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Re: Bear River bridge progress report

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  • Doug Stuard
    John, In the article about the construction of the bridge that appeared in the March 11, 1909 Engineering News (see the files section under Bear River
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 20, 2004
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      John,

      In the article about the construction of the bridge that appeared in
      the March 11, 1909 "Engineering News" (see the files section
      under "Bear River Bridge Drawings"), the first and nexet-to-last
      paragraphs discuss the design and construction of the bridge to
      accomodate possible future expansion to standard gauge. Obviously,
      this never ocurred, as standard gauge was only extended to the
      gravel spur.

      I only wish I had seen the bridge before they took it down. We went
      to Lake Tahoe every summer during the '50s, and the drive thru
      Colfax on US 40 was always enjoyable (especially as we had finally
      escaped the heat of the valley). Even though my dad was a train
      fan, I was unaware that the NCNG had ever existed, and we never took
      the slight detour to see the (then inactive) bridge. It took Best's
      book to show me the light.

      If I can fit it, I might lay dual gauge track on my version of the
      bridge, but it might be easier to select one or the other or rubber
      cement two alternate sets of bridge track.

      Keep checking in.

      Doug

      --- In NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com, John Teall <themnax@y...> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > er - intended for standard gauge? where did that come
      > from?
      >
      > i'd have sworn the gravel spur was on the placer
      > county (same side as the s.p. connection at colfax)
      > side but i could be mistaken.
      >
      > overbuilt to a capacity adiquite for standard gauge
      > maybe, but this is the first i've heard of it if that
      > was the case. it WAS stout (or at least way better
      > built then the spectacular failure to ritualy demolish
      > it at the begining of constructing the dam seemed to
      > demonstrate). but as far as i know i've never heard
      > that there had ever been any serious intention to
      > standard gauge.
      >
      > (not that i would know but this is (i think) the first
      > i've heard THAT)
      >
      > =^^=
      > .../\...
      >
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    • John Teall
      ... i wish you could have seen it too the attempt to blow it up at the cerimony to mark the begining of constructing the dam was hillarious or at least i
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 21, 2004
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        --- Doug Stuard <dstuard@...> wrote:
        > John,
        >
        > In the article about the construction of the bridge
        > that appeared in
        > the March 11, 1909 "Engineering News" (see the files
        > section
        > under "Bear River Bridge Drawings"), the first and
        > nexet-to-last
        > paragraphs discuss the design and construction of
        > the bridge to
        > accomodate possible future expansion to standard
        > gauge. Obviously,
        > this never ocurred, as standard gauge was only
        > extended to the
        > gravel spur.
        >
        > I only wish I had seen the bridge before they took
        > it down. We went
        > to Lake Tahoe every summer during the '50s, and the
        > drive thru
        > Colfax on US 40 was always enjoyable (especially as
        > we had finally
        > escaped the heat of the valley). Even though my dad
        > was a train
        > fan, I was unaware that the NCNG had ever existed,
        > and we never took
        > the slight detour to see the (then inactive) bridge.
        > It took Best's
        > book to show me the light.
        >
        > If I can fit it, I might lay dual gauge track on my
        > version of the
        > bridge, but it might be easier to select one or the
        > other or rubber
        > cement two alternate sets of bridge track.
        >
        > Keep checking in.
        >
        > Doug
        >
        i wish you could have seen it too

        the attempt to blow it up at the cerimony to mark the
        begining of constructing the dam was hillarious
        or at least i tought so.

        no one had thought to set charges, near as i could
        tell, to blow the pins on that little center section,
        i guess they must have just expected it to collapse
        from the tow main towers leaning toward it.

        no way was it about to. the concrete footings where
        they had set the charges were pulverized alright

        but the whole thing just rose up in the air maybe a
        foot or so if that, then settled right back down
        pretty much where it had been with that little plate
        girder section in the middle kind wedged in there
        keeping it from being able to colapse.

        you know the politicians had all made speaches about
        what a wonderful thing the dam was going to be and all
        that, and made this big cerimonial production of
        blowing it up, and when the dust cleared it just stood
        there, kinda messed up, but not about to fall down.

        we moved up to colfax in 57 and lived there untill the
        year i graduated high school in 66. my dad was shorty
        teall who was a 'telegrapher/towerman/clerk' for the
        s.p. right there in colfax. i used to hang out down
        at the depot whenever i could. bringing him his lunch
        and eating it with him or just being there most of his
        shift a lot of times when i wasn't in school like in
        the summer.

        there were a bunch of maps like that one of colfax in
        the back of best's book in the back desk in the
        office, along with a bunch of bill harges locotomotive
        opperator's manuals and other treasures.

        =^^=
        .../\...

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      • Doug Stuard
        ... It sure must have been a hoot! I read the account and saw some pics in Best s and Browne s books. Thanks for the first-hand report! Since you spent so
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 21, 2004
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          --- In NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com, John Teall <themnax@y...> wrote:

          > >
          > > Doug
          > >
          > i wish you could have seen it too
          >
          > the attempt to blow it up at the cerimony to mark the
          > begining of constructing the dam was hillarious
          > or at least i tought so.
          >

          It sure must have been a hoot! I read the account and saw some pics
          in Best's and Browne's books. Thanks for the first-hand report!

          Since you spent so much time at the Colfax Depot, you might be
          interested in my first scrath-build project for my NTrak module set:

          http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dstuard/railimages/Colfax1.jpg

          http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dstuard/railimages/Colfax2.jpg

          Source material was Best's book and Signor's "Donner Pass", web
          photos as well as some measurements I took while out there on a trip
          in '97.

          I have also modelled the concrete enginehouse (narrowed to 5 stalls)
          and hope to add the packing sheds that were west of the depot,
          although my source material is kinda thin on those.

          Maybe you or others in the group might have some info?


          Doug
        • John Teall
          ... http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dstuard/railimages/Colfax1.jpg ... http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dstuard/railimages/Colfax2.jpg ... all i ever saw of that
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 22, 2004
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            --- Doug Stuard <dstuard@...> wrote:
            > It sure must have been a hoot! I read the account
            > and saw some pics
            > in Best's and Browne's books. Thanks for the
            > first-hand report!
            >
            > Since you spent so much time at the Colfax Depot,
            > you might be
            > interested in my first scrath-build project for my
            > NTrak module set:
            >
            >
            http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dstuard/railimages/Colfax1.jpg
            >
            >
            http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dstuard/railimages/Colfax2.jpg
            >
            > Source material was Best's book and Signor's "Donner
            > Pass", web
            > photos as well as some measurements I took while out
            > there on a trip
            > in '97.
            >
            > I have also modelled the concrete enginehouse
            > (narrowed to 5 stalls)
            > and hope to add the packing sheds that were west of
            > the depot,
            > although my source material is kinda thin on those.
            >
            > Maybe you or others in the group might have some
            > info?
            >
            >
            > Doug
            >
            all i ever saw of that engine house of course was the
            footings and the tracks which at first, in 57 had a
            whole bunce of outfit cars (box and some obsolete
            passinger that had been converted to living quarters
            for track crewes) parked on them. later in the early
            to mid 60s there was a silica ball mill that turned
            the silica rock that was the hydraulic mining tailings
            into the fine powder that colgate put in toothpaste
            occupied the site.

            now the fruit sheds were still a going (albeit
            seasonal) concern in the all through the 60s and well
            into the 70s

            the (east) end nearest the depot was a concrete cold
            storage room that i'm not sure what year it was added
            on but likely either during the last years of the
            narrowgauge just befor wwii or very shortly thereafter
            if not.

            last time i was up there, just a couple of years ago,
            the structure itself was mostly still there. what had
            been the cold storage room had some outfit
            manufacturing scateboard in there and they had knocked
            a new hole in the wall for a loading door. i don't
            think they lasted very long. this was oh more or less
            arround ten years ago or so that was in there. the
            next section of the fruit sheds that abbuted and
            shared the platform on the standard gauge side was the
            actual sorting and packing shed itself. somewhere not
            too long before i got back down here from my sojurn up
            in oregon, in 87, that had been converted into a kind
            of minimall with a couple of botiquie type shops and a
            restaurant of some kind. not really a good location
            for retain and i don't think anyone in there stayed
            very successfull at it very long. when i was up there
            a couple of three years ago they were mostly empty and
            the restaurant bussiness was closed and likely up for
            sale.

            current status in the last couple of years unknown.

            essentialy the overall shape of the structure remained
            unchainged as far as the roofline and the track
            platform (north) side of it, with visualy signifigant
            but structrualy cosmetic chainges on the street side.

            weather any of that is still there i can't say for
            sure but chances are REAL good it still is.

            after the skateboard place moved out of the cold
            storage room there was what looked like the beggining
            of partial demolition so i don't know if that has
            since taken place. the cold storage room was a
            concrete structure so unless somebody put some money
            and effort into tearing it down it's likely still
            there or at least enough of it to get dementions off
            of. the sorting shed was a mostly wooden structure,
            but like i said had been maintained and is likely stll
            there. further west of there had once been the
            transfer shed for the narrowgauge, that (along with as
            noted, the engine house itself), was already gone
            when i first set eyes on the place in 57.

            the y for turning engines incidently was still in
            place and on rare occasions used prior to the building
            of the silica ball mill and i'm not sure but possibly
            after.

            in the late 50s and early 60s a single f-unit was most
            often used on the work trains and would sometimes be
            turned on that y. and occasionaly other power. the
            ends of it would accomodate two f-units as i recall
            but not three or four.

            sometimes when there was more then one eastbound
            freight to get in the clear they'd back it in on the
            track still identified as roundhouse lead.

            sometimes when my dad was working there
            they'd swap power on eastboud freights especialy if
            there were units failing on one.

            in those days, well right up until arround 80 or 81
            when my dad retired at norden they were still using
            mid train helpers that were cut off at norden and sent
            back down the hill light to roseville.

            if a train at colfax needed additional units they'd
            grab these and put them on there.

            i don't know when the stopped having a 24 hour manned
            office in colfax but in 77 when i left for oregon for
            ten years (and my dad was still working third trick i
            think it was at norden) i know they still did.

            =^^=
            .../\...



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