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Some Ernie-graphs

December 27, 2018 11:45AM avatar
My slide filing system is pretty much a disaster. I went looking for some of the many slides that Ernie Robart sent me over the years, and it was at best very frustrating. Then I opened up my desk drawer and found several plastic protector pages with odd-ball slides from various projects. The last page was a handful from Ernie when he came up to see the fall deadhead train to Antonito in Oct., 1994.

I don't know how he found out about it, more than likely I called him. He and Joe Hereford showed up that morning to shoot a spectacular trip up the hill in fresh snow.

It had been a wet, snowy fall. A pretty serious fall storm blew in the Friday before the last scheduled train. Saturdays train (Oct 15) had problems with downed trees. Saturday night it snowed about 6" in Chama. The highway over the hill was a mess with a jack-knifed truck on Windy Point. The crossings were full of ice. We decided it was not worth the risk to put a trainload of passengers on the ground, so the last day of the season was annulled.

We needed to get the Chama passenger fleet over the hill for winter work. Monday, it started to clear and the MOW guys went out and cleaned all the crossings and switch frogs they could find. Another storm was due in a couple of days. We had a narrow window of opportunity.

Tues. October 18, we sent the train east. Included in the consist of 10 passenger cars was diesel 19 being deadheaded to Antonito for shop switcher duty. There were two dump gons full if cinders that needed to disposed of before winter. For reasons I don't recall, 0306 was along too. 489 was to be road engine with 463 helping. Because of the snow, plow-equipped 489 would lead the way to Cumbres. At the top, 463, dump gons and caboose, would be set out, turned and head back to Chama, dumping the cinders along the way. 489 would continue east with the train.

This was a heavy full tonnage drag for the two engines, add to that the cold made the train even harder to pull. We beat the two engines as hard as possible. Our average speed was about 7 mph. It was as long and hard as I have ever beat an engine, and actually made it without stalling.

On with the Erniegraphs:

489 & 463 getting ready to head east. Looks like my fireman, John Coker is oiling around 463, getting a video taken of him.
489.463 chama 10.18.940000 ps resize.JPG

Out of town we go. Ernie got a unique angle of the backside of Jukes Tree.
489.463 chama river 10.18.940000 ps resize.JPG

Beyond Lobato, we are down on our hands and knees at 5-6 mph. Interestingly, it was not a slippery trip up the hill. The engines dug in and pulled with all they had.
489.463 e of lobato 10.18.940000 ps resize.JPG

The second road crossing. The pace of the train can be seen in 463's exhaust. While 489's is a pretty constant stream, you can make out 3 distinct "chuffs" out of 463 before it all gets enveloped in the cloud.
489.463 2nd xing 10.18.940000 ps resize.JPG

2 hours and 10 minutes after blasting out of Chama we struggled into Cumbres. The only stop we made was to water both engines at Cresco. Here, 463, the 2 dump gons and 0306 are set out on the south siding across the highway, while 489 gets her air test before heading east to Antonito.
489.463 cumbres 10.18.940000 ps resize.JPG

After 489 pulled out, 463 turned, reassembled the train and headed back to Chama, dumping the gons west of Cresco.

The Official Story:

Tues, Oct. 18, 1994
In 800am
Extra 489-463 East

463 - Knoob, Coker
489 - Atkinson, Evans

2 loads cinders, 0306, #19 dead in train, 10 pass cars
419 tons

Dp Ch 1050, water both eng at Cresco,
Ar Cu 1:10

Turn 463.

Extra 463 West
2 loads cinders, 0306
Dp CU 2:44, pump cinders @ MP 336.4
Ar Ch 510pm

Out 6:15 pm, 10 1/4 hrs

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/2018 08:23PM by Earl.
Subject Author Posted

Some Ernie-graphs Attachments

Earl December 27, 2018 11:45AM

Re: Some Ernie-graphs

Tomstp December 27, 2018 12:25PM

Re: Some Ernie-graphs

guymonmd December 27, 2018 02:01PM

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cdaspit December 27, 2018 03:11PM

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Earl December 27, 2018 05:32PM

Re: Some Ernie-graphs

Tomstp December 27, 2018 08:20PM

Re: An Appropriate Term . . .

Russo Loco December 27, 2018 09:17PM

Re: Some Ernie-graphs

mark e czerwinski December 28, 2018 05:13AM

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BrianJ December 30, 2018 07:01AM

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