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

Re: An Introduction, and a Question

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 10 , Apr 15, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 10 , Apr 16, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                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]
              • 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 7 of 10 , Apr 17, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  Thanks Doug, that saved me some looking. I learned aboud "hygrading"
                  for the first time when we visited the Empire Mine. I guess that
                  would be a good little side job.

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



                    **************Need a new ride? Check out the largest site for U.S. used car
                    listings at AOL Autos.
                    (http://autos.aol.com/used?NCID=aolcmp00300000002851)


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.