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

591Re: An Introduction, and a Question

Expand Messages
  • Dennis Ivison
    Apr 17, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Thanks Doug, that saved me some looking. I learned aboud "hygrading"
      for the first time when we visited the Empire Mine. I guess that
      would be a good little side job.

      --- In NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com, "Doug MacLeod" <dmacleod@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dennis:
      > Chapter 4, page 38, first paragraph, in Jerry Best's Nevada
      County Narrow Gauge book.
      > Doug MacLeod, Roseville, CA
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Dennis Ivison
      > To: NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 9:23 PM
      > Subject: Re: <NevadaCoNG> An Introduction, and a Question
      >
      >
      > Somewhere in my reading an author said the narrow gauge was
      referred
      > to as "The Golden Road" because of the gold still in the ballast.
      > I've been re-reading all my resources to try to find that
      reference.
      >
      > I definitely have enough information now to feel confident in my
      > selection, and I really want to thank both Loren and Andrew for
      > taking the time to help me out. Getting the proper ballast color
      may
      > sound inconsequential, but I would like to get it right. When I
      get
      > the new pike up and running I'll be back to monthly operations
      > sessions, as well as hosting regular layout tours, and I'd like
      to do
      > my adopted railroad justice.
      >
      > Thanks again,
      > Dennis
      >
      > --- In NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com, Loren Miller <rioting@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > AhHA! I knew somebody would be more of an authority on this
      with
      > actual photos and existing right of way, as well as actual
      historical
      > content. Thanks for clearing that up for all of us.
      > >
      > > > To: NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com
      > > > From: andrew.brandon@
      > > > Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 09:10:14 -0700
      > > > Subject: Re: <NevadaCoNG> An Introduction, and a Question
      > > >
      > > > The NCNG used the cheapest material they could as ballast,
      river
      > rock.
      > > > If you look closely in NCNG photos you'll notice that the
      ballast
      > > > seems to be very "white" in later years. Since the NCNG ran
      the
      > > > standard gauge gravel spur they had a cheap source of ballast,
      > > > uncomfortable to walk on, a pain in neck to work with but
      > excellent
      > > > for drainage.
      > > >
      > > > You can see an example of this ballast here:
      > > >
      http://www.ncngrrmuseum.org/pb/images/img18676447aa39e8140b.jpg
      > > > It is not the greatest picture but it will give you some
      idea,
      > you're
      > > > looking for a mostly quartz ballast with some limestone in
      there.
      > > > Keep in mind that along the NCNG some areas were
      still "lightly"
      > > > ballasted I believe the photo of the You Bet station from
      Best's
      > book
      > > > shows this. If I get a chance I'll scan a few shots of the
      R.O.W.
      > that
      > > > show the ballasting and upload them to the group.
      > > >
      > > > -=Andrew=-
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 12:13 AM, Loren Miller <rioting@>
      > wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Yes I worked underground for 2 companies. I was hired as a
      > welder, but in this business in this area for small companies,
      > everybody learns everything. I learned a bit about the geology,
      > drilling blasting and what to do with the aftermath. The Original
      16
      > to One mine in Allegheny, Ca, which is to date the oldest
      > continuously working gold mine in the U.S. was what we call a
      pocket
      > mine. This is because the gold occurred in pockets. We would mine
      > tons of beautiful white quartz and find nothing in it. This as
      well
      > as whatever rock we blew up was called waste rock, and would be
      > either backfilled into the stopes we mined out, or removed to the
      > surface and screened, and then sold as road rock. When the quartz
      is
      > exposed to the air, it turns brown. Since the gold only occurs in
      the
      > quartz, it only makes sense to mine that. Mining is expensive and
      we
      > would only want to mine what potentially has gold in it, however,
      > sometimes we would have to drift through bedrock, which in our
      case
      > was basalt to get to suspected quartz veins. In the case of the
      > Empire Mine in Grass Valley, a couple of years ago, men from our
      crew
      > tunneled a drift some 800 feet to the main shaft so tourists
      could
      > walk a level path into the deeper part of the main winze. (A
      winze is
      > a shaft that is not vertical, a drift is a tunnel that is
      > horizontal.) That project was all waste rock, and a lot of dirt.
      In
      > any case, most mines around here were similar in that the
      tailings
      > that were suspected to have no potential for gold would be tossed
      > over the easiest hill from the portal as the least amount of
      money
      > would be spent on it's disposal. If you look around you can find
      mine
      > portals and estimate the size based upon the mountain of tailings
      > that cascade down from the portal. Most of these will be that
      dark
      > gray color, which you will find also to be the color of the
      ballast.
      > Quartz does not usually have the structural integrity to be
      ballast
      > because it crumbles easy. Basalt is very tough stuff and consumes
      > drill bits, and much explosives to break it, as well, it holds up
      to
      > the rigors of supporting railroad ties, doesn't break easily
      under
      > the weight of heavy rolling stock and stays put due to it's sharp
      > edges. It is likely to be the ballast of choice for any railroad
      in
      > this area because it is already broken, crushed, and FREE. The
      > closest mine to the railroad with a huge pile of tailings would
      be a
      > welcome resource to the railroad company. The mine of course
      would
      > love to have the problem of getting rid of the tailings handled
      so
      > this would have been a marriage "set in stone" Excuse the pun.
      > Anyway, if you have the google earth program, you can search the
      area
      > and find much of what you are looking for. Also, you will
      probably
      > find similar rock used for ballast at any California rail
      roadbed.
      > Try the SP lines in your area. On another note, for history's
      sake,
      > and the history of the SP, my great grandfather used to engineer
      the
      > cab forward ACs from Colfax to Reno. We have the last one of them
      in
      > the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento when you are in the
      > area. Quite an impressive museum. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?
      > page_id=668 Also, look up the 16 to one mine, as they have by
      far,
      > the best underground gold mine tour in the U.S.
      > http://www.origsix.com/ and then there is this site if you
      haven't
      > seen it yet: http://www.ncngrrmuseum.org/index.html?
      0.2172240024588714
      > > > >
      > > > > To: NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > From: dennisivison@
      > > > > Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 05:01:17 +0000
      > > > > Subject: Re: <NevadaCoNG> An Introduction, and a Question
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Loren,
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Thank you for the input. Did you work underground? I've
      been a
      > > > >
      > > > > firefighter for 23 years and have been in some very dark,
      tight
      > > > >
      > > > > places, but when I looked down that mine shaft and thought
      of
      > being a
      > > > >
      > > > > mile underground I have to admit that it made my legs
      wobble!
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > I looked around for some tailings at some of the mine sites
      > that we
      > > > >
      > > > > visited and couldn't tell if any of the rocks were
      tailings.
      > We saw
      > > > >
      > > > > all of the colors that you mentioned, as well as some very
      > dark brown
      > > > >
      > > > > quartz. I took some pictures of each, you know just in
      case. I
      > > > >
      > > > > thought of taking some samples, but don't like to "borrow"
      from
      > > > >
      > > > > historical sites. We have a hard enough time preserving
      what
      > little
      > > > >
      > > > > history we have left already. When I modeled the Espee in
      > Arizona a
      > > > >
      > > > > large part of the layout was devoted to copper mining &
      > smelting. I
      > > > >
      > > > > have a retired friend (we were partners for 10+ years) that
      > lives
      > > > >
      > > > > down there, and one time after a phone conversation, I had
      a
      > package
      > > > >
      > > > > show-up via USPS. It was about 10 lbs of copper mine
      tailings;
      > he had
      > > > >
      > > > > sifted it down to fine grains and everything! The note told
      me
      > where
      > > > >
      > > > > he got them, and I suspect that they were probably a mix of
      > tailings
      > > > >
      > > > > and slag...great stuff, I hope he didn't use his wife's
      flour
      > sifter.
      > > > >
      > > > > For awhile I was reluctant to use them, or even touch them!
      I
      > still
      > > > >
      > > > > have a bunch of that stuff left. I'm not suggesting that
      > anyone send
      > > > >
      > > > > me another bag of dirt, just knowing the color would be
      great.
      > If all
      > > > >
      > > > > else fails I'll go with the basalt, it makes the most
      sense.
      > But, you
      > > > >
      > > > > all know what'll happen...as soon as the last section of
      > ballast
      > > > >
      > > > > dries someone will post a picture.and I'll have guessed
      wrong.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Thanks again,
      > > > >
      > > > > Dennis
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > In NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com, Loren Miller <rioting@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > > Interesting. I live here and have actually worked in the
      > gold mines
      > > > >
      > > > > of the area. Most of the hard rock mines are a quartz vein
      in
      > basalt
      > > > >
      > > > > and/or serpentine. The basalt is dark gray, the serpentine
      a
      > mottled
      > > > >
      > > > > green but has no structural integrity. I have not seen the
      > actual
      > > > >
      > > > > ballast from the ncngrr, nor the tailings from the mine you
      > > > >
      > > > > mentioned. Perhaps somebody can tell you better, but I have
      > seen
      > > > >
      > > > > nothing but gray to dark gray ballast on any tracks here in
      > Northern
      > > > >
      > > > > California, and the basalt is quite hard, has sharp edges
      and
      > stays
      > > > >
      > > > > put as it locks into place. It is also used on many dirt
      roads
      > here
      > > > >
      > > > > for the same reasons ans in the quarry industry that sells
      it
      > for
      > > > >
      > > > > that purpose, it is called "mine rock" for obvious reasons.
      I
      > hope
      > > > >
      > > > > that helps some. Other people here may have better info and
      > more
      > > > >
      > > > > accurate having done much closer research to the actual
      ncngrr
      > > > >
      > > > > tracks, pictures, etc.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > __________________________________________________________
      > > > > More immediate than e-mail? Get instant access with Windows
      > Live Messenger.
      > > > > http://www.windowslive.com/messenger/overview.html?
      > ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_Refresh_instantaccess_042008
      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > ------------------------------------
      > > > >
      > > > > Have you visited or contributed to the FILES or LINKS
      section
      > yet? Check them out!Yahoo! Groups Links
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --
      > > > -=Andrew Brandon=-
      > > >
      > > > ------------------------------------
      > > >
      > > > Have you visited or contributed to the FILES or LINKS section
      > yet? Check them out!Yahoo! Groups Links
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > __________________________________________________________
      > > More immediate than e-mail? Get instant access with Windows
      Live
      > Messenger.
      > > http://www.windowslive.com/messenger/overview.html?
      > ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_Refresh_instantaccess_042008
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Show all 10 messages in this topic