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The Great Conversion; a few quibbles.

May 18, 2017 10:26AM
dougvv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hi,
>
> My Guess:
>
> The original narrow gauge Denver to Ogden line was
> built without thought to dual gauge. When dual
> gauge was built starting from Denver, it was
> continuous down the front range and into the
> mountains to both Leadville and Alamosa.Narrow
> gauge continued over Tennessee Pass down to Rifle
> (IIRC) where the SG overtook the NG to complete
> the dual gauge line to Grand Junction.
1) 3-rail to Leadville, 1887-1890:
1887: South Pueblo to Coal Mines (via Coal Branch Jct). 1888 Coal Jct to Canyon City (8 miles), Leadville to Eilers (3 miles). 1890 Canyon City to Malta, Malta to Eilers. Note that Leadville area has stand-alone 3-rail (for interchange with CM at the smelters) for nearly 2 years.
2) 3-rail to Alamosa (sort of,) 1887-1899:
1887: Minnequa to Cucharas Jct. 1888: Cuchara Jct to Walsenburg. 1890: Middle rail removed Minnequa to Walsenburg, NG to SG Walsenburg to La Veta. 1899 new SG line La Veta to Wagon Creek Jct,( orig NG line abd) NG to SG Wagon Creek Jct to Alamosa. Note the 9 year gap, no continutity to the Denver-Pueblo line.

>
> When the Rio Grande Junction (IIRC) connected the
> SG line from Rifle to Grand Junction the narrow
> gauge yards had to be dual gauged. I think the
> mainline west to Utah was still NG but being
> readied for conversion.
RGJ construction was all SG and not completed until mid-November of 1890, shortly after the D&RG changed the Malta-Rifle line to SG (no intermediate 3rd rail era). In fact Hagerman of the CM accused D&RG of delaying RGJ construction on purpose.
RGW changed to SG in sections, often with a new line parallel to the existing NG one. Two entirely new sections (bypassing the Price River Canyon near Grassy Trail & the Ruby Cnyon line) were built. The end of the Standard Gauge was at
Provo in 1889 and reached Grand Jct in June of 1890, months ahead of the RGJ. In essence, the RGW was building a new SG railway from Ogden East and operating a steadily shrinking NG from Grand Jct to the West.
Final switchover (Grand Jct to Cravasse[later Mack]) took place in just a few days.
Note that there never was 3-rail from Grand Jct to Montrose, the change over there (1906) was a done the same way as the Montrose-Ridgeway portion of the Ouray Branch in 1952. IE: Put in SG ties and then, in less than a week for the 1906 job, get a big gang to work South from Grand Jct moving the rails to SG width.
Suggested References:
"Rio Grande...to the Pacific"
CRA # 8 "Scenic Line of the World"
CRA #17 (Article on NG history of Tennesse Pass line & changeover)
"The Rio Grande's La Veta Pass Route"
Hank
Subject Author Posted

Dual gauge question

risrwy May 17, 2017 01:23PM

Re: Dual gauge question

bcp May 17, 2017 01:28PM

Re: Dual gauge question

nickgully May 17, 2017 06:38PM

Re: Dual gauge question

risrwy May 18, 2017 03:58AM

Re: Dual gauge question

dougvv May 18, 2017 04:50AM

The Great Conversion; a few quibbles.

hank May 18, 2017 10:26AM



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