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UPDATE 9/10/16 – 315 AT THE C&TS RENDEZVOUS.
After a weekend on the Durango and Silverton making shorter trips from Silverton to Cascade canyon and Elk park during RailFest, it was time for our C-18, D&RGW 315 to be transported to Chama to really show it’s paces during the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroads’ Narrow Gauge Rendezvous. This Event was eagerly awaited as it would see the 315 back on C&TS rails after nearly three years, the first appearance of Goose 7 from the Colorado Railroad Museum on D&RGW track as well as K-27 #463, Goose 5 from Ridgway and Pile Driver OB in operation, all during normal C&TS operations. Fifty-seven people took up the three day pass which allowed them access to all the specials and numerous photo run-by’s. The only thing that looked slightly dubious was the weather and, sure enough, Thursday afternoon turned out wet and blustery. The 315 was first up the hill to Cumbres on the 4% grade and, because of wet rails and the six car load, wheel slip problems meant that one car had to be dropped off at Lobato siding. But the rest of the journey went off without a hitch.It’s Thursday and it’s raining as D&RGW 315 departs Chama up the 4% grade for Cumbres in front of 12 freight cars. (Photo Mark Kasprowicz)
The following day the group was split into two, one headed for Cumbres to ride behind the 315, the other to Antonito where both Geese were waiting. The weather had cleared and it looked like a great day ahead. There were many eager to ride in the front of Goose 7. It’s a real stretch limo and a credit to the CRRM volunteers who have lovingly restored it over the years. This was also a landmark appearance as no other piece of equipment has left Colorado RR Museum rails.
Goose 7 takes flight from CRRM as it crosses Cascade Trestle. (Photo; Mark Kasprowicz)
The Geese met up with the 315 later in the day and the riders were treated to more run-by’s than expected. The official Rendezvous dinner took place that evening in Cumbres.
315 on it’s way to Osier. (Photo; Mark Kasprowicz)
The next day the 315 met up with the Geese quite early on. Goose 5, it turned out, was slightly disadvantaged – it has a normal automobile gearbox so can only reverse slowly, Goose 7 has an extra gearbox, fitted by the contractors who used it to tear up the RGS, which allows it to go as fast in reverse as it does forward. Steam engines also go at the same speed irrespective of direction. So it was a case of waiting taking it at Goose 5’s pace when the three reversed for a photo run-by.
315 powers its train of eleven cars plus OB up the hill towards Cumbres. (photo; Mark Kasprowicz)
On the way back to Chama 315’s train had to pick up Pile Driver OB from Osier and take it up to Chama for the next day’s demonstration. OB had been dropped there the previous day with a hot box. Repaired that day, the OB was cut into 315’s train of 11 cars to make the uphill grade to Chama. It’s a grade of 1.42% and, with OB’s extra weight, there was some speculation whether the 315 could pull the whole train up the hill especially as it had started raining! In the end the train had to stop for 20 minutes to build up steam not far from the summit but the anticipated ‘double up the hill’ did not happen.315 powers Pile Driver OB as it drives in a telegraph pole in Cumbres. (Photo; Mark Kasprowicz)
The Sunday saw the 315 supplying steam for the Friend’s Pile Driver OB which effortlessly drove two telegraph poles into the ground in front of a large audience. After that it was double header time with the 463 as the train engine and the 315 as the road engine. Tanglefoot curve was the chosen venue and the double header did not fewer than four run-bys. The day finished with the two Geese, 315 with its freight cars and the 463 with the passenger cars returning to Chama.
Double heading on tanglefoot Curve. (Photo; Mark Kasprowicz)
It was a great Rendezvous in particular for the 315. Out of sight for nearly three years, the locomotive performed faultlessly throughout the four days thus repeating its success on the D&SNGRR a week earlier. The only fault was a generator failure which was quickly repaired over-night, testimony indeed to the DRHS’s special 315 maintenance crew and firemen. Finally here are just a handful of images of the thousands taken over the three days.
UPDATE 8/16/16 – D&RGW BUNK CAR 04432 ARRIVES IN SILVERTON.D&RGW Bunk Car 04432 stands alongside the 315 outside the SN engine shed. (photo: Anna Gibbs)
Good progress on the ex-D&RGW Bunk Car 04432 has meant that we were able to move the car from its work site, south of Durango, to Silverton. It will be used to accommodate the crews working on the 315 specials this weekend. The car arrived in Silverton of the 8/15/16. Some work remains to be done but it’s hoped that by the first snows of the winter the Bunk Car will be complete. For more details about the cars progress click HERE.
7/21/16 PROGRESS UPDATE.
Last week we poured the concrete stem walls and removed the forms.July 14. Joe Weigman, Jerry Hoffer, Ron Schlueter, and Judy Schlueter (taking the picture) removed forms from the oil shed foundation. In the background George Niederauer and Duane Danielson are working on the flanger.
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