Sunday, December 14, 2008


... And enough measurements, add one computer, a drawing program, a plotter that cost more than the computer and program combined, and you end up with pages and pages like the one below:

That's a "b" sized printout of the frame center section of K36 # 487. Measurements and photos were taken in May 0f 1994, when 487 was getting its' main drivers re-worked.

And there they sat(below), after rework.


Lots of folks don't realize that the C&TSRR locomotive #463 is with us today because of the "singing cowboy" movie actor Gene Autry. Way back when, Autry purchased 463 and at a later date, donated it to the village of Antonito, who put it on display... sort of.

I recall when - after the Cumbres & Toltec was up and running - the village decided they could get a piece of the action by having 463 refurbished and put into service.

Turned out - among many other problems - that the boiler needed re-fluing, a $60,000 job all by itself, so the idea died the death of many a locomotive refurbishing project. Then followed a long period of chit-chat between the C&T and Antonito, after which 463 finally ended up in the Chama shop.

Wife and I went to Chama and got a few photos of 463 while it was being re-built. I say a "few photos" because you never get enough.

Everybody has photos like the one above, but I like the ones that take some effort to get, particularly since I use them to make scale drawings.

For example, a bit of brake hanger detail:

Notice that this main driver has a cast-in counter weight, in addition to the outside-frame counter weight we're all familiar with.

Or the front flue sheet:

Note my ever-present yard stick. Kindly ignore the southern exposure of my north-headed wife.

And of course, the obligatory souvenir of the big day:

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Shown here are the front and back covers of a Pullman advertising brochure printed in 1948 by the Pullman company. It is a 38 page booklet describing various accommodations that were provided on the streamliners of the day.

Some of the personal services and conveniences listed are:

The cars are temperature-controlled and air-conditioned. If you had a private room, you could control it yourself.

Your room was kept clean and neat by Pullman's expert housekeepers.

If you wanted an extra pillow or blanket, the porter willingly provided one... no charge.

Your shoes were shined while you slept.

You could have a table set up in your private accommodation, just ask the porter.

Below are renderings of one of the many Private rooms provided:

(left-click to enlarge)

Accommodations offered included:

Section with upper and lower berths at night.
Roomette type A.
Roomette type B.
Duplex-Single Rooms.
Connecting Double Bedrooms type A.
Double Bedrooms type B.
Connecting Double Bedrooms type C. (shown above)
Connecting Double Bedrooms type D.
Bedroom and Compartment.
Drawing Room.

Those were just the private accommodations. Add to that, the Observation Car, Dining Car, Lounge, ladies dressing room, Men's dressing room... pretty nice.

It may have been 1848, but they knew how to travel cross-country in style and comfort. Today's public transportation conveyances pale by comparison.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Below is a Denver & Rio Grande/Western Pacific schedule in use during July-August of 1917.

Found this item at a small town Texas auction and got it for ten bucks. Had it been a Colorado town, I'll bet ten bucks would have only started the bidding.

Below is a part of the schedule through portions of Nevada and Utah.

A D&RG modeler wanting some unusual names for for water stops can find a host of them here... Pronto, Pardo, Tobar, Shafter, Silver Zone.

The historical information about each stop is fascinating and in many cases, most likely long forgotten data. For example, Shafter had a RR link to Ely, Nevada, a 140 mile leg, and made a connection with the Nevada Northern Railroad.

Look at the notes about Delle. Now you know where Up Skull Valley was, and why it was named that way.

(Left-click on graphics to enlarge)

Monday, December 01, 2008


One hundred years ago, Mr. George Walter Webber of Gunnison, Colorado, got this postcard in the mail:

Imagine that... your name and city is all it took to get your mail.

(left click on postcard images to enlarge)

The above postcard was made by the same manufacturer, both embossed and colorized, but has no postmark or address on the back. The high trestle is card number 118, and the loop is card number 108.

I can only guess how both cards got into the same collection. Whoever sent the high trestle card to Mr. Webber later hand delivered the loop card to him - saving a penny for a stamp in the process - but still having one postmarked card as proof of having been there.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


This is the index page of the Rio Grande Southern's Passenger Equipment folio. At the time of this folio the RGS had a total of thrirteeen passenger cars, so the task will take a relatively short time.

Since I do have a collection of period photos of various RGS rolling stock, I have the opportunity to cross-check and add to some of the folio's original drawings with details supported by the photos.

I had forgotten that I had this folio. It sometimes is quite surprising what I have gathered on narrow gauge railroads. Rummaging through my boxes of stuff is a lot like having a surprise birthday party.

Ever heard of the Sante Fe Central Railroad?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Below is one of my drawings I've been creating on D&RG passenger cars. I now have the entire September 1904 portfolio 6 re-drawn on my computer in the format shown.

I'm now working on detail drawings such as heaters, window and door latches, water containers, coal bins, various types of seats and chairs... All the typical accessories and equipment found in a car but hardly ever mentioned, much less drawn to scale.

I have a large collection of photographs I've gathered over the last fifty years, but it seems I can't use them in my upcoming publication since the original photographers - whoever they may have been - can't be found, or credited. Hence the drawings.

The completed drawings save much of the information and details that could otherwise be lost.

This picture is of a door lock on a D&RGW freight car. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how it all works. Anybody got a reasonable explanation?