View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2021 04:12 am
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Keith Pashina


Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 798

The Cumbres & Toltec is a well-known operating line,
running on the former Denver and Rio Grande main,
between Chama, New Mexico, and Antonito, Colorado.

This is a much more substantial railroad than the Gilpin Tram.
There is a much more built-up right of way, and larger locomotives, etc.

However, this line should be on everyone's to-do list,
because the whole experience immerses you,
into narrow-gauge, mountain railroading.

Here, the heavy working of the locomotive is a joy to hear,
the mountainous scenery moves by at a sedate 10-12 miles per hour,
and the scent of coal smoke drifts back through the cars. 

I am not intending to describe a tour of the railroad and its features,
but I also got a lot of ideas from this line,
that I could include on my own modeling of the 2' Gilpin Tram,
and the modeled, but fictitious, Gilpin, James Peak, and Middle Park.

The right of way was lined with former telegraph or telephone poles.
The wires had been removed, but a few still had insulators in place.
Adding a telegraph line along my mainline would be well worth modeling.

I was fortunate to ride the parlor car, which is coupled to the rear.
I rode the platform for much of the day ! 

Note how the rock cut visually divides the scene.

If I added one similar on my layout,
it is a great way to separate two separate locations. 

Also, note another ubiquitous telegraph pole.

Trees can also divide a scene,
and they don't need to be all that tall, either.

This was on a very tangled, curvy section of the line,
which was is noted as Whiplash Curve.


Another detail,
piles of discarded railroad ties where ties have been replaced.

The Cumbres and Toltec is well-maintained, but the Gilpin Tram,
had track workers and may have had similar details, too.

This is at the top of Tanglefoot Curve,
you gotta love the place names on the narrow gauge !

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