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D&RGW NG Mystery Object
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 Posted: Sat Sep 27th, 2014 03:46 pm
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Salada
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As some of you may recall, I have been researching Pagosa Junction & the Pagosa Branch (the RGP & NRR) of the D&RGW San Juan Extension line as a possible RR modelling subject.

I was originally puzzled by the amount of coal scattered around, until I found that Pagosa Junction had been a one-time loco coaling point.

A life-long Pagosa born elderly resident recalled that :
 
" 2 or 3 coal cars were pushed up a ramp & unloaded by hand to a 'bucket crane' for coaling the locos ".

This 'ramp' doesn't appear on any photos post 1947 but does appear on a photo said to be dated 1945 though I suspect that date to be incorrect. Unfortunately that photo won't download off the internet for some reason.

I have now found a Photo : Taken 1901, a year after the RGP&N branch opened :





The track-side 'crane' contraption is almost exactly where I believe the loco coaling point was but WHAT IS IT ??.

I welcome any/all suggestions.

From a mere dot on GoogleEarth Pagosa Junction has turned out to have been quite an important RR location -

All East-West trains once crossed here;

The largest car capacity sidings of anywhere between Durango & Chama;

A former coalmine & loading point beside the branch track;

US Post Office, School, Church, Hotel, Restaurants, Stables, Timber (lumber) Mill, Saturday night dances, 2 General stores + various other retailers & a US Voting Precinct -

- all now completely vanished. Current official US Census population ... Zero !.


Regards               Michael

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 Posted: Sat Sep 27th, 2014 11:58 pm
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jtrain
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Michael,

I don't know...

...But if I had to take a complete guess, I'd say it was a mail catcher.

This device would hold a sac extending from one or two arms, hovering near the railroad track. Railroad Post Office cars, or 'RPO' cars, had a catching mechanism that allowed crews to snag the mail sacs without stopping or slowing down.

Here's a picture of the device from the US government Archives:



When not in use, both arms would be down and out of the way, giving it a similar profile to the mystery object in your post.

--James:java:

Last edited on Sun Sep 28th, 2014 12:01 am by jtrain



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 Posted: Sun Sep 28th, 2014 12:35 am
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pmkramer
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Michael,

I'd recommend asking this question on the ngdiscussion.net forum. I'll bet you have your answer pretty quick. I read there daily and have learned a lot. I think it would be quite useful if you're researching the San Juan extension.

Patrick



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 Posted: Sun Sep 28th, 2014 01:04 pm
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Bernd
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Hey Michael,

take a look right here on our own forum. The Great Woodie ( :cb:) has a picture posted of probably that coal bucket.

http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=4183&forum_id=19

I found that by doing a Google search and clicking on images after typing in "railroad coal bucket loader".

Bernd

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 Posted: Sun Sep 28th, 2014 08:11 pm
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jtrain
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Bernd hit it perfectly. If you look closely, you can see large metal buckets that would hold several hundred pounds of coal. That also explains the support beam extending from behind the hoist, t would have been used to keep the whole contraption upright via leverage by having anchors in the ground.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2014 08:19 am
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fallen
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This may be the one in the original photo, looks like a shot taken from just a little closer to the water tank

Photo from
pagosasrailroads.blogspot.com
Via Yahoo search for images of "Pagosa junction"



Frank

Attachment: image.jpg (Downloaded 101 times)

Last edited on Tue Sep 30th, 2014 07:17 am by fallen

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 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2014 02:55 pm
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Herb Kephart
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There you go Salada

Get busy!

Gronk



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 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2014 10:40 pm
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Mr Stumpy
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Michael...I think your "Photo 1" was NOT taken in 1947, but in fact many years later.

See that "junk car" sitting over to the left with a rusty top and no wheels? That's a '47 or '48 Pontiac or Oldsmobile. A brand new car hardly looks like that!

Stumpy in Ahia:old dude:

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 Posted: Tue Sep 30th, 2014 06:08 pm
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Helmut
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Just a typo, I assume. IIRC that photo was taken in 1967.

Last edited on Tue Sep 30th, 2014 06:08 pm by Helmut



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 Posted: Wed Oct 1st, 2014 07:42 pm
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Salada
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My thanks to you all for replying.

James: a mail catcher unlikely as all trains used to stop here, you're right about the large buckets.

Patrick: I'll try the ngdicussion website.

Bernd: good try ! but wrong type of bucket crane.

Frank: EUREKA !! that is definitely Pagosa Junction & the same contraption. Viewed from a different angle I can now understand how it looks and how it works. Should be possible to build a reasonable model of it.

The buckets (kibbles, skips etc.) are surprisingly large, possibly 5 - 6 cwt capacity. They look very like mineshaft kibbles to my eye - there was a coalmine about 4.5 miles along the Branch with a rail conection - possibly a direct supply ?.

Mr Stumpy: I'm not an expert on US autos but I take your point. The photo was supposedly catalogued as 1947.

Mr Grumpy: Photos of finished model should be on FR sometime this winter. I suppose you want to see a working model, a la Woodie style ?.


Regards & Thanks Michael

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