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Alamosa February 6 1962

June 09, 2019 03:57PM
My dad, Milton Blouch started working for the D&RGW RR in 1936.
He had a 31 year career working at various locations as section laborer and section foreman from 1936 to February 1968.

During this time the railroad was constantly changing and evolving into more efficient operation practices. Many sections were abolished forcing personnel to constantly rebid jobs, exercise seniority rights, and move to new locations. Each section was assigned a specific section of track for maintenance. Assigned mileage varied though the years. When a section was abolished, adjoining sections absorbed that territory.

In 1949 my dad had not exercised his section foreman rights properly. As a result he lost the section foreman seniority he had accumulated up to 1949. A new section foreman seniority date was established in 1949. This, of course, placed him at the bottom of the section foreman seniority roster.

From 1949 to 1954 we lived at Woody Creek, Colorado, on the Aspen branch. The Woody Creek section was abolished in 1954. My dad was the successful bidder for section foreman at Gypsum, Colorado, west of Eagle Colorado.

In 1958 the Gypsum section was abolished. My mom and dad decided not to move around anymore and purchased a home at Gypsum. From then on my dad would stay at whatever location he was assigned and drive home on weekends. In order for my Dad to stay in touch with his family he continued to be a very descriptive letter writer.

In April 1961 all lines east of Grand Junction, of the Grand Junction Division, and all lines of the Pueblo Division were combined to form the Colorado Division. Due to sections closing and being bumped from his job my dad worked at many different locations. On February 5, 1962, while working as section foreman at De Beque, Colorado, he was bumped by a senior foreman. At that time it was necessary for him to bump a junior foreman. As a result he was required to bump the foreman at Sublette, a man named Barber. It was quite a distance from Gypsum and of course was a location that required him to spend a lot of time away from home.

During the time my dad was working at Sublette he wrote letters to my mom and to me while I was stationed in Germany. These letters had a lot of details pertaining to his work schedule at Sublette. His style of writing was very detailed and entertaining.

My plan is to combine his detailed letters with the dispatcher train sheets. I hope it gives a true picture of the life and work of a railroad worker during that time period.

Driving his 1958 Chevrolet my dad arrived in Alamosa February 6, 1962. Due to weather conditions, during the winter, it was not possible to drive to Sublette. Therefore his plan was to ride a train to Sublette.

In a 13 page letter to me, from Sublette, dated March 6, (1962) my dad wrote:

“Will finally try to bring you up to date on this RR business.”

He chronologically detailed his narrow gauge activities starting with February 6, 1962. My thought is to post these writings in connection with dispatcher train sheets. I will post each day separately.

February 6 1962:

“Left Eagle at 10:00 AM, got in Alamosa at 2:30 PM. Parked at the depot. The big depot was sold to the county; all the RR offices are in the freight depot across the street.
The first guy I saw was Bud Richie, the B&B boss who had the gang repairing the wall at Hanging Bridge when I was at Parkdale. He said there had been a west bound ng train leave that morning (of course) with the flanger. My boss, Roadmaster A G Harden, had gone with it and would be back with it sometime Wed.
Bud said he had 2 men and they had a whole outfit car to themselves; that there were several extra bunks and mattresses and that I would be very welcome to sleep there. So I took a pillow and a couple blankets in and got settled.”

In a letter to my mom he described the outfit car:
"It’s an old pass. coach, with two ‘morning warmer’ stoves. Has an extra bunk with 2 mattresses, so I put a few blankets and the pillow on it and slept O.K.”

From Dispatcher train sheet:

(Time of departure, from Cumbres, for Westbound trains, was based on activation of the annunciator.)

Wednesday Tuesday February 6 1962 (edit 6-10-2019)


Alamosa work extra west with engines 488 and 494, with flanger and spreader
Engine 488 Greathouse
Engine 494 Holt
Conductor Thayne

Alamosa 8:35 AM with 4 loads 1 empty
Arrive Antonito 9:45 AM, 35 minutes coal, water, switching
Depart Antonito 10:20 AM
Sublette 10 minutes water
Arrive Cumbres time not shown, 25 minutes switching
Depart Cumbres 2:38 PM
Lobato 10 minutes take wings in on spreader
Arrive Chama 30:50 PM, 30 minutes turn spreader and flanger

Alamosa extra 483 west with helper engine 499
Engine 483 Morgan
Engine 499 Dunn
Conductor Clarke

Depart Alamosa 10:40 AM with 30 loads 24 empties
Arrive Antonito 11:50 AM, 1 hour 35 minutes pick up and switching, coal and water, eat
Depart Antonito 1:25 PM
Lava 5 minutes water
Sublette 20 minutes water and eat
Mile post 313 ½ 30 minutes rocks on track
Arrive Cumbres time not shown, 5 minutes helper out, 15 minutes retainers
Extra 499 west depart Cumbres 6:19 PM light for Chama
Extra 483 west depart Cumbres 6:39 PM )
Arrive Chama 7:40 PM with 31 loads 22 empties

Durango extra east with engines 487 and 491
Engine 487 Schock
Engine 491 Connor
Conductor Lyons

Depart Durango 10:30 AM with 8 loads 23 empties
Carbon Jct 25 minutes switching
Gato 35 minutes eat
Monero 25 minutes coal & water, set out
Arrive Chama 6:25 PM with 8 loads 47 empties

To be continued


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2019 03:14PM by Jimmy Blouch.
Subject Author Posted

Alamosa February 6 1962

Jimmy Blouch June 09, 2019 03:57PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962

jim pallow June 09, 2019 05:06PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962

Jim McKee June 09, 2019 06:04PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962

drgwk37 June 09, 2019 06:10PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962

risrwy June 09, 2019 06:32PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962

george pearce June 09, 2019 07:16PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962

Greg Scholl June 09, 2019 08:19PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962

Tomstp June 09, 2019 09:19PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962

Jimmy Blouch June 10, 2019 10:33AM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962... questions

John K June 10, 2019 01:32PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962... questions

Jimmy Blouch June 10, 2019 06:12PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962... questions

Jimmy Blouch June 10, 2019 06:12PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962... questions

John K June 10, 2019 07:32PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962... questions

Ryan Morris June 10, 2019 08:40PM

Re: Alamosa February 2 1962... questions

Earl June 10, 2019 10:22PM

Bud Ritchie

Eddy Sand June 11, 2019 11:33AM

Re: Bud Ritchie

Jimmy Blouch June 11, 2019 03:05PM

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