course of a week. What you might find if you happened to be there between Monday morning and the following Saturday at about noon.

All of you are aware how small my operation is,  but I don't let that deter me from running service through Dickey as it was in the post 1931 time frame when passenger service ran only once a day, six days a week, what the C&S termed "Three times a week". That meant Westbound Monday Wednesday, and Friday, Eastbound Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. between Leadville and Denver. Freights ran extra, generally Eastbound through Dickey on Monday and Wednesday between Leadville and Como, and Westbound on Tuesday and Thursday. Often there were shorter trains that ran extra on Friday and Saturday. Or full extras during the stock rush.

On the prototype, there were often four locomotives on a full freight, but many times there were three, or even two, on shorter trains.

Because the length of my mainline through Dickey is not long, The longest train I can assemble on what I refer to as the "Leadville Siding" is 11 cars and three locomotives, which would be set up with a Road Engine following the first helper on point,  and a second helper either cut in three cars ahead of the caboose or just ahead of the caboose. This depends on direction, as the second helper has to be three cars and a caboose ahead, so the crossing to the depot is not obstructed. I should add that my full trains are 10 cars.

The passenger, usually 2 cars, sometimes 3, runs in front of the depot Westbound to provide service to Dillon, and then backs on to the main to continue to to Leadville. Returning Eastbound the next day, the train arrives in Dickey and backs in front of the depot for service to Dillon, and then continues straight on to Como and Denver.

So this all pretty much the routine, with occasional variation.

All that leads to this:

Over the course of the six day week, there will be six passenger trains with generally a single locomotive, and as many as six freight trains which will involve as few as 12-14  locomotives, or as many as 18. That means there will be between 18-24 locomotives through Dickey over the course of a week, and each of them will need a coal drop at the chutes. Allowing that none of the engines will need a full load, but would probably need as many as 4-5 tons each. That equates to between 90 and 120 tons of coal. At 25 tons capacity per coal gon, that means a minimum of three gons would have to be emptied into the bins, or as many as five in a week.

So, over the course of a year, there are probably at least 750 locomotives through Dickey, and probably about 2,800 freight cars and 150 passenger cars a year.

At least 208 coal cars emptied into the bins.

Small things add up to big things. And, no, I do not go through any coal loading on a daily basis. Just setting up for the next day after about 5 minutes of actual operating time consumes quite enough time for me, especially if I am to get anything at all in addition to this.

There may be some eye opening statistics here for anyone who thinks you can't do anything in a small space. Also, as you thumb through books looking at pictures, remember what you are seeing in the context of the "big picture".

Lastly, I do keep a register of trains and locomotives that pass through here bound for Leadville and Como. You won't believe how many times these hogs run in a years time.
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Bill Uffelman
Vein doc says I have to walk an hour each day in addition to my 3x week hour plus physical fitness routine. Like you I think of important things like prototype/model railroad operations while walking or riding a recumbant bike. If I wasn't retired I am not sure how I would fit it all in.

I don't recall that you have published the plan of your layout. Is there one out there to peruse?

Thanks.

Bill Uffelman 


On Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 10:34 AM, Mike Trent [via C&Sng Discussion Forum]
Some months ago, I started doing some daily walking, prompted by a Samsung watch that is connected by magic, apparently, to my Galaxy phone. Anyway, about a month and half ago, I started going out between 5 and 6 in the morning to get about half of the steps my watch demands that I do. So, naturally during this time, other than an occasional fox or deer sighting, or somebody going to work or an early breakfast, my mind is free to wander. Not always a good thing. But the last day or two, I started thinking about what might be going on in my representation of Dickey, over the course of a week. What you might find if you happened to be there between Monday morning and the following Saturday at about noon.

All of you are aware how small my operation is,  but I don't let that deter me from running service through Dickey as it was in the post 1931 time frame when passenger service ran only once a day, six days a week, what the C&S termed "Three times a week". That meant Westbound Monday Wednesday, and Friday, Eastbound Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. between Leadville and Denver. Freights ran extra, generally Eastbound through Dickey on Monday and Wednesday between Leadville and Como, and Westbound on Tuesday and Thursday. Often there were shorter trains that ran extra on Friday and Saturday. Or full extras during the stock rush.

On the prototype, there were often four locomotives on a full freight, but many times there were three, or even two, on shorter trains.

Because the length of my mainline through Dickey is not long, The longest train I can assemble on what I refer to as the "Leadville Siding" is 11 cars and three locomotives, which would be set up with a Road Engine following the first helper on point,  and a second helper either cut in three cars ahead of the caboose or just ahead of the caboose. This depends on direction, as the second helper has to be three cars and a caboose ahead, so the crossing to the depot is not obstructed. I should add that my full trains are 10 cars.

The passenger, usually 2 cars, sometimes 3, runs in front of the depot Westbound to provide service to Dillon, and then backs on to the main to continue to to Leadville. Returning Eastbound the next day, the train arrives in Dickey and backs in front of the depot for service to Dillon, and then continues straight on to Como and Denver.

So this all pretty much the routine, with occasional variation.

All that leads to this:

Over the course of the six day week, there will be six passenger trains with generally a single locomotive, and as many as six freight trains which will involve as few as 12-14  locomotives, or as many as 18. That means there will be between 18-24 locomotives through Dickey over the course of a week, and each of them will need a coal drop at the chutes. Allowing that none of the engines will need a full load, but would probably need as many as 4-5 tons each. That equates to between 90 and 120 tons of coal. At 25 tons capacity per coal gon, that means a minimum of three gons would have to be emptied into the bins, or as many as five in a week.

So, over the course of a year, there are probably at least 750 locomotives through Dickey, and probably about 2,800 freight cars and 150 passenger cars a year.

At least 208 coal cars emptied into the bins.

Small things add up to big things. And, no, I do not go through any coal loading on a daily basis. Just setting up for the next day after about 5 minutes of actual operating time consumes quite enough time for me, especially if I am to get anything at all in addition to this.

There may be some eye opening statistics here for anyone who thinks you can't do anything in a small space. Also, as you thumb through books looking at pictures, remember what you are seeing in the context of the "big picture".

Lastly, I do keep a register of trains and locomotives that pass through here bound for Leadville and Como. You won't believe how many times these hogs run in a years time.


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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Mike Trent
Administrator
Hi Bill, Darel has asked me to do that, but it seems that I have more time to thonk about stuff while walking than actually doing things when I'm not.

Basically, it's an L shape, about 10'x3' along one wall where the coal dock, enginehouse, and depot are located. Behind the depot, which is on the left as you are looking at it, is an L, which is 2' wide x just under 4' deep. My grade crossing is behind the depot, The backdrop looks like it's miles in depth through a camera lens.

Keep up your walking. The last couple of years have been full of drama for us. as my better half has had a lot of heart issues, culminating last January when she got a life changing pacemaker.
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Bill Uffelman
Thanks for the description Mike - looking forward to more pictures and a quick sketch 8>))  

I have had both hips replaced and a lumbar laminectomy - trying to avoid another laminectomy with PT and cortisone injections from pain management anesthesiologist as my feet go numb when standing some comes from vein issues.

The standing problems have impacted layout design as I may need to be able to sit to do any operation limiting reach and construction method, etc.

Bill Uffelman 



On Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 11:38 AM, Mike Trent [via C&Sng Discussion Forum]
Hi Bill, Darel has asked me to do that, but it seems that I have more time to thonk about stuff while walking than actually doing things when I'm not.

Basically, it's an L shape, about 10'x3' along one wall where the coal dock, enginehouse, and depot are located. Behind the depot, which is on the left as you are looking at it, is an L, which is 2' wide x just under 4' deep. My grade crossing is behind the depot, The backdrop looks like it's miles in depth through a camera lens.

Keep up your walking. The last couple of years have been full of drama for us. as my better half has had a lot of heart issues, culminating last January when she got a life changing pacemaker.


If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Robert McFarland
In reply to this post by Mike Trent
When is Darel going to post about his Dickey layout?
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Keith Hayes
In reply to this post by Mike Trent
Mike, Jim and I were pondering similar thoughts a couple months ago.

After about 1930, C&S had the following locomotives (in reverse numerical order):

537, 76, 75, 74, 73, 72, 71, 70 (really limited to Clear Creek assignments), 69, 68, 65, 60 (Leadville switcher), 58, 9, 8, 6, and 5. That is 17 locos by my count. If a couple are reserved for Clear Creek and Denver assignments, and one is used for the passenger, and one is on reserve in Como to protect the passenger, we are now down to 13 locos. If you have four engines at each end (or all at Como on train day), that leaves five locos. Assuming a couple of those are circulating through the shop, we now have two or three for spare power.

My point being when a couple engines rolled down the hill at Boreas, or were in a fire in Como, that must have really stressed out the Road Foreman. Especially if he was confronted with moving a bunch of tons of construction material to Climax. It points out why the C&S leased the three D&RGW C-19s.

And to further your discussion about coal, you have the same (or greater) need for coal at Pine Grove, Como, Dickey and Leadville, so that is five coals times four locations or twenty carloads of coal just to keep the operation moving. At five cars per B-4-F, that is 3/4 of a train of coal for points past Pine Grove EACH WEEK. That is a lot of coal, and that is why I am building a lot of Phase I coal cars.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

John Greenly
That is a lot of coal.  

Does anyone know what fraction of the total freight tonnage carried by the C&S was coal to operate the railroad?

John
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Robert McFarland
Where did they get their coal after 1910?
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

ComoDepot
Coal came into Denver from the south, Pueblo direction, cost more and seems they cut a deal for the staff in Como.
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Darel Leedy
Administrator
In reply to this post by Robert McFarland
Robert McFarland wrote
When is Darel going to post about his Dickey layout?
Huh? I've blogged about it for almost 6 years
But then that explains why I stopped blogging about it.
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Mike Trent
Administrator
In reply to this post by Robert McFarland
Walsenberg and Trinidad, although sometimes they were able to get some coal from the Western slope, which was much better. Doug told me that the stuff they got from Walsenberg was hard to use because it clinkered up just looking at it. Doug said that the guys in Denver tried to keep the best coal for use on the Broad Gauge.

I'm not sure about this, but the Railroad may have had to pay prevailing ICC rates to carry their own coal in revenue classed cars. Unless I'm mistaken, and I could be, the only exception to this was equipment that was classed as non revenue or Maintenance of Way.  That being the case, they must have been one of their own best customers.

Keith and Jim, regarding the Pine Grove chutes, I don't think Eastbound locomotives took coal there as everything was downgrade from Kenosha. They could almost fire the engines sitting down, as I've heard it said. At Dickey, both directions were a serious upgrade climb. So everything that came through there needed coal. Hence the 12 chutes at Dickey, and 10 at Como.  

It is certainly interesting to ponder these things.....
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Chris Walker
Interesting most certainly, but once you add in the time and resources used just to run the operation, one can't help seeing why the owners wanted out.  Imagine being a travelling salesman and having to haul along a bed, linen and cooking facilities to stay in unfurnished hotel rooms without restaurants.   You'd soon quit.
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Keith Hayes
In reply to this post by Darel Leedy
Well, Darel, you have to admit it has been a while since you posted an update.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Keith Hayes
In reply to this post by Chris Walker
Chris, most certainly so.

Once I heard that you pretty much had to run four engines from Denver to Leadville, the case for abandonment becomes hard to argue against. On top of that, having to haul two cars of coal in every train just to keep the locomotives fired starts to put a dent in your revenues to boot.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

South Park
  Youse guys are missing the point ....

Running trains on the South Park system SHOULD HAVE
been maintained, regardless of cost, simply because it was
the most awesome railroad to grace this earth !  Now look
what's become of the place !!!
"Duty above all else except Honor"
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Re: Weekly Dickey Operations

Chris Walker
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Switching to Oil-burners and having long range bunkers in the Tender would have helped.
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand