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"Dark" places on the ng - Cow Creek to Alkali Creek on the Ouray branch

December 01, 2019 07:58PM
The section of the Ouray branch from Cow Creek to Alkali Creek (and on to Dallas) has long been a "dark" part of the Ouray branch for me, not least because most of it is under water. I suppose it should not be "dark", because in the 1959 - 1967 time frame I traveled the old Highway 550 between Montrose and Ridgway a half dozen times, long before the dam was built. But that was more than 50 years ago. Back then I paid only casual attention to the standard gauge branch, was never was luky enough to catch a train and didn't take any pictures. Over the years there have been a number of publications with the branch history and photographs. But the photographs left some significant gaps and the locations of a number of tantalizing pictures were mysterious and only vaguely identified in captions, if at all.

One such mystery items was the location of the Cow Creek tank. I always assumed that it was next to Spud Hill on the north side of the Cow Creek bridge (a site now blocked by private property) since there was no flat place adjacent to the river on the southside.

The Cow Creek bridge with a southbound train. Ahead of the train is a high fill for a considerable distance, with no place for a tank close to the river (a necessary requirement, I thought)

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This picture of the Cow Creek tank didn't give much of a clue as to location

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This picture should have narrowed the options down a bit...

scan0037 (2).jpg

But finally, walking with my dog in Ridgway State Park two days ago, I happened to notice these unusual flat stones, that were clearly the foundation stones for a water tank - the elusive Cow Creek tank - near the end of the long fill leading south from the Cow Creek bridge. Being a gravity rather than pump fed tank, it was located where a pipeline could reach it.

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The next goal is to find a picture of an engine taking water at the tank. Another photo search did turn up 318 just leaving the tank, presumably after taking water. The 18 mile haul from Montrose with a rise of nearly 900 feet must have left the tenders of the saturated 2-8-0s pretty low on water by arrival at Cow Creek tank. (The tank is pretty blurry at the right side of the scanned picture)

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(to be continued)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/2019 09:24PM by Olaf Rasmussen.
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"Dark" places on the ng - Cow Creek to Alkali Creek on the Ouray branch Attachments

Olaf Rasmussen December 01, 2019 07:58PM

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ivb361 December 02, 2019 01:40AM

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tgbcvr December 02, 2019 03:56AM

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HRB December 02, 2019 05:11AM

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tgbcvr December 02, 2019 05:18AM

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Rader Sidetrack December 02, 2019 05:54AM

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tgbcvr December 02, 2019 06:06AM

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george pearce December 02, 2019 06:41AM

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Dave Peterson December 02, 2019 08:16AM

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Scott Turner December 02, 2019 09:44AM

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timrod December 02, 2019 07:04PM

Re: "Dark" places on the ng - Piedmont on the Ouray branch Attachments

Olaf Rasmussen December 02, 2019 09:34PM

Re: "Dark" places on the ng - Cow Creek to Alkali Creek on the Ouray branch Attachments

Olaf Rasmussen December 03, 2019 10:20PM

Re: "Dark" places on the ng - Cow Creek to Alkali Creek on the Ouray branch

K37Kunugi December 02, 2019 07:39PM



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