Pushing the Train Over the Hill

On a cold winter’s day Otto C. Perry captured this scene of a D&RGW freight train in its attempt to get over the mountainous line. We’re on the east side of Cerro Summit and the two locomotives on the head of the train aren’t enough power. Locomotive #361 is lending a hand on the rear, and the trio is managing to struggle up the hill.

D&RGW 2-8-0 locomotive #361 is a Class C-21, built in 1900 by Baldwin. She was originally Crystal River Railroad #102, and she was scrapped in 1951.

The date of the photo is unknown. Former collection of William H. Radcliffe, collection of Jack C. Shall

D&RGW 2-8-0 #361 as Pusher

Double Headed Plow Train

Rio Grande steamers #360 and #361 are double headed today for the plow train. The 360 handles the snow over the track, and the spreader behind each locomotive adds a bit of clearance, and moves the snow a bit further away. Hopefully the conductor has some hot coffee sitting on the stove in the caboose, ready for the crew when they take a break.

Mr. Radcliffe penned that these scenes are at Cedar Creek, Colorado, but the date wasn’t indicated. I think it is likely 1939.

#360 and #361 Double Headed While Plowing on the D&RGW

In the view below, we’ve lost the caboose! I wonder if the fellow in the distance at right is looking for it?

#360 and #361 Double Headed While Plowing on the D&RGW

LCRR: Final Sheet of Drywall Hung!

A milestone was reached on the Louisiana Central Railroad this week . . . the last sheet of drywall has been screwed to the walls! It was quite an adventure for this rookie and his able-bodied assistants (who were also rookies). But we got ‘er done! It’s not pretty, and there are a lot of gaps here and there, but it’s up, and it’ll stay that way.

The Last Sheet of Drywall
The last 8 foot sheet of drywall was split in two. The first panel is at the far end of this alcove, extending from the seam near the left leg, to the corner at right (virtually blocked in this view by the plywood “panel” on the leg-set). Most of the bracing has been temporarily removed from the leg-sets adjacent to the walls.
The Last Sheet of Drywall (close-up)
And here is the rest of the view. The first panel is at left, the second panel extending from the corner, right about ten inches past the photo edge. That electrical box was the last hole to be cut into drywall (whew!).

The next major step is the taping, floating and texturing of the drywall to match the upper part of the room. But first, there is plenty of preparation work to do. I have to tidy up and tape down all the plastic protecting the top of the layout. I also want to wrap all important things below the layout surface such as Tortoise switch motors, wiring junction points, throttle plug-ins, etc. I hope to avoid drywall dust getting onto and into these things. I am also considering wrapping all the leg sets to avoid spraying drywall texture on those as well. And finally, I want to eliminate as much “clutter” under the layout and aisles as possible to make access better, and to avoid the possibility of having everything covered in drywall dust.

I also have the restroom lavatory’s vanity “under construction” (it’s a kit, and I’m modifying and strengthening it). I hope to have it ready to slip into place as soon as the finishing is complete in the restroom.

There’s plenty left to do, but the first major milestone is complete! My thanks again to Wayne and Ron for their assistance in getting to this point.

For those new to the blog, you can see the post Rising From the Ashes (Part Deux) for a starting point to read the story behind this work.

#360 Heading Up a Line Clearing Train

D&RGW Consolidation #360 is seen here heading up a line clearing train during the winter snow season. Note the spreader behind the locomotive, used to plow and clear snow away from the track. That looks like a rotary plow at the very end of the train, ready with a head of steam. The crew will have to re-order it to the head of the train once they reach the area of deeper snow drifts. They’ll likely have to add another locomotive to the consist at that time.

Otto C. Perry recorded this image somewhere near Sapinero, Colorado at an unknown date. Note the different style of lettering on it’s tender compared to the “modern” Rio Grande lettering she sported in 1948 which we saw in last week’s post.

Former collection of William H. Radcliffe, collection of Jack C. Shall

D&RGW 2-8-0 #360 near Sapinero

LCRR: Recent Drywall Progress

Work is progressing nicely in the train room. I’ve had assistance this week from a couple friends, Wayne Robichaux and Ron Findley. Their help was vital in order to hang the 8′ widths of drywall. Saturday, unbeknownst to me, Ron recorded a few pictures of the work in progress.

Insulated Wall Waiting for Drywall
Ron made this image of the area where we were working before things got started.

Laying Out the Electrical Boxes
Here I am laying out the locations of the boxes for the electrical receptacles. This sheet alone had four boxes in it!
Cutting Out the Electrical Boxes
And now I’m cutting out the box openings. No, there is no toilet in the train room. This one will find it’s way back into the restroom once the walls are finished and painted. 🙂

Attaching the Drywall
A sheet of drywall being screwed to the studs.

The Drywall is Up!
This sheet of drywall is hung and ready for finishing. The rag is covering the electrical equipment and connections for one of the model railroad districts. It’s one of three equipment locations. The L-girder bracing on the wall side has been temporarily removed to allow better access to the wall.

We’re on the downhill part of the drywall installation now, with a 28′ long wall, and half dozen “short” walls left to complete. My sincere thanks go out to Wayne and Ron for volunteering to help me with this work.

For those new to the blog, you can see the post Rising From the Ashes (Part Deux) for a starting point to read the story behind this work.

Rio Grande #345 Simmering in the Sunlight

D&RGW 2-8-0 locomotive #345 is a Class C-19 Consolidation, built in 1881 by Baldwin. She was wrecked in 1951 and subsequently scrapped. I don’t have much information about this image; the location is unknown, as well as the date (but likely is the early 1940s). Also unsure if Mr. Radcliffe is the photographer.

It’s probably safe to assume the photograph was recorded in the summer since there’s no snow plow on the pilot.

D&RGW 2-8-0 #345

A Passenger Train east of Cerro Summit

D&RGW 2-8-0 locomotive #341 heads up a passenger train in this image. The location is the east side of Cerro Summit in Colorado, and was (likely) taken in 1934. She pulls an interesting consist of what appears to be an RPO (Railway Post Office) car, along with a baggage car and a pair of coaches.

Number 341 is a Class C-19 locomotive built in 1881 by Baldwin. She was scrapped in January of 1939.

Though I’ve credited the photograph to Mr. Radcliffe, it’s unclear if he is the actual photographer. Many of the images that I have in my small collection merely have notes written on the backs concerning location and date. Others have a “photographer’s stamp” which has spaces to fill in with the subject, location, date and other information. Those stamps have his name included in the stamp. At any rate, all of these images are from his collection and I’ll name the photographer where possible.

D&RGW 2-8-0 #341

LCRR: Repairs Started in the Train Room

Now that the drywall has been hung in the shop and restroom, I’ve turned my attention to the train room itself. This is where the challenge starts! All of the work must occur under the layout benchwork structure. Here are a few photos to portray what is happening.

Here is a what things look like at the start. The wall cavities have been cleaned as well as possible, and all lumber is sufficiently dried (as determined with a moisture detector). This is the view below the layout benchwork, with the wall side L-girder visible at the top of the picture. The wooden diagonal braces next to the wall have been removed, but the legs must remain. Fortunately the legs are a few inches away from the wall. I’m hoping that the aisle side diagonal braces (one shown here) can remain in place. We’ll see.
The next step is adding the batt insulation. The diagonal metal strap is part of the sway bracing in the walls, a little extra rigidity for this large room with no interior bracing as normally provided by inside rooms.
Now with some drywall board hung. It is so nice to finally see a “real” wall. The first two sheets are up, only twelve more to go!

I’ve been preparing the other walls in the room as well, with all “cleaned” and ready for insulation and drywall. It’s slow going, but at least it’s going. 🙂

For those new to the blog, you can see the post Rising From the Ashes (Part Deux) for a starting point to read the story behind this work.

D&RGW Cattle Train

D&RGW 2-8-0 steam locomotive #317 is seen heading up a cattle train through a canyon. She appears to be working hard and a brakeman is keeping watch atop one of the cattle cars.

There is some conflict as to the exact location, with a note on the photo indicating that this is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado. Another source says this is in the Cimarron Canyon near Cimarron, Colorado. Both locations are very close together, so only Otto Perry knows.

She’s a Class C-18 and a Baldwin product of 1895. Originally owned by the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad as their #5 “Florence”, and was scrapped in 1946 (some sources indicate the date as 1948).

Photograph by Otto C. Perry; former collection of William H. Radcliffe; collection of Jack C. Shall.

D&RGW 2-8-0 #317

LCRR: First Progress Report

The restoration of the Louisiana Central Railroad model railroad hobby building (aka ‘the Train Room’) is progressing, albeit a bit slowly. But it is progressing. I’ve hung the drywall in the shop, entry and restroom, and here are the photos to prove it!

LCRR Shop - 1st Piece of Drywall
The very first piece of drywall in the shop has been hung!
LCRR Shop Area
This view is the shop area. There will be cabinets with counters below both of those wall shelves, their footprint to be within those bare concrete areas. The cabinet unit at right will have a small utility sink at the piping rough-in. The primary work area is also at right, with the fluorescent light above providing extra illumination.
LCRR Shop Foyer
Standing in the shop area and looking the opposite direction, we see the building entry door at left, the restroom straight ahead, and the entry to the train room at right. I had a few scraps of drywall left from my home flood restoration so I used them in this area (the reason for the different colors).
LCRR Restroom
Peaking in the doorway to the restroom, the lavatory will be here, the toilet to the right (out of this view).

There is still much work to do in these rooms to finish the drywall: the floating and taping work, and then texturing. But I plan to complete the insulation and drywall installation in the train room first. And I’ve started the prep work in there already (with a bit more to do), so should be hanging the rock by early next week.

For those new to the blog, you can see the post Rising From the Ashes (Part Deux) for a starting point to read the story behind this work. I’ll feature more photos of the restoration from time to time as the work progresses.

D&RGW 2-8-0 Locomotive #315.

Bill Radcliffe was in Colorado back in July of 1938, and while there he recorded this view of the Denver & Rio Grande Western’s 3-foot gauge 2-8-0 locomotive #315. She’s a Class C-18 and a Baldwin product of 1895. Originally owned by the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad as their #3, she is seen here in Salida sporting what appears to be a fresh coat of paint.

I understand that she was restored to operational condition in the early 2000s, and has operated on both the Durango and Silverton Railroad, and the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.

Photograph by William H. Radcliffe; collection of Jack C. Shall

D&RGW 2-8-0 #315