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Re: An Introduction, and a Question

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  • 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 1 of 10 , Apr 16 9:23 PM
      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      actual photos and existing right of way, as well as actual historical
      content.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 2 of 10 , Apr 16 11:37 PM
        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 3 of 10 , Apr 17 10:29 AM
          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 4 of 10 , Apr 17 9:22 PM
            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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