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Modeling 'The Gilpin Tram' - pt.I
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 Posted: Mon Jul 11th, 2016 05:03 am
   
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Keith Pashina
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NOTES ON GILPIN TRAM ORE CARS

Back in Posts 892 and 896, there was some discussion of the Gilpin Tram ore cars.

First, let's look at a typical ore car:


This string of ore cars is on top of Quartz Hill, near "The Patch." The ore cars were basically metal boxes bolted to wooden end platforms - there was not a continuous sill or beam extending from end to end. This construction caused many of the cars to noticeably sag in the center after years of use


Here is a drawing from the C&S, dated 6-28-08, showing more details of car construction

After the Colorado & Southern acquired the Gilpin Tramway, they probably took a look at what they had purchased, and got busy planning how to improve things. There are two C&S drawings that show this. The first proposed revision would have been to add a steel channel side sill the full length of the car. The drawing showing this change is shown below:


Here is one of the cars when new at Lima Locomotive works - you can see the simple construction used on these cars


This is a C&S drawing of the proposed change, to add a metal channel attached to the sides of the wood platforms and running the full length of the car. I could not read the date on the drawing, but it appears to be more or less the same vintage as the original ore car drawing shown above. I have never seen any record of these modifications having ever been built

There was also another proposed car that would have been a new, all-steel, larger capacity car with 20" diameter wheels. This car would have had all-metal end platforms and ore hopper, and yet still look much like the typical ore car, only bigger. This car also was never built. I know I own a copy of this drawing, but have misplaced it for now, and don't have a scan of it. I will post it once I find it!

Keith

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 Posted: Mon Jul 11th, 2016 05:09 am
   
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Ray Dunakin
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I've always been amazed that anyone ever thought that was a good design for a car hauling heavy loads.



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 Posted: Mon Jul 11th, 2016 05:11 am
   
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W C Greene
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Keith, someone asked me several years ago about why I painted the Silver City ore cars an "intermediate blue" color when they were "probably" red oxide, etc. The blue color came from an old SCPA&M post card photo that had been "colorized" way back when-the ore cars were blue and the caboose was a dark red (caboose red?). I thought these would be good colors to use on my rolling stock...nobody alive knows what color they were anyway! A friend used red oxide on his SC models and when he "loaned" them to me, I kept their color. Makes a neat train with some red and some blue cars trailed by a red caboose. The flats, etc. are unpainted, weathered wood which I suppose is OK also.

My 2 cents...
Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Jul 11th, 2016 05:41 am
   
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Keith Pashina
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Woodie,

Well, you had an image showing the light blue cars - perhaps the tinting of the old photo was based on what the actual color looked like, and not an artist's imagination. Reds were very common, too, but so was black or a combination thereof. That is one part of narrow gauge modeling I have always enjoyed - typical limited amounts of information available, so we modelers get to do a lot of fun research and educated guessing.

That was an odd design for Gilpin Cars to begin with. I always wondered if the Silver City guys took a look at the GT cars, and decided to build an improved car. The Silver City cars certainly were a lot more robust - too bad none survived.

Keith

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 Posted: Tue Jul 12th, 2016 04:30 am
   
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dapenguin
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The original drawing was from Lima not from a car maker. Any one got drawings for the SC car??

Keith Pashina wrote:

That was an odd design for Gilpin Cars to begin with. I always wondered if the Silver City guys took a look at the GT cars, and decided to build an improved car. The Silver City cars certainly were a lot more robust - too bad none survived.

Keith



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 Posted: Tue Jul 12th, 2016 05:32 am
   
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W C Greene
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Keith published drawings for SC cars in the May/June 1994 NG&SL Gazette. As far as known, they are the ONLY drawings of the cars. They resembled the Gilpin cars but they has steel frames with the ore bins supported on them. It appears that the cars were of welded steel, no rivets to count!

Woodie



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 Posted: Tue Jul 12th, 2016 06:25 am
   
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Keith Pashina
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Actually, the Silver City car drawings were in the May/June 1992 Gazette. I have never seen any other drawings of these cars.

I wonder if the Silver City cars might have been using some common design parts? The reason I say this is that there is a photo in book, Rails of the Couer D'Alene, which shows a 3' gauge mining line with a train of ore cars that remind me of the Silver City cars. Has anyone else seen this? I don't know much about the design and origin of either railroad's cars, but the design certainly seems robust and well-thought out.

Keith

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 Posted: Mon Jul 25th, 2016 07:02 am
   
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Keith Pashina
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MORE NOTES ON GILPIN TRAM ORE CARS


I had mentioned previously that the C&S had proposed to build new ore cars, this time all-steel and of a larger size. To my knowledge, these cars were never built, but it's fun to speculate what would have happened if they had. This car was BIG - about 3' longer than the other ore cars, and with correspondingly larger capacity


In Northfield, a town about 50 miles south of where I live, a gentleman named Jim Machacek had created a 2’ gauge railroad in his backyard. Every October, he would have an open house, and give everyone a chance to see his collection ride around the loop of track he had laid. Jim unfortunately passed away 2 years ago, but he had accumulated several locomotives, including two steam, and a gas, and a diesel loco. I believe the cars and locos may have been obtained from former East German and Czechoslovakia industrial lines.  This collection has since been sold, and the local newspaper reported the equipment was going to Silver Dollar City, a theme park in Branson, Missouri.





A view of an October 2004 excursion train on Jim Mahachek's 2' gauge railroad in Minnesota


Jim was also interested in the Gilpin Tram, and built a full-size replica of one of their "intermediate" version cars. This car was painted black, with unpainted wood end platforms. For trucks, he used surplus trucks from one of the European industrial lines. It was a lot of fun to ride behind in Jim's homemade passenger coach, watching the ore car rattle and bang along the tracks, and imagining what the real thing would have been like 100 years ago!
Keith



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 Posted: Mon Jul 25th, 2016 09:59 am
   
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Ray Dunakin
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Now that's cool!



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 Posted: Mon Jul 25th, 2016 05:19 pm
   
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Herb Kephart
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Lots of work invested there. Just building a circle of track must have been a monumental job.

I hope that it doesn't get scattered eventually.

Problem with steamers is boiler inspection and rules--if not for state, for insurance purposes. If you charge for rides, you tangle with the FRA also.

But very cool, non the less.


Herb




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