I gotta admit to having some weird tastes in railroading. Steeped in the prototype, I like things -- different. So lets take a trip to one of those rare places where bigtime DPU mountain railroading, narrowgauge style still happens.
Our train will run from Durango to Silverton and return. It will be powered by two of the Rio Grande's narrowgaueg NW2M locos. Business is still good on the NG, so good that the roadmaster is overseeing the newly installed DPU gear, so he hired a helicopter to take some pics for the brass back in Denver. The first shot shows this 19 car whopper, with one unit up front and the other about six cars ahead of the caboose. There's coal, petro products, general merchandise, and a set of pole cars going to the Cascade Branch logging operation run by Mears Logging.
Arriving in Tefft, the pole cars will be picked off the front of the train by the #1, leased to the loggers for a woods engine. It's a good thing it's mostly MTs uphill and loads downhill
There's an MT Silverton Union RR reefer that needs to go there with our train. These are ex-C&S cars used by Thompson Wholesale to supply mining camps and loggers in the woods with fresh provisions from their base in Silverton.
The lead loco drops the pole cars in the siding at Tefft.
Then it picks up the SURR reefer.
Here's the train arriving in Silverton, Much switching ensues, Helicopter goes for fuel and lunch
Last Edit: Jun 16, 2013 18:51:40 GMT -8 by mlehman
No need for DPU on the way back, maybe just a touch of the dynamic brakes on the NW2Ms. In Tefft, we'll meet the #1 coming downgrade with the poles cars we dropped earlier, now loaded.
The #1 pulls the poles onto the main, leaving its caboose on the other siding.
After grabbing the road train's caboose off it, the #1 shoves it into the siding, then sets the poles on the end of the train. Because of grades on either side of Tefft, both crews have to do a bit of jockeying to keep most of the cars from getting onto the grades and making it hard to make up the train.
After hooking up the air, the crew of the road train pulls forward enough so #1 can work the caboose back onto their train.
After the caboose is coupled, the the #1 gets off the main and it's crew goes to beans. Meanwhile, the road crew backs its train up to clear the east end of the sidings, then drops the reefer and tank cars. The reefer will go to woods after dropping an order at Mabel's and the same thing with the tank car after it tops off the tank at the siding for fueling #1.
Last Edit: Jun 16, 2013 19:20:47 GMT -8 by mlehman
Our much shorter train headed through Rockwood, where logs off the Cascade branch are cut.
After a long day, the train comes back into Durango past the refinery. There was one shot, then took another "fast" shot.
And here's our train back in the yard in Durango
I hope you had fun. I know I did. Figured it was time for a fan trip. If watching trains operate in stills is your cup of tea, heres a thread I did elsewhere on my operating system that follows along the lines in similar fashion. cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/214270.aspx
Well, not any more. It's actually a WB-29 I kitbashed from a Testors quickie model. You really can't see it that far away, but on top of the fuselage is something that looks like one of those round roof-top ventilators. It's for equipment used to expose filter papers in order to pick up any tell-tale fallout for intelligence purposes.
A pic with the "bugcatcher" visible on top of the aircraft behind the wing:
BTW, I should note the folks at the National Security Archive, and William Burr in particular, have been very helpful to me.
In very simple terms, it's a biography of fallout's national security career.
So that WB-29 is based out of Kirtland AFB, next to Sandia Base south of Albuquerque, NM and is used for training sampler crews. There's also the issue of uranium processing that helps feed the mill at Durango.
Of course, I'm fudging history some here. AFAIK, the Rio Grande no longer served the mill when it was converted to process uranium ores by the Vanadium Corporation of America during WWII. But it was just across the river, so maybe so.
Nope, very, very special filter paper, mounted on something that looks like the hoops that are used to hand up orders on the RR. It was produced in only one facility to special specs, due to the need for it to not have any natural radioactivity that could interfere with sensitive measurements. Your and my tax dollars paid dearly for that paper, too.
They also had special 6,000 PSI cylinders they compressed gas into.