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Re: Making up trains at Cumbres (Loco conjecture & diagram)

June 02, 2016 02:37PM avatar
John West Wrote:
--------------------------------------------------
> . . . Here is my theory based on bits and pieces
> of memory and a few pix. The first Cumbres turn
> would set its cut out into the west end of the long
> siding (or long storage track as it was called in
> orders). The second turn would set out its cut in
> the east end of the long siding. The next day
> when the third cut arrived it would stop on the
> mainline, the helper would cut out and run
> around the cut on the short siding, and the
> caboose would use gravity to roll down to a
> joint with the cut on the mainline . . .
>
> I'm curious is anyone here has any more de-
> finitive information about all this.


I can't add much, John -

Except that it seems more logical to me that if three turns were planned, the first turn (most likely a long string of empties*) would run through on the long 'storage' siding, leaving its cars EAST of the crossover so that the road engine of the second turn could leave its cars on the WEST end of the long 'storage' siding and "escape" through the crossover.  Otherwise - because of the orientation of the crossover - in order to leave its cars on the east end of the long siding, the second turn's road engine would have to pull the entire cut past the east switch and then push it back uphill onto the 'storage' track.   On the following revision of a portion of Ernie's map of Cumbres Pass circa 1965, the first cut is shown in red, the second in green and the third - shortly after its arrival - in blue. The helper engine of the first two turns would leave the caboose on the main a little east of the west switch of the wye (red 'X'), turn on the wye and head home to Chama.  Meanwhile the road engine and switch crew would position and tie down their string of cars, then the road engine would turn on the wye and head home with the switch crew in the caboose.
2001-Cumbres-Turns.jpg

{Added 11:15 p.m.}  As pointed out by JBWX (above), after the third turn arrived on the morning of the following day,** the road engine would uncouple, move forward, and back through the crossover to the second turn's cut while the helper was executing a flying drop of the caboose onto the rear of the third turn's string and then running around it using the short north siding and heading off to Alamosa.  The road engine would then pull the second turn's cars through the crossover and back them on the main to couple to the third cut, then run down the main to the east switch, back up the storage siding to the first cut, pull the first string out onto the main, and - often with some difficulty - back the first turn up the main to couple to the now-connected second and third turns.  In the early sixties, when the RR was still busy hauling supplies to Farmington and oil from Chama to Alamosa, a well-known photographer (not Ansel Adams, although it certainly reflects his style) caught this view of a re-assembled three-section train heading east past the tank at Los Pinos:
610900-jbwx.jpg

If only two turns were planned then the first cut - if not too long - could be left on the west end of the storage track.  (Remember there was no highway across the tracks back in those 'olden days'; the road, such as it was, passed under the bridge west of the water column.)

- Roosso (Notso?) Loco

  * As in this Paul Orlow shot of an October, 1961 Cumbres Turn from Tom Gildersleeve's vast collection:
611018-po-55-alt.jpg

** By the early sixties, traffic to Farmington had dropped off to the point that the San Juan Extension was no longer a 24/7 operation, and helpers were no longer stationed at Chama.  IIRC, the usual practice was to run to Chama from both Alamosa and Durango on Monday, run the westbound to Durango and two Cumbres Turns on Tuesday, and then a round trip to Farmington for the Durango crew on Wednesday.  The crew from Alamosa would make their third Cumbres turn on Wednesday morning, couple the three cuts together as described above, and head for home.  The same pattern was repeated on Thursday - Friday - Saturday, and everybody got a day off on Sunday.  If eastbound traffic wasn't too heavy, the second Cumbres turn on Tuesday (or Friday) would be combined with the first turn, and the road engine would pull the train on to Alamosa that day, as there would be no need for a third Cumbres turn on Wednesday (or Saturday).



Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2018 04:31PM by Russo Loco.
Subject Author Posted

Making up trains at Cumbres

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Re: Making up trains at Cumbres

John Cole June 02, 2016 12:09PM

Re: Making up trains at Cumbres (Loco conjecture & diagram) Attachments

Russo Loco June 02, 2016 02:37PM

Re: Making up trains at Cumbres (Loco conjecture & diagram)

Wayne Hoskin June 02, 2016 03:45PM

Re: Making up trains at Cumbres (Loco conjecture & diagram)

Greg Scholl June 03, 2016 06:48AM

Re: Making up trains at Cumbres (Loco conjecture & diagram)

Chris Walker June 02, 2016 05:42PM

Re: Making up trains at Cumbres (Loco conjecture & diagram)

Russo Loco June 02, 2016 11:22PM

Re: Making up trains at Cumbres (Loco conjecture & diagram)

rehunn June 02, 2016 06:03PM

A change to my original theory

John West June 02, 2016 10:53PM

Re: A change to an original theory (science marches on . . . )

Johnson Barr June 02, 2016 11:31PM

Re: Making up trains at Cumbres (Loco conjecture & diagram)

Tomstp June 03, 2016 09:02AM

Re: Making up trains at Cumbres (Loco conjecture & diagram)

CharlieMcCandless June 03, 2016 11:47AM

Re: Making up trains at Cumbres

John C June 06, 2016 07:26PM



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