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

#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

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

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

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

D&RGW 2-8-0 Locomotive #201

Another of the older locomotives in the Radcliffe collection is this rather unflattering view of Denver & Rio Grande Western locomotive #201. She is a 2-8-0 built by Grant in 1881 as a class 60 machine and I’ve read that she was named “Ohio Creek”. The Rio Grande later reclassified this locomotive as C-16, this classification being more familiar to railfans. She was scrapped in 1937.

This image was taken by an unknown photographer in 1918 at Gunnison, Colorado. Former collection of William H. Radcliffe; collection of Jack C. Shall.

D&RGW 2-8-0 #201

Some Colorado Narrow Gauge

Last week I mentioned a new photo topic for “narrow minded” folks. Well railfans probably knew immediately that I was hinting about the narrow gauge railroads. And that would be correct . . . the three-foot gauged lines in Colorado and New Mexico.

Back in the late 1980s I made the acquaintance of Mr. William H. Radcliffe, an elderly gentleman would also happened to be blind. In return for a favor, he gifted me with a manila envelope which he said were a few photographs that he was sure I would enjoy. When I got home and opened the envelope, it contained a couple dozen photographs of Colorado narrow gauge locomotives and trains. I noticed the envelope had been mailed to him by Mallory Hope Ferrell, and some notes indicated that Mr. Ferrell had received negatives sent him by Mr. Radcliffe. Knowing that Mr. Ferrell had authored perhaps two dozen books about the narrow gauge railways, I assume that he had been reviewing photos from Mr. Radcliffe’s collection.

But on to those photos. They’re all black and white prints of varying sizes, from 2.75″x4.5″ up through 5″x7″. Unfortunately they are all in semi-rough to very rough condition. I’ve scanned them, and attempted to restore them as well as my very limited skills allow. I’ll feature these photos over the next several months.

On to the show!

This first image is one of the oldest in the collection. The locomotive is the Denver & Rio Grande 4-6-0 #163, posed at an unknown location. She’s a product of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, built in 1882. The engineer is posed at the pilot with his oilcan, and the fireman is back at the cab with scoop in hand. And note the antlers on the headlight. She was scrapped in 1916.

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

D&RG 4-6-0 #163

Loading Cane into Freight Cars

In January of 1942 Jack Delano spent a bit of time down in Puerto Rico. While there he recorded the work going on in the sugar cane fields. The workers bring the harvested cane in from the field in carts drawn by oxen, where it is trans-loaded onto freight cars for the trip to the mill. Here we see a freight car being loaded with cane at the loading station near Guánica.

Loading Cane into Freight Cars

In December of 2019 I posted another photograph of the steam-powered train at this location.

Jack Delano fell in love with Puerto Rico while working there, and ultimately took up residence on the island after WWII. There is a nice write-up about him in Wikipedia that you might find interesting.

With this photograph we’ve concluded our journey with Jack Delano. We’ve seen almost 250 of the thousands of images that Mr. Delano created back in the early 1940s. I have a couple dozens images by others that I’ll be presenting over the next several months. They should appeal to the “narrow minded” folks that visit this blog. Come back next week to see what I refer to.

Aerial Views of Yards and Freight Houses

Last week we saw some aerial views of the C&NW’s Proviso yard near Chicago. I’ve a few other aerial images that Jack Delano recorded while in the Chicago area. This first photograph is of the C&NW freight house located in the Proviso yard. It’s a cold day in December of 1942, a year after the beginning of the U.S. involvement in WWII.

In the foreground are old passenger cars used as living quarters for some yard workers and itinerant help.

The C&NW Freight House in Proviso Yard

This next view was taken in April of 1943 at the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (CMStP&P), often referred to as the “Milwaukee Road”. Their reporting mark was MILW. This is the Galewood yard and that appears to be their freight house at center, with the actual yard at left.

Note the interesting mix of wood and steel boxcars in use at this time.

CMStP&P General View of Galewood Yard

And in November of 1942 Mr. Delano recorded this image of the Illinois Central yard in Chicago. The vapor plumes on this frosty day reveal the locations of several steamers hard at work around the yard. In the distance a couple of the retarder operator’s towers are seen. These are used to control the gravity descent of cars rolling down the hump. You can read about them in this post.

Illinois Central RR Yard, Chicago