My two long posts have been re-titled as you requested.
I also added another photo of the "down train" at the Silver Plume depot, a photo that Derrell had posted on the C&Sn3 Blog months ago.
Any more "unseen" photos of Clear Creek passenger service? If so post them!
The main reason I put together these long posts, is not out of narrow gauge kindness--what I'm really doing is fishing for new photos! I figure, if I show ya'll mine, maybe ya'll will show me yours (in a figurative way of speaking, of course).
BTW, Chris, a full size replica of the "Groundhog" might look good on a certain tramway in New Zealand. Any vintage Model-T's in Kiwi-land as a "mechanism"??
He he… I’m a big fan of the stuffed chicken too…. not.
Back to the RPOs, #41 is most likely the one which ended its life as a bunkhouse at the quarry at the end of the Silica branch. Photographs show it to be quite weathered by 1941, which doesn’t fit well with #42 or #43, both of which were retired in ’39 (as opposed to ’28 for #41).
Chris, with all the photos of Idaho Springs, how come there are next to no photos of passenger trains there--I mean in the later years, teens to twenties. Seems like the auto rode from Denver to the Springs over Floy Hill would make it more likely for photographers to take rail fan photos there than way up on the loop. Ditto for Georgetown, next to no photos there, either.
as it was the late-20's that passenger service was got rid of, the teens seem to be well represented.
My take is that the photographs you seek, that haven't been published in the likes of Narrow Gauge to Central and Silver (the best coverage), C&Sng, Colorado Central Rail Road, Mineral Belt III among others, are of the sort you would find by opportunity, flea-market or ebay etc. These would be the type taken on family outings, seeing somebody off on the train at the Depot, riding an excursion, posing alongside or just whatever happened to sneak into the background etc.
The specific "railfan" concept was pretty thin back then, we're lucky that Otto was cutting his teeth at this period and took the time to get out of Denver for the last passenger run to Silver Plume. It seems that the professional photographers (apart from Lachlan McLean or Harry Lake) most likely have avoided the urban/industrial areas of Idaho Springs, because of the tightness of the alley and dowdiness of the buildings, and preferred to take in the more scenic Canon and Bridge views. Buckwalter and McClure (and others) took a fair number views of the Canon without trains.
If I remember correctly Chris, the last passenger train to Central City was in 1927. The Denver Post even had a front page story on it. I saw the newspaper at Bob Richardson's home at the Colorado Railroad Museum where he had a lot of bound copies of the Post.
The switchback to Central City was abandoned in 1930 and torn up in 1931.
The Special Passenger train that went to celebrate the reopening of the Central City Opera House ran in 1932 and could only travel as far as Black Hawk.
I was just thinking that the early 20's mixed train change at Forks would have made for a neat photo but would have been quite a challenge to take in those days. I doubt anyone "took the train" to Forks to spend a day capturing what could be best described as erratic operation. It seems that it got left up to the residential photographers to document this, and seems to me they stayed "local".
So we know for sure that there was C&N-W equipment running on the C&S.
I've known that this C&N equipment ran on the C&S, but it does't show up much in photos. From some C&S correspondence at the Colorado RR Museum, I noted that the C&S leased boxcars 1003, 1005, 1006, 1007, 1008, 1013, 1014, 1017, 1018 and 1025, and gondolas 200, 203, 204, 209, 210, 212, 213, 214 and 217 (and possibly other cars - the records come from multiple correspondences) from November 1900 to March 1901. C&S used the cars on the Clear Creek line, and there are written internal correspondences that instructed their operators to "get all the miles out of them you possibly can."
WOW!! This photo fishing expedition has been quite the success. Thanks to Chris's long post, I've reeled in a couple of new beauties for my digital collection. My favorite by far is the photo of C&S number 8 and train in Clear Creek c1910 (I really don't know why I never opened this DPL photo and studied it!):
Number 8 as pictured is a dead ringer for my Overland Sn3 "early version" Cooke 2-6-0; only minimal changes to the headlight and tender coal boards needed to finish an accurate model.
But the various comments still leave several unanswered questions. As Chris pointed out, there hasn't been much discussion here ('til now) of Clear Creek passenger operations.
Rick Steele's comments about the interface between Central City / Blackhawk passenger connections with the mainline Silver Plume to Denver runs got me to reading. According to Hauck (Cornelius W. Hauck, Narrow Gauge to Central and Silver Plume; Colorado Rail Annual 10, Colorado Railroad Museum, 1972), prior to WWI, the consists of the "Down" trains from Central to Denver and the "Up" train from Denver to Central were combined with the Silver Plume trains between Forks Creek and Denver. The Silver Plume train's power, usually a big Cooke 2-6-0, remained the motive power for the combined trains. Perhaps this explains the photo that John Schapekaum posted of number 21 at Forks Creek:
It's possible that 21 has brought the Denver bound express car and coach(s) from Central down to Forks, and cut them into the consist of train 52 from Silver Plume. The engine has then turned on the Forks wye and is "on the spot", waiting for the "Up train" from Denver, number 55. On arrival of 55, it would cut the Central City bound cars out of the train and take them up the branch to Blackhawk and Central:
Photo from Ronzio collection as published in Abbott and McCoy's The Gilpin Railroad Era, Sundance, 2009, page 290.
This appears to be number 21 at about the same time as at Forks, perhaps the photos by the same photographer?
FIRST QUESTION: How was mail handled between Forks and Central? Handled in a locked portion of the express car? Has anyone seen a photo of an RPO on the Central / Blackhawk branch, from any era? All I see in Chris's photos are 2 door and 4 door express cars.
SECOND QUESTION: According to Hauck, the combined "Up Train" from Denver to Forks was often double headed, using one of the helpers for the regular west bound freight. I don't recall any photos of double headed passenger trains on Clear Creek (Platte Canon, yes); anyone seen such photos?
Rick Steele discussed the mixed service to Central. After WWI, until Clear Creek passenger service ceased in 1927, the Central City locomotive (usually a Rhode Island or Baldwin 2-8-0), hauled a combine between Central and Forks to connect with trains 52-53 and 55-56. There are several photos of the combine (usually 26) at Central City with a variety of locomotives, one in the Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII, page 184, dated 1924:
John Maxwell Collection
In the CRA 10, there are several photos by F.C. Evans, who rode train 55 up Clear Creek canyon c1925 (page 126):
I can't identify the bridge, perhaps Chris can.
C&S 63 with the Central City combine, connects with train 55 at Forks.
Finally, the train makes the station stop at Idaho Springs, answering my own question!
ANOTHER QUESTION: Anyone seen photos of the 1920s Central City combine and locomotive at Blackhawk? Was this truly a "mixed" train between Central and Forks, or merely a "stub" passenger connection, engine and combine only?
CRRA#10 Narrow Gauge to Central & Silver has quite a description on the Clear Creek Passenger runs and the descriptions of the later decades operations to Central from the split at Forks Creek. I don't think I have read anywhere else about these not that I have Wagner's Colorado Road. As my first Depot was located at a Junction, I found the descriptions of a Central stationed locomotive handling the train down to Fork's and back to be very interesting operation of the type I like very much, I wonder where they parked the loco up there given the lack of room.
Re: "Unseen Clear Creek Passenger Service" -- Part 3, Questions
Rick has transcribed the valuation map for Central City, and I somehow have the PDF. There IS an ash pit noted on Track 5 south of the depot (The track on the north side of the Depot appears to be 3, the track on the south side 4, the next track--a passing siding--is is 5, and then there is a spur to the south that serves Continental Oil which is track 6).
Operation of the Central/ Black Hawk branch appears to mirror that of the Evil Empire branches including Pagosa and Lake City. In both cases the locomotive was stationed at the end of the line and journeyed to meet the daily passenger at the junction. If recollection serves, in both cases the branch was about midway on the main passenger run, so the branch train would arrive before, say, the westbound and leave after the eastbound.
Central also has a coal bin. What it lacks is a water tank or water crane.