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Modeling 'The Gilpin Tram' - pt.II
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 Posted: Wed Oct 9th, 2019 03:41 am
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Keith Pashina
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This harp switch stand is on the Gilpin Tram, on the lead to the stone warming house across the creek from the Black Hawk engine hose.
This has two diamond-shaped targets, and both may be the same dark color - perhaps a red?






To model the harp switchstands, I tapped into the actual throws I use for my turnouts.

Woodie Greene described his methods, which are similar.
However, whereas my HOn30 turnouts are thrown with two fingers on the throw knob,
the large scale that Woodie models in probably requires two brawny men to throw!


This turnout throw is not my idea - several other modelers have done this,
and recently, a good writeup on doing this in HOn30 is Gerd Ziller's 
Waldenbahner Blog.

A steel or aluminum rod (I use aluminum rod intended to hang tracks for the suspended ceiling tile grids)
throws a DPDT switch, I use a toggle switch, and Woodie Green uses a slide switch, I think, and both work well).
The DPDT with also limits the throw - there is a definite stop at each of the pulled rod.

A connector on the rod has a 0.020" spring steel wire sticking up through the baseboard, in a pre-cut slot, and throws the throw rod of the turnout.
I use the European style terminal strips for this - I purchase them in a "back" of 6 pairs of wire terminals -
these can be cut into single pairs of wire terminals, and the slot intended for the wire coincides with the diameter of the aluminum rod.
So, by loosening and tightening the connector with the spring steel rod, I can easily adjust the turnout throw.


This long-winded explanation sounds more complicated than the actual construction - these go together fast!





So, the little plastic Precision Scale harp stand is assembled more or less according to directions.
Two changes I make - there are little "pegs" on the vertical staff intended to drop into slots in the harp frame - we don't need that, and I cut them off.
This allows the stand to swing back freely.
And, in the bottom of the vertical staff, I put in and bend a piece of 28 gauge steel wire that will connect to the throw rod of the turnout.
The steel wire is soft, bends easy, and a natural dull gray color.


By using this method, the plastic switchstand is mounted to the layout (I just glue them on the ties),
adjusted, and the wire drops into a hole in the end of the throw rod.
The harp switch stand just swings back and forth as the turnout is thrown with the wire rod.

Although the plastic harp switch stand is quite delicate, it doesn't matter,
since the rod and DPDT under the layout frame do all the work,
and the plastic stand is "along for the ride."






If you want to build your own harp switchstands, the "Colorado" style ones can be rather elaborate to build.
However, the East Broad Top Railroad also used harp switchstands on some of their turnouts.
This stand was on a three-way stub switch in the Orbisonia, Pennsylvania yards.
This style is very simple - a one pice harp frame and simple staff and connecting rod construction -
maybe someone wants to give one of these a try? 
David Hoffman offered non-operating models of these in HO, in brass
.


Keith


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 Posted: Mon Oct 14th, 2019 07:26 pm
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Keith Pashina
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FINISHING UP (mostly) THE BLACK HAWK TOWN SCENE



Since I had previously completed the town structures, roads, greenery, and switch stands,
it was time to add more details and people to populate the town. 

This part of the hobby is fun to do,
and it's fun to see a modeled scene come to life.






I finished building 5 wagons to be plopped down in Black Hawk.
Three wagons were former Jordan Miniatures models, and two came from GME.

All of the horses were plastic, and were from Jordan - they are beautifully sculpted models.

It's easier for me to gang up multiple similar projects and finish them all at the same time






This is an example of an HO Jordan kit, but they are no longer produced.
This model is their "light delivery wagon" and the decals are an Art Griffin set.

The wagon is set onto a piece of double-sided adhesive tape to hold everything together,
while I fit on a figure and rig up some lines to resemble the harnesses
.





The wagons add life to the town scene.





An empty ore wagon is headed back up into the hills for  another load,
while the bakery delivery wagon at left is being loaded.

In the left rear, a "standard" delivery wagon is coming into town,
while at right rear the "light delivery" wagon is headed out of town
.





Little scenes with figures add interest to the town,
and here, two ladies are discussing local events in front of the Little Market.

This store was based on a real store that was in Black Hawk,
but condensed to fit my space



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 Posted: Mon Oct 14th, 2019 07:35 pm
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Keith Pashina
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Here's another view of the street activity in Black Hawk.





Further down the street, a buggy passes by two loafers in front of the Chinese Laundry.

The Blossom Restaurant has been used on several layouts since the early 1980s.
The signage came from a Charlie Getz sign set.






Meanwhile, in the back of the Chinese Laundry, the proprietess is hard at work.
The figures and laundry are from some old Weston models I was given several years ago.





I always liked this scene - the bakery building likely had colorful painted lettering on it's front,
and here the proud owners and their employees are posing for the camera.

The wagon is unique, too, and was lettered for the bakery and may have been used to deliver freshly baked bread.
This image is from the Colorado Historical Society, Western History Collection, image 
X-18666





I modeled the previous DPL historic photo, and here's my result.
The bakery building is compressed from the prototype - I used a Grandt Line Reese St. home kit as the basis for the model.

The bakery wagon is a special run from GME,
and Jerry Wilson, another Gilpin Tram modeler, designed it based on the previous photo
.


There are still a few more details to be added to the town scene,
and I have the parts and pieces stored in my "round suit" bin,
and will get put on the layout ... someday



Keith




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 Posted: Mon Oct 14th, 2019 08:07 pm
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W C Greene
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Keith, thanks for the photo of the EBT switchstand.

I wrote to PSC about O scale brass/plastic ones,
but I fear that the price for 20 or so will be $%^,
so I will attempt to make an EBT-type stand.

Geez, I wish you had not shown your switches with the harps,
Grrrrrrrr!

Woodie




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 Posted: Tue Oct 15th, 2019 11:19 am
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Steven B
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Wow, just wow.

Nice work. 





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 Posted: Tue Oct 15th, 2019 11:49 am
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Tom Ward
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Keith - this is all such awesome work. 
Really nice. 

It was this thread that got me to join Free Rails in the first place,
because of the historical write-up and the artistic modeling. 

Also thanks for the info on the turnout controls. 
I think I'll use this technique on my layout.

- Tom




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 Posted: Mon Nov 11th, 2019 07:54 pm
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Keith Pashina
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BONANZA TUNNEL & MILL - ANOTHER LOOK

Way back in Part 1 of this thread, we took a look at the sights along the Chase Gulch grade,
where the Gilpin Tram climbed up a long, steep grade from the Black Hawk engine house,
to get elevation to reach the mining districts above Central City.


I recently got back from a short vacation trip to Colorado, to visit friends, and of course, visit Gilpin County again.
Right before I arrived, it had snowed many inches and gotten cold, but that wasn't any problem,
the snow changed the appearance and was a nice contrast to how the same locations looked in summer or early fall weather. 


I took a closer look at the Bonanza Tunnel and Mill site.
This mining site was situated maybe 50' below the Gilpin Tram grade located high above, along the rocky slopes of Chase Gulch.

There appears to have been short spur above the Bonanza and the nearby Oliver Mills,
so possibly materials were loaded or unloaded here.
Neither of these two mills had spurs running directly to them,
nor is there any record of any Gilpin Tram to or from them
.





This image from the Denver Public Library, Western History Collection,
shows the Bonanza Tunnel and Mill in Chase Gulch,
with the Gilpin Tram grade located much higher above on the hillside.
 
The actual grade crossed right to left next to the upper mine and dump,
that can be seen near the left margin of this photo






This map gives an overall picture of the route through Chase Gulch and along Winnebago Hill.
The Bonanza Mill and Tunnel would have been located to the left of where the Oliver Mill is shown
.





Like many mills in the area, the Bonanza Mill made extensive use of stone for walls.
These ruins are next to a dirt road that winds up Chase Gulch.






The more finished spaces had plastered stone walls.
The red brick marks where fire brick were installed for chimneys.
 It appears some of the buildings here were one-story housing 






The tunnel mouth is protected with a steel gate,
but looking inside, we can see the substantial tunnel width, some mine track, and an air supply pipe.


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 Posted: Mon Nov 11th, 2019 08:03 pm
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Keith Pashina
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A WALK ALONG CHASE GULCH

As part of my recent Colorado vacation, my wife and I enjoyed a hike along the Chase Gulch roadbed of the Gilpin Tram.
A lot has changed here - whereas the roadbed was mostly unattended and partly on private property before,
the "local authorities" - I assume City and maybe County government, have acquired parts of this area for public use.


The Chase Gulch grade is actively being worked on by contractors, and being converted to a public walking trail.





A typical segment of the Chase Gulch grade includes lengthy dry-stacked stone retaining walls supporting the grade.
The south-facing hillside has been mostly cleaned of the recent snowfall by the sun and wind
.





This segment of the grade almost looks precarious,
the narrowness of the grade against the rocky mountainside is readily visible.

It's fun to imagine what a Shay with a train of ore cars would have looked like chuffing up the grade.






As we continue down the grade, we get a nice vista of Black Hawk,
this vantage point is similar to several photos taken 120 years ago from this area,
but I think I prefer the views back then to the ones from today!






The contractor has a temporary bridge across Clear Creek to get equipment in to work on the old grade up Chase Gulch.
The grade has been cleared of the brush and small trees, and covered with wood chips.
The contractor was constructing a new parking lot and retaining wall,
on the former warming house site that was across from the GT engine house.

They are also preparing to install a pedestrian bridge that will extend over the CR 119 highway,
and give easy access to this trail.
I will need to visit again next year and see what the finished trail looks like



Keith


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 Posted: Mon Nov 11th, 2019 08:29 pm
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elminero67
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Great pics, as usual. 

I think the Gilpin probably has as many, or more, dry-stacked retaining walls,
of any narrow gauge lines than I can think of off the top of my head.

It speaks for the workmanship that they are intact well over a century later.




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 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 05:38 pm
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Monte
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Keith,

Another blog of great info.  

The photo of the interior wall - provides good info.
If you have more, would like see them also. 

How did Joe C, look in his birthday HAT at dinner. 
 
Again, thanks for the info.

Monte




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