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Re: Modeling Colfax (was Re: Bear River bridge progress report)

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  • 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 1 of 8 , Feb 22, 2004
      --- 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:
      > 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

      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

      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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