View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Fri Nov 9th, 2012 02:59 am
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Keith Pashina


Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 777
THe Gilpin Tram's mainline from Black Hawk climbed up through Chase Gulch, edged along on the side of Winnebago Hill, and eventually reached Gunnell Hill. Located just above Central City, Gunnell Hill was one of the early big gold ore producing mining districts.  Several prominent mines were located here, including the Gunnell, Grand Army, Whiting, Concrete, and Grand Central.  To serve these mines, the mainline twisted and turned around the brow of the hill, and several spurs and switchbacks to serve these mines.

Taken from an early 1900s promotional booklet, this image shows three of the mines on Gunnell Hill.  The trestle in bottom center is the Gunnel Mine's ore dump trestle extending over the Gilpin Tram mainline.

The image above shows a different perspective of the Gunnell Hill area.  With all this activity in this area, I couldn't resist modeling some of these mines.  Starting in about 1998, I fitted in what I called the Gunnell Mine district in an area about 30" by 60".  I fit in 4 mine spurs and a switchback to models of the Grand Army, Whiting, and Grand Central mines.  I intended to model the Gunnell Mine, too, but never got it finished before I moved and dismantled the layout.

The Grand Central Mine is a well-known prototype, and has been manufactured as a kit by several firms over the years.  I built this model from a Taurus Products kit.  Here, shay loco #1 is delivering a coal car to the Grand Central while the rest of its train sits on the mainline.

On another day, shay #3 is easing 3 loaded ore cars down the switchback from the Gunnell and Whiting mines.  The Grand Central mine can be seen in the left foreground.

Taken from a slightly differnt angle, the Whiting Mine can be seen.  Like the protoype, my layout was built with steep grades and sharp curves.

The Whiting Mine is seen at the rear left, and the Grand Army mine in the right foreground.  The GT caboose sits on the mainline.  Shay #1 can be seen crawling down the switchback from the Gunnell Mine with an empty coal car.

Here is an overall view of the Grand Army mine.  The spur at left serves the ore loading bins, and there is another spur, not shown, for unloading coal into the bins at the rear of the mine.

The caboose and flatcar are sitting on the mainline, and there are two loaded ore cars to be picked up from the Grand Army line.  The loco must be working the switchback to the Whiting Mine while the rest of its train waits.

We'll halt our tour for the day, and next time, maybe we'll follow trains as they head down Chase Gulch to the mills.

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