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Video – Pacific Southwest Railway Cab Ride

Enjoy a Round-Trip Cab ride while with me as well as seeing many of the other railroad pieces at the Campo facility as we head toward the Mexico border at Tunnel #4. In the first half I will show you a map of our location along the route as we travel backwards and then enjoy full screen view out the window as we head back toward the museum. I also included history of the Southern Pacific Diesel Engine about half way into the video. So, sit back and enjoy this ~30 minute video

 
 

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2013 – Silverdale Historic District

Up near Georgetown, there is an old Ghost Town know as Silverdale and we will spend most of the day exploring this area.

To begin with we catch a few signs at the parking area at the trail head…

Silverdale Interpretive SiteSilverdale Interpretive Site

Our first stop will be at the ruins of the Colorado Central Mill and we will also find a friend enjoying the quite morning up here in the mountains.  The mill stopped operating in the 1920’s.

Colorado Central MillDeer near Colorado Central Mill

The vast majoring of the trail we will be hiking is also old mining Railroad bed so you know I will be taking photos all along the route to document it and we will also find a few remnants along the way

Silverdale Mining RailroadSilverdale Mining Railroad

The trail dead-ends where the railroad would have crossed the creek as at a trestle is long since gone and then over another one yet

Silverdale Mining Railroad

We will double back and drive up the road to another trail head where we catch an old mining structure that would have been near where the railroad would have come after crossing the Leavenworth Creek.

Silverdale Mining Ruin

Above this location yet would have been Marshall Tunnel which today is no longer accessible…

Marshall Tunnel Marshall Tunnel

We will head into Georgetown and have lunch at the old Colorado Central Depot that was also used by the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

Colorado Central Depot - Georgetown, CO

Just would be right not to at least catch a photo of the train while in town…

Georgetown Loop Railroad

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 2A

Colorado Midland Railroad

We will start off our second day by driving up Elevenmile Canyon.  Once we turned off into the canyon road, we will be on Colorado Midland Railroad grade so the video camera gets mounted on the dashboard and we head in to record the route; making a few stops along the way…

38.968622° 105.362816°

Our first stop directly related to the Colorado Midland is for the first tunnel which I believe was know as Tunnel #9.  I will take photos of both portals but here is the shot I pick for our travel blog.

38.931458° 105.413715°

We will later pass through this Rock Cut; I don’t know if it had an official name.  Note also the bridge behind it as we will cross over the water at this point as well.

38.941537° 105.403897°

We crossed over a few bridges that were obviously built/rebuilt by the State Highway Department.  This bridge however just beyond the cut has a railroad look to it.  The Bridge does have a State Highway Department tag on it from 1923 but I will do more investigation if it is one of the old RR bridges that the CM once used too…

38.941141° 105.404172°38.941141° 105.404172°

Farther down the canyon we will reach two tunnels close to each other.  Like with the first, I will take a few photos of both portals of each one.  I believe this one was called Tunnel #10 under the Colorado Midland usage.

38.916054° 105.448101°

Making this on likely Tunnel #11 of the Colorado Midland Railway

38.915933° 105.449635°

Afterward driving farther up the canyon we reach the Dam where we can no longer trace the Colorado Midland Right-of-Way.  The route would have continued on along the river to Hartsel, CO

38.904796° 105.475883°

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 1

Lisa and I will take off on a nine-day vacation starting on June 1st; heading into southern Colorado.  We will spend our first night in Woodland Park, CO; but, we will make several stops that day in the region.

Our first stop is in Green Mountain Falls where the Colorado Midland Railroad once operated.  We have been trying to locate where the Depot once stood related to the tracks that passed by the lake.  We had hoped the information office would be open but once again is was closed.  In the below photo, the tracks would have been along this path and the depot we believe towards the far end.

Green Mountain Falls

From there we head to the Ute Pass History Park where one of the buildings is dedicated to the Colorado Midland Railroad.  We got there too early but return to find the main building open but were told the RR building is only open one weekend a month during the summer and this wasn’t the weekend. Grr!!!!

Ute Pass History Park

The bulk of the day will be spent at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.  We will hike the main trail and see lots of great stuff and also get a break and find a section also open that is normally closed and get a nice history lesson of from a Ranger about the ongoing research being done at the dig site we got to go into.

Florissant Fossil Beds National MonumentFlorissant Fossil Beds National Monument

We will stop at the Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum we have often drove past to see what they might have to enjoy.  Besides lots of great information from various aspects of this region including Rock / Mineral displays that Lisa very much enjoyed I would also find a photo from Green Mountain Falls that shows the train at what I believe is the depot.  More research to be done to confirm but maybe the location is now found!

Pikes Peak Historical Society MuseumPikes Peak Historical Society Museum

In earlier trips we have also explored many of the old Mines open to the public in Victor around the Battle Mountain site but have yet to explore all the areas.  On this stop we will check out the old Mill Site.

Battle Mountain – Mill SiteBattle Mountain – Mill Site

As we travel this area we often pass by an old Midland Terminal Tunnel.  I have gotten shots of one portal on previous stops but never got a shot of both; until this trip!!!

Colorado Midland TunnelColorado Midland Tunnel

Time to get to the Country Lodge for the night to get checked in and have some dinner

 

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2012 – August Weekend Outing – Part 4

The final day of our extended weekend but we have a few more stops in the area planned before we head for home.  Our first destination for the day is up Chalk Creek Canyon (Mt Princeton) which is near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO to find a waterfall Lisa has read about.

We reach the Trail Head and start our hike up into the canyon.  We find an unexpected sign about the Denver, South Park, and Pacific railway and sure enough across the valley there is the old ROW (Right of Way) for the railroad.  As Lisa jokes, somehow I seem to always find a railroad twist in nearly anyplace we go.  So much railroad history to explore, so little time…

Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO

There is another sign along the trail about Mount Antero that is also across the way…

Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO

But our main goal at this location was to reach Agnes Vaille Falls.  This being August, not much water is flowing compared to spring runoff but the hike up was very nice and we could get all the way up to the falls.

Mountain Wowan Mountain Wowan

As we hiked back down looking at the DSP&P RR across the way and thinking of how the road today goes up the valley we decided to drive up more to see if/were the old railway and road might cross.  Sure enough not only did we find it, it’s a Rail Trail; something to add to our list to hike some day…

Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO

From here we turn back to Buena Vista, CO to track down a sequence of three Colorado and Midland Railroad Tunnels.  Lisa and I will both take photos plus I will setup the dashboard Video Camera to record travel though them.  Here is one of Lisa’s shots that shows the sequence as they are close together…

Buena Vista, CO

Back to Buena Vista we go to track down a bridge of Denver and Rio Grande Western that are part of the Tennessee Pass route.  It’s listed on the map as the Railroad Bridge Campground and we figure there is a reason for that name.  Well, as we head towards the campground we would also find another RR bridge built in 1936 made of concrete we would also stop and get a shot of.  So, we bag two historical bridges!!!

Tennessee Pass - Buena Vista, CO Tennessee Pass - Buena Vista, CO

It’s time to head for home and we will make one more stop on top of Tennessee Pass where the 10th Mountain Division Memorial is at.  If you love to Ski in Colorado you should come up here and say Thank You to these VETS as they are part of Ski history as well

10th Mountain Division Memorial

 

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2012 – August Weekend Outing – Part 3

On this day our primary goal is to reach the West Portal of the Alpine Tunnel and video record the trip up and back.  We will start our assault on this old Denver, South Park and Pacific railroad route up the narrow cliffs to the top of the Continental Divide from the town of Pitkin, CO where the old depot still survives

Pitkin, CO

The first half of the trip is not too tough and it’s also where the first Water Tank the Steam Engines used.  The 47,500 gallon “Midway Water Tank” has been mostly lost to time which is why we are trying to locate and photograph things.  Here is what is left…

Alpine Tunnel

As the climb gets steeper water tanks were needed more often.  The next water tank is at “Williams Gulch” (a.k.a. Tunnel Gulch Tank) which holds 33,000 gallons of water.  This one has been restored in 1965 with additional work down in 2010.  Keep in mind this was originally built-in 1885 in a harsh environment so the fact it’s in this top condition today speaks volumes to the restoration efforts.

Alpine Tunnel

Historically the next Water Tank was at Woodstock, CO.  On March 10, 1884 a massive avalanche swept down the mountainside wiping out the Tank, the Town, and killing 13 including an entire family of six.  The town and tank were never rebuilt but the old stone foundation can still be found.

Alpine Tunnel

When Woodstock was destroyed, the railroad facilities were rebuilt higher up the line in a new town called Sherrod in 1904.  Two years later the railway abandon the town and the depot that was once here was moved to Ohio City.  The Sherrod Loop can still be seen today where a portion of the track still can be found.

Alpine Tunnel

As we get closer to the top we reach an engineering marvel of a stone wall made without mortar.  It is over 100 years old and only a few stones have been displaced.  It’s 2′ wide, 33′ tall, and 452′ wide; it is known as the Palisades.  You can see from our photograph how the roadway has narrowed and you don’t want to make a driving mistake up here!

Alpine Tunnel

Once we near the summit, we must go the rest of the way by foot.  The ruins of the old railway facility can still be found here along with the restored Telegraph Office.

Alpine Tunnel

There was also a water tank that existed here and was later moved to Boreas Pass known as Bakers Tank.

Alpine Tunnel - Moved to Boroes Pass

When Lisa was taking photographs at this same spot she would catch a photo of “Pika” that now calls this place home.

Alpine Tunnel

The last train that passed through the West Portal was November 10, 1910 and in the winter of 1924 the rails were removed.  The tunnel entrances are now buried in rocks so all you can see today is just the top of the West Portal.  The interior of the tunnel is also partially collapsed…

Alpine Tunnel

After taking lots of photos and videos we head back down the same route taking video as we head back down to Pitkin.  This however is not the end of our day…

As we travel back towards Gunnison, CO where we are staying for this chapter of our journeys we pass by a property that has D&RGW MOW Car #04408.

MOW
After passing though Gunnison, CO many times and finding the Pioneer Museum closed for one reason or another or too short on time to visit, this time we planned our trip to tour the museum.

Part of the highlights here is “Cinderella” which is a 1882 Baldwin Steam Locomotive which is D&RGW #268 in its special paint Bumble Bee scheme.  There are several other freight cars, caboose, and a MOW equipment behind it as well.

Gunnison, CO

There are two railroad structures also here, and Water Tank and a Depot.  The depot is the D&RGW Sargents facility and the Water Tank is from Mears Junction that was on the est side of Marshall Pass.

Gunnison, CO

I will also get a couple of Railfan shots of boxcars located near Main and Iowa…

Gunnison, COGunniosn, CO

Another target on our search list is to find and photograph the D&RGW Combination Depot.  BTW, it’s “For Sale” when we were there…

Gunnison, CO

Our final structure we looked for on this day is the old Denver and Rio Grande Railroads Railway Express Agency which today is the Arts Center

Gunnison, CO

 
 

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2012 – August Weekend Outing – Part 2

It’s day two of our four day outing and we start our day in Sargents, CO where the D&RGW water tank still stands on private property.

Sargents, CO

This will also be our starting point over Marshall Pass where I will setup my new HD Video camera as a dashboard to capture the route of the D&RGW railroad.  We won’t be 100% of roadbed the entire route but most of it will be so the camera will catch what it was like to ride over this section of track.

We will stop at various spots along the way to search for a few remnants but the main objective is at the top of the pass where the old Turntable pit still can be seen.

 

Here is a shot of one of the D&RGW Bridge abutments that can still be found on the other side of the pass where the vehicle road is just beside the old roadbed.

Once on the other end of the pass we find we are just below another pass so we take a small detour to get to that summit.  Here is the sign at Poncha Pass where the Rio Grande River watershed is separated from the Arkansas River watershed…

From here we head to Saliad, CO to goto the museum there that we know also contains railroad history along with other great artifacts from this areas history.

Near by is the Visitor Center where we find a 0-4-0 Tank Steam Engine of unknown history

Salida, Colorado

Also here in town at the end of F Street is where the old depot once stood.  Looking right to the South East you can see the old Engine House when the D&RGW once was a major company here

Salida, Colorado

This building here is what remains today of the old D&RGW Hospital, yes, the railroad had it’s own medical facilities to take care of its employees and families in those days.

Salida, CO

Another building with railroad history here is the Manhattan Hotel.  In many cities the railroad also owned the local hotel where train passengers would stay at.  I do not know if that was the case here but Colorado Historical Society does state that D&RGW Passenger train passengers did use this hotel.

Salida, CO

While at the D&RGW hospital I spot a female deer and two fawns using the grounds like they owned the place.  They had little fear of me being within a few yards of them.  In fact, the female left one within 10 yards of me and then left to go get the other one she had stashed out of sight somewhere.  She was gone for about 10 minutes before she returned with the second one.

Salida, CO

Our next destination for the day was about 10 miles SE along US-50 where we would take a side road to get a close shot of one of the old railroad tunnel portals.  I would only get a shot of one side on this trip.

Wellsville, CO

Our final stop for this day would be in Smeltertown, CO where we find the old Ohio-Colorado Smelting and Refining Company smoke stack.  This remnant stands 365 feet tall so it is one heck of a historical landmark and in 1976, during the American Revolution Bicentennial, the smokestack was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a “highly visible monument to the mining industry and its workers.”

Smeltertown, CO

 
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Posted by on 08/18/2012 in RRAdventures, World Tour

 

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