Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [HOn3] Uranium on the RGS was Re: Working on the RR

Expand Messages
  • Mike Lehman
    Carl, It is quite likely that this traffic was recorded by the RGS in some fashion. Some of the work of the Manhattan Project was done on a handshake and a nod
    Message 1 of 28 , Nov 30, 2003
      Carl,
      It is quite likely that this traffic was recorded by the RGS in some
      fashion. Some of the work of the Manhattan Project was done on a
      handshake and a nod because of secrecy, but railroads just don't work
      that way for safety and other reasons. If there are records, a look
      through the CRRM archives might reveal a lot, now that people know what
      they're looking for (vanadium or tailings shipments). If nothing else,
      clues to what might be missing often reveal large, suggestive holes in
      the documentary record.

      The main player in the drive to acquire uranium for the Manhattan
      Project was Union Carbide. The specific subsidiary they used was the
      Union Mines Development Corp., which operated in conjunction with U.S.
      Vanadium Corp. in the overall effort to monopolize world uranium
      resources (and deny them to others, specifically the Soviet Union--
      which didn't work in the long run) through something called the Murray
      Hill Area. Even though it was a rival, VCA would have been subservient
      to the wartime demands that put UC in charge. MHA was so successful in
      its discoveries that uranium production shifted to Utah and other places
      after the war. This postwar shift in traffic probably helped spell the
      death of the RGS just when things were looking up. Uranium deposits in
      other places replaced the previously dominant San Juan area workings,
      taking the traffic that had sustained the RGS away.
      Mike Lehman
      Urbana, IL

      carl barna wrote:

      > Mike --
      >
      > Thanks for this very interesting info on the RGS connection. I wasn't aware of it. My guess is that all the players who were involved are most likely dead. Too bad.
      >
      > I wonder if the CO RR Mus. would have copies of any of the RGS's shipment records for this material? Can't think of anywhere else they might be.
      >
      > What a great modeling scheme, huh? :o)
      >
      > The gov't's subsidy of the RGS is interesting. The gov't also operated a dummy mining company, The Metals Reserve Corp, as a war-time front for the purchase of carnotite ores containing vanadium and uranium. Metals Reserve was actually working hand-in-hand with USV, aka Union Carbide, and to a lesser extent with Carbide's arch rival the Vanadium Corp. of America. One of the more interesting side stories here is how these two corporations screwed, errr manipulated, the miners, offering them much less for their ore than the gov't was willing to pay.
      >
      > Anyway, the RGS connection is a pretty interesting link in this story. Thanks for pointing this out. Will need to find out what the museum has on all this.
    • Mike Lehman
      Brett, No pics right now, but I m hoping a digital camera is in my Christmas stocking. Either that or I ll borrow my girlfriend s and take some photos. The
      Message 2 of 28 , Dec 1, 2003
        Brett,
        No pics right now, but I'm hoping a digital camera is in my Christmas
        stocking. Either that or I'll borrow my girlfriend's and take some photos.

        The size is easy to describe. It's about 16' long by 6'6" wide, although
        it's wide at one end and narrow (about 18") at the other hwere it dives
        through the wall into the utility room to turn back. It sits in the
        middle of my layout room and is basically one end of a folded dogbone.
        In the middle of the wide end sits the site of the TT/roundhouse.

        One of the big issues is the dual-gauge. I decided to just do a
        narrow-gauge turntable to simplify things. That way I don't need the
        draws (trackwork to shift the third rail from one side to the other on
        dual-gauge track) that would be required with a four-rail TT.

        The loop for turning trains is also narrow-gauge only to avoid the need
        for a draw on it.

        There is some narrow-gauge only yard trackage, along with a
        transfer/freight house accessible to both gauges and area for an
        overhead crane to transfer loads between the gauges. Most industries in
        town (smelter/mill, oil refinery, lumber yard, etc) have dual-gauge
        sidings, although a couple are standard gauge or narrow only.

        There are three dual-gauge through tracks in the yard, along with
        another dual-gauge track that is through only for narrow-gauge. In front
        of the station, the standard gauge main and siding is accompanied by a
        dual-gauge track closest to the station. It is also through only for
        narrow-gauge.

        One end of the yard access is fully dual gauge. The other splits narrow
        and standard yard leads. I hacked a Shinohara dual-gauge switch to
        separate the narrow from the standard yard lead at that end. In this
        area is also the site of a narrow/standard crossing that I'll have to
        handlay. This allows the narrow-gauge station track (that is dual-gauge
        in front of the station) to cross over the standard gauge yard lead to
        get to the narrow-gauge main.

        I tryed to preserve the approximate orientation of many of the elements
        of Durango, but did have to adjust some things to fit. Overall, I think
        that it will convey the impression of being in a Durango that will be
        recognizable, but different, mainly because of the standard gauge
        thorugh it.

        All the dual-gauge creates complications in design and construction but
        really adds to the look I was trying to acheive. I originally wanted to
        do Alamosa, in addition to Durango, but even with a 28' by 16' (narrower
        at one end) room, you can only stuff so much in. That is why I decided
        to imagineer that the standard gauge eventually made it through Durango,
        instead of being pulled up in the 1920s after the Farmington Branch
        reverted to narrow. I've included the narrow-gauge mainline to Chama,
        along with the RGS still in operation, in addition to the D&GRW standard
        gauge main which runs (ostensibly) from Moab down to Gallup via
        Farmington, plus, of course, the branch to Silverton.

        Mike Lehman
        Urbana, IL

        Payne,Brett wrote:

        > Mike,
        > I am particularly interested in how to laid out your Durango track plan and the amount of space it takes up. Can you share any photo's or track plans?
        > Thanks
      • Payne,Brett
        Thanks Mike, This makes another commodity for my railroad that I had not considered before. Brett ... From: Mike Lehman [mailto:rebelmike@earthlink.net] Sent:
        Message 3 of 28 , Dec 1, 2003
          Thanks Mike,
          This makes another commodity for my railroad that I had not considered before.
          Brett

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Mike Lehman [mailto:rebelmike@...]
          Sent: Monday, 1 December 2003 5:02 PM
          To: HOn3@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [HOn3] Uranium on the RGS was Re: Working on the RR


          Brett,
          My sources are a bit ambiguous on traffic going to Durango (the text I'm
          refering to says that Durango processed its own tailings and those "from
          others nearby"), ....

          My guess is that most of the production of the Durango mill went by way
          of the RGS to Grand Junction because the secret nature of the project
          required as few people as possible to know its true nature. The Grand
          Junction office and refinery served as the central point for uranium
          acquisition throughout the West.
          Mike Lehman
          Urbana, IL
        • carl barna
          Keep in mind that very little uranium was actually mined in this country for The BOMB. Most of the bomb-making uranium came from re-processed vanadium mill
          Message 4 of 28 , Dec 1, 2003
            Keep in mind that very little uranium was actually mined in this country for "The BOMB." Most of the bomb-making uranium came from re-processed vanadium mill tailings, or the Belgian Congo stuff that was smuggled into this country just before the war and initially stored in a warehouse on Staten Island.

            I suspect that most of what the government was actually subsidizing the RGS to hall was porbably vanadium. That was a critical war material used for strenghtening steel. The gov't also heavily subsidized its mining as well, until adequate stocks were accumulated by '44 when the subsidy stopped.

            Carl Barna
            Arvada, CO
            -----
            Yahoo! Groups Sponsor



            HOn3 list web pages are:
            http://www.railwayeng.com/hon3/
            http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
            http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/


            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Mike
            ... Exerpt from http://www.ccnr.org/uranium_events.html How Uranium from Great Bear Lake Ended Up in A-Bombs ~ A Chronology ~ by Gordon Edwards, Ph.D. May
            Message 5 of 28 , Dec 1, 2003
              > Keep in mind that very little uranium was actually mined in this country for
              > "The BOMB."
              > Carl Barna
              > Arvada, CO

              Exerpt from

              http://www.ccnr.org/uranium_events.html

              How Uranium from Great Bear Lake Ended Up in A-Bombs
              ~ A Chronology ~ by Gordon Edwards, Ph.D.

              May 1941:
              The U.S. Government orders 8 tons of uranium for military research from
              Eldorado, the Canadian company that owned and operated the Great Bear Lake
              mine. Uranium is extracted from existing radium residues.

              March 1942 :
              The US Government orders 60 tons of Canadian uranium from Eldorado; as a
              result, Eldorado decides to re-open the mine at Great Bear Lake -- in secrecy
              -- with special permission from the Canadian government.

              Again, miners are sent into poorly ventilated areas where they receive high
              radon exposures.

              Again, ore concentrates are carried in cloth bags, without benefit of
              protective clothing or showers, by nomadic people -- the Sahtu-Dene -- who
              have lived, fished, and hunted for thousands of years on the shores of Great
              Bear Lake.

              June 1942 :
              In secrecy, Canadian Minister of War C. D. Howe decides to nationalize
              Eldorado, making the mining-and-refining company the exclusive property of the
              Canadian government.

              July 1942 :
              The US Army orders another 350 tons of uranium from Eldorado.

              September 1942 :
              The U.S. Army acquires 1200 tons of rich uranium concentrates from the Congo
              -- this material had been secretly stored, since 1939, in a warehouse on
              Staten Island, in New York Harbour, by its Belgian owners.

              December 1942 :
              The U.S. Army orders another 500 tons of uranium from Eldorado, before
              deliveries on the earlier, 350-ton contract have been completed.

              However, when asked to refine the Staten Island concentrates on a priority
              basis, Eldorado interrupts its delivery of Canadian uranium to the US and
              begins to process the Congolese uranium instead.

              At this point over 220 tons of uranium from Great Bear Lake have already been
              delivered. From this point on, uranium from the Congo, refined at Port Hope,
              will dominate the Manhattan Project.

              1943 to 1945 :
              Uranium from Canada, Colorado, and the Congo is used in the World War II Atom
              Bomb Project:

              the bulk of the uranium is enriched for use as a nuclear explosive in the
              Hiroshima bomb;

              a large amount of uranium is used as metallic fuel for the world's first
              reactors; inside each reactor, a fraction of the uranium fuel (less than one
              percent) is transmuted into plutonium, which is then extracted and used as a
              nuclear explosive in the Trinity and Nagasaki bombs;

              a small amount of polonium extracted from uranium ore is also used, in
              combination with beryllium, to provide the initial burst of neutrons needed to
              detonate both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.



              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            • Rob
              For those interested in the subject, the RGS Technical Pages have an online article called Atomic Age Narrow Gauge, listed at
              Message 6 of 28 , Dec 1, 2003
                For those interested in the subject, the "RGS Technical Pages" have
                an online article called "Atomic Age Narrow Gauge, listed at
                http://www.orci.com/~bdwhite/atomic.htm

                It's got some interesting stuff. You will also find a lot of
                comments about uranium prospectors in Robert Richardson's
                old "Narrow Gauge News": there was apparently quite a rush on in the
                1950s.
              • carl barna
                I think what really probably helped to kill off the RGS after the war was the BIG effort the AEC put into building roads on the plateau, as well as improving
                Message 7 of 28 , Dec 1, 2003
                  I think what really probably helped to kill off the RGS after the war was the BIG effort the AEC put into building roads on the plateau, as well as improving bridges and paving dirt highways like 141 out of Gateway. The improved road network enabled the trucks to reach the scores of remote small mom-and-pop mines on the plateau, and get their ore to the many ore buying stations in CO and UT.

                  My historic context will be used to help us develop a preservation plan for the few remaining structures out there. We might even pursue a Historic District or Multiple Property nomination to the National Register.

                  The actual mining and milling of the ores is a topic that has seen very little publication. Most of the writings have been on the political and economic developments of the industry and the AEC. So there's a good dissertation topic for ya! Oral history would be good for this except that most of the miners are dead from the combo effects of being macho by smoking cigarettes and scorning respirators. I've talked to a lot of the widows. Of course the gov't also downplayed the radon risks in the interest of production.

                  Ft. Lewis College may also have some RGS paper on this. I know they have quite an RGS photo collection that was assembled by a former doctor.

                  CB



                  Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                  ADVERTISEMENT




                  HOn3 list web pages are:
                  http://www.railwayeng.com/hon3/
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/


                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Mike Lehman
                  Rob, Thanks for that link. It s really fascinating reading and fills in even more of the story of uranium and the RGS. Mike Lehman Urbana, IL
                  Message 8 of 28 , Dec 1, 2003
                    Rob,
                    Thanks for that link. It's really fascinating reading and fills in even
                    more of the story of uranium and the RGS.
                    Mike Lehman
                    Urbana, IL

                    Rob wrote:

                    > For those interested in the subject, the "RGS Technical Pages" have
                    > an online article called "Atomic Age Narrow Gauge, listed at
                    > http://www.orci.com/~bdwhite/atomic.htm
                    >
                    > It's got some interesting stuff. You will also find a lot of
                    > comments about uranium prospectors in Robert Richardson's
                    > old "Narrow Gauge News": there was apparently quite a rush on in the
                    > 1950s.
                  • Mike Lehman
                    Carl, Good luck with the effort to preserve some of the less galmorous aspects of Colorado history. They are just as essential to our understanding of the big
                    Message 9 of 28 , Dec 1, 2003
                      Carl,
                      Good luck with the effort to preserve some of the less galmorous aspects
                      of Colorado history. They are just as essential to our understanding of
                      the big picture as the sexy stuff. Maybe some summer when I'm out that
                      way we can get together, chat about how things are going and swap stories.
                      Mike Lehman
                      Urbana, IL

                      carl barna wrote:

                      SNIP
                      > My historic context will be used to help us develop a preservation plan for the few remaining structures out there. We might even pursue a Historic District or Multiple Property nomination to the National Register.
                      >
                      > The actual mining and milling of the ores is a topic that has seen very little publication. Most of the writings have been on the political and economic developments of the industry and the AEC. So there's a good dissertation topic for ya! Oral history would be good for this except that most of the miners are dead from the combo effects of being macho by smoking cigarettes and scorning respirators. I've talked to a lot of the widows. Of course the gov't also downplayed the radon risks in the interest of production.
                      >
                      > Ft. Lewis College may also have some RGS paper on this. I know they have quite an RGS photo collection that was assembled by a former doctor.
                    • szczowicz
                      Carl, You will find a little oral history, not much, on a video called Otto Perry s RGS . It mixes Perry original footage with contemporary (at the time)
                      Message 10 of 28 , Dec 1, 2003
                        Carl,
                        You will find a little oral history, not much, on a video
                        called 'Otto Perry's RGS'. It mixes Perry original footage with
                        contemporary (at the time) interview. A couple of train crew talk
                        about moving the ores up to Montrose and how the cars ran
                        differently when they were filled with yellow cake. If memory serves
                        correct it's a Sunday River film.(I think).
                        Mark
                      • carl barna
                        Mark -- Thanks for the lead. CB You will find a little oral history, not much, on a video called Otto Perry s RGS . It mixes Perry original footage with
                        Message 11 of 28 , Dec 2, 2003
                          Mark --

                          Thanks for the lead.

                          CB
                          You will find a little oral history, not much, on a video
                          called 'Otto Perry's RGS'. It mixes Perry original footage with
                          contemporary (at the time) interview. A couple of train crew talk
                          about moving the ores up to Montrose and how the cars ran
                          differently when they were filled with yellow cake. If memory serves
                          correct it's a Sunday River film.(I think).
                          Mark


                          Yahoo! Groups Sponsor



                          HOn3 list web pages are:
                          http://www.railwayeng.com/hon3/
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/


                          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Mike
                          FWIW I found a way around the logon problem I was experiencing consistantly with Yahoo, and proof that it s Yahoo s problem not my system. If I try to logon
                          Message 12 of 28 , Dec 22, 2003
                            FWIW I found a way around the logon problem I was experiencing consistantly
                            with Yahoo, and proof that it's Yahoo's problem not my system. If I try to
                            logon through Yahoo mail, I get stuck in an endless loop asking for password
                            confirmation. If I go to Yahoo groups and logon from there, it works fine
                            every time. Yahoo is not perfect regardless of what some people believe.
                            Caveat Emptor

                            mike
                          • BHI-Rail Systems
                            Mike and everyone else having issues with Yahoo logins, This is one issue that many have had in the past but it is not the only one. One thing that you need to
                            Message 13 of 28 , Dec 23, 2003
                              Mike and everyone else having issues with Yahoo logins,

                              This is one issue that many have had in the past but it is not the only one.

                              One thing that you need to check is that when you logon (or think you have)
                              at the top it should say WELCOME (then your name). If it says WELCOME GUEST
                              then you are not logged in and need to. There is a clickable text message
                              which can be in a number of different places depending upon the Yahoo page
                              you are on. Some it is at the top of that section and says "Sign In" or "Log
                              in" or on the left hand edge that says "Registered Users (not linked) then
                              right below that it says SIGN IN (as a clickable link)".

                              Once you are CORRECTLY logged/signed in then it is not an issue and
                              everything works the way you probably expect it to.

                              The reason it works when you access it through the group and not the E mail
                              is that you have already logged into get there at the group level. The two
                              sections (groups & E mail) do not seem to talk to each other in Yahoo. Keep
                              in mind that almost all of the Yahoo Groups are a financial drain on Yahoo
                              and not a revenue generation stream so they likely have zero encouragement
                              to make things easy for us/you. Since none of us is having to shell out a
                              monthly $ to be on here, do you really think Yahoo would be that interested
                              in helping you??? To a business, money talks...everything else is JUST hot
                              air :).

                              Having logged myself and others in on may different systems across the
                              country onto the Yahoo system, the only major one I have had conflict issues
                              with is AOL, though I have not tried Prodigy or CompuServe since we migrated
                              here to Yahoo. The rest of the time things did not seem to work the way it
                              was supposed to it has been operator/operator equipment issues...and yes I
                              include myself in making those errors myself as well so there are no fingers
                              pointing anyone out in particular.

                              While the cookie settings are a part of it at times and often the most
                              common issue, Yahoo does also have a few things to trip even the more
                              experienced geeks among us.

                              Possibly this info may be needed to be added to the file section with the
                              rest of the "administrative info" so we don't have this same thread pop up
                              every few months...Steve?

                              hope this helps,

                              Tim Mulina
                              BHI/Rail Systems

                              http://quickpicbooks.homestead.com
                              http://narrowgauge.homestead.com





                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Mike [mailto:mike211@...]
                              Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 2:00 AM
                              To: HOn3@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [HOn3] yahoo problems


                              FWIW I found a way around the logon problem I was experiencing consistantly
                              with Yahoo, and proof that it's Yahoo's problem not my system. If I try to
                              logon through Yahoo mail, I get stuck in an endless loop asking for password
                              confirmation. If I go to Yahoo groups and logon from there, it works fine
                              every time. Yahoo is not perfect regardless of what some people believe.
                              Caveat Emptor

                              mike
                            • Mike
                              Tim, Your comments are very much appreciated. The situation I was experiencing was slightly different from what you describe. If I go to the Yahoo Mail page
                              Message 14 of 28 , Dec 23, 2003
                                Tim,
                                Your comments are very much appreciated. The situation I was experiencing was
                                slightly different from what you describe. If I go to the Yahoo Mail page and
                                try to logon I get stuck in the endless password confirmation loop. However
                                if I go to the Yahoo Group page or any individual group page then I can logon
                                without problems. I'm entering as a 'guest' in both cases but only the group
                                section logon works. I got around the problem by setting all my groups to
                                forward mail to my webmail account so I don't have to go to Yahoo Mail
                                anymore.

                                Your comments about Yahoo and $$$ are quite valid. Yahoo doesn't exist as a
                                public service, but rather to make money. Therefore it's only a matter of
                                time before they start charging group owners for the privilege of maintaining
                                their group at Yahoo.
                                Mike
                                >
                                > This is one issue that many have had in the past but it is not the only one.
                                >
                                > One thing that you need to check is that when you logon (or think you have)
                                > at the top it should say WELCOME (then your name). If it says WELCOME GUEST
                                > then you are not logged in and need to. ...
                                >
                                > The reason it works when you access it through the group and not the E mail
                                > is that you have already logged into get there at the group level.

                                Not in my case as I described above.


                                > Keep in mind that almost all of the Yahoo Groups are a financial drain on Yahoo
                                > and not a revenue generation stream so they likely have zero encouragement
                                > to make things easy for us/you.
                                > Tim
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.