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Modeling 'The Gilpin Tram' - pt.II
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 Posted: Sun Dec 5th, 2021 01:13 am
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Bob Westerman
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In the photo below, the C&S gondolas are waiting to be loaded with ore.

Where did they go from here, and how were they unloaded ?


The Gilpin ore cars make sense, the ore falls out the bottom.

Were gondolas unloaded by hand ?


Keith Pashina wrote:
The Polar Star Mill and Ore Chutes





Of interest here is the 2' gauge Gilpin Tram spur to the ore chutes,
and the trestle for unloading ore into the Polar Star Mill.
At the ore chutes, there are 4, 3' gauge C&S gondolas,
waiting to be loaded with ore from the ore chutes.

One Gilpin Tram ore car sits on the ore chute dump track above.
There are 8 loaded Gilpin Tram ore cars to the left of the C&S gondolas.
They are sitting on a 2' gauge track that seems to be used
for ore car storage while waiting to be unloaded.

Immediately above the Polar Star Mill is the Eagle Mill.
The Eagle Mill was served only by the C&S,
and never by the Gilpin Tram






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Bob W
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 Posted: Mon Dec 6th, 2021 08:06 am
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corv8
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Bob Westerman wrote: 
The Gilpin ore cars make sense, the ore falls out the bottom.

Were gondolas unloaded by hand ?


That's a question I have for a long time.


Many craftsman kits of "ore cars" have a solid bottom,

mostly with truss rods,

so it's unlikely they "forgot" some sort of unloading devices.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/55122337@N06/36863895101/in/album-72157678259111294/




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 Posted: Mon Dec 6th, 2021 09:35 am
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Robert Shufflebotham
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Robert


They used air slushers to help muck gondola cars. 

It mucked 80% to 90% of the car.


The rest was not mucked,

and hauled back up the hill and refilled.


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 Posted: Mon Dec 6th, 2021 04:01 pm
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Michael M
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A little bit more information please ?

What is an 'air slusher' ?





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 Posted: Mon Dec 6th, 2021 05:20 pm
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Robert Shufflebotham
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An air slasher is a 2 or 3 drum winch powered by compressed air,

that drags a slusher bucket back and forth with a cable. 


I am a mine engineer by trade.


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 Posted: Mon Dec 6th, 2021 07:42 pm
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Michael M
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Interesting.


I found some images of an air slusher. 

Basically an air-powered drum with a cable.


Any videos out there that show the operation in action ?




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 Posted: Mon Dec 6th, 2021 07:45 pm
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Robert Shufflebotham
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Videos usually do not work well where there are slushers.

Too bad air.



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 Posted: Tue Dec 7th, 2021 07:29 am
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corv8
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Michael M wrote:
I found some images of an air slusher. 

Basically an air-powered drum with a cable.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2m2WADEm9o


Not in context with unloading a RR car,

but at least you see drum + bucket in operation.




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 Posted: Sun Dec 19th, 2021 01:44 am
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Jon Dierksheide
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Great video !  Thanks for sharing.  I have never seen a slusher in action. 
I thought they were used in mines, too.

Basically an air powered winch with two cables on pullies.  One to pull the slusher blade back via a pully at the face (end) of a tunnel, and another to pull it forward where is would pull a scoop of ore.
 
What little I know of mining was that they used them in a tunnel at the bottom of a stope (mining area where the ore was).  So the ore would slide down the floor of the stope (usually at an angle) to the haulage tunnel. The slusher could travel the length of the tunnel at the bottom of the stope and pull the ore to an ore chute in the floor of the tunnel where is would be loaded onto ore cars or trucks at a lower haulage adit/tunnel. 

I suppose it was cheaper to run a cable than to lay tracks, and build ore chutes, plus it could be easily moved over to another part of the mine, or if the stope was flatter.
(as you could see in the video when he moved the cable to a pulley.)

There may have been some experiments about 1900, and "In 1912 Ingersoll-Rand introduced a compact, simple, inexpensive, portable, pneumatic hoist engine called the “Little Tugger.”   
https://www.mininghistoryassociation.org/Journal/MHJ-v22-2015-Reynolds.pdf

I know there are images in Abandonded and Forgotten Places in a few mines, but I don't recall which one.
https://www.youtube.com/c/AbandonedandForgottenPlaces/videos

They mentioned that they could tell a slusher had been used because there was a trough in the tunnel floor about the width of a slusher that it ran in, but usually in mines after the Gilpin would have been gone.

I have never seen one used to unload ore cars, but they could have been.  The machines are small and easy to overlook.  On a wooden floored gondola, it seems like it would have torn up the floor over time.

In any case they weren't available until about WWI, and the Gilpin was gone about then.  So, I assumed hand shoveling.  The Rio Grande had coal towers and some drop bottom gondolas, but the DSP&P had coal docks (basically a table - see one at Alpine) that I assume was loaded and unloaded by hand shoveling.  Better then shovel loading a tender from the ground!  

They also had 3 coal bins (one at Como) that I assume were all hand shoveled to load them.  The benefit for the C&S was that tenders could be quickly loaded by gravity, and the coal cars were shoved up a hill to so the coal just had to be shoveled out of the gondola and into the bins.  Better than a table, but cheaper, than a DRG&W Chama style coaling tower.

I assume the same for the ore cars. Labor was cheap. The only other thing I can think of, is if the gondola sides were lifted off at the smelter, but that seems unlikely. That the Gilpin had drop bottom steel cars and the transfer siding seems too have been somewhat cutting edge technology. 

Steel hopper cars for coal weren't introduced until the 1890s.


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 Posted: Sun Dec 19th, 2021 03:41 am
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Robert Shufflebotham
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Compressed air in mining applications was first used in the 1850s !

It was used throughout the mining industry,
to slush, drill, pump and ventilate throughout the 1800s. 

The reason is it is the cheapest and least dangerous way
to transport power in a confined space. 

Once compressed air is spent  it can be breathed. 

They would have had a hard time hand mucking ore cars,
because of the weight of shot gold ore.


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