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RE: An Introduction, and a Question

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  • Loren Miller
    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
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 15, 2008
      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.

      To: NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com
      From: dennisivison@...
      Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2008 20:18:51 +0000
      Subject: <NevadaCoNG> An Introduction, and a Question




















      Hello All,



      I'm the new guy (rookie) on this forum. I modeled in N-scale for 35

      years and had a 20'x28' Espee layout set in Arizona; I had hosted

      monthly ops sessions for the last 15 years. Prior to Arizona, I

      modeled the Imperial Valley, Beaumont Pass, and my first serious

      layout was the Ports of Long Beach & Los Angeles.



      I've always loved small steam (a very difficult proposition in N-

      scale), and narrow gauge trains. The turning point came when I heard

      a friends O-scale locomotive complete with sound...wow! I was hooked.

      So, the layout came down, and 150 locomotives and several hundred

      cars went up for sale.



      At first I was going to stay with the SP, but really wanted to do

      something other than the desert (again!). I thought of fictionalizing

      the V&T in narrow gauge, and was heading that way when I picked up a

      copy of the, "Winter 2008 Modelers Annual". I discovered The NCNGRR

      and had my prototype. The NCNG interchanged with the SP, had

      exactly the kind of mix that appealed to me, and is set in a

      beautiful landscape� so it appeared from the pictures (I now have all

      3 of the books on the Narrow Gauge). The truth is, I had never heard

      of Grass Valley, and thought that Nevada City was surely in Nevada.

      But, a little internet research confirmed what the black & white

      pictures had to say about the area. I talked my family into making a

      trip up there over spring break and discovered a fabulous area; we

      ended up spending 3 days there. Unfortunately the museums were

      closed, but we drove the area from Colfax to Nevada City and of

      course I took tons of pictures. I will be coming back up in the fall,

      which is the time period that I plan on modeling; I've heard the

      colors are something to see.



      I'm building a new O-scale layout in the same 20'x 28' train room.

      The track plan is ready; I am going to set the layout in the 1912 to

      1920's time period, (I found some 1909-1912 O-scale Model T's from

      National Motor Company). The bench work is complete, and the back

      drop painting is almost done. I am really looking forward to getting

      some track laid, and this brings up a question. The books say that

      the road bed was ballasted with tailings from the Eureka Mine, (we

      visited the Empire Mine) but I was unable to get a handle on the

      color of the tailings/ballast. I would hate to have to redo this part

      if I guessed wrong, so I was hoping that someone could help me out

      with this.



      Thank you,

      Dennis Ivison

      Garden Grove, CA
























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    • Dennis Ivison
      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
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 15, 2008
        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.
      • Loren Miller
        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
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
          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]
        • Andrew Brandon
          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
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
            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=-
          • Loren Miller
            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
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
              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]
            • Dennis Ivison
              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
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
                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]
                >
              • Doug MacLeod
                Dennis: Chapter 4, page 38, first paragraph, in Jerry Best s Nevada County Narrow Gauge book. Doug MacLeod, Roseville, CA ... From: Dennis Ivison To:
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
                  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
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                  > > >
                  > > > [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
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  > __________________________________________________________
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                  >





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Dennis Ivison
                  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
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 17, 2008
                    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]
                    >
                  • brucec4193@aol.com
                    Hello, I am a new member and was under the impression that there was to be a meeting tonight at the De Witt center? Could you please tell me where and when
                    Message 9 of 10 , Apr 17, 2008
                      Hello,

                      I am a new member and was under the impression that there was to be a
                      meeting tonight at the De Witt center? Could you please tell me where and when the
                      next meeting is?

                      Thanks,

                      Bruce Choate



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