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Re: Bear River bridge progress report

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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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