Date   

Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Russ Norris
 

So, gentlemen, if narrow gauge was so inefficient and in most cases was phased out early on, why are you interested in such a dead end for North American railroading?  And why is it that every year thousands gather for the National Narrow Gauge Convention and many more belong to this HOn3 list What is it that attracts you to what was essentially a dead end for the industry?  Are we just a group of antiquarians?  Why are you here?  Seriously.

Russ

On Fri, Jun 18, 2021, 6:21 PM Dave Eggleston via groups.io <degg13=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
The SPC was a narrow gauge oddity from the start. Engineered more as a standard gauge to move commuters fast up the East Bay and to get tourists into, and long lumber drags out of, Santa Cruz and Felton on standard gauge grades and curvature.

When leased by the SP it was increasingly efficiency-ized; it was a big revenue generator but gauge break was still an issue. Lumber groves expanded, tourist travel increased, east Bay suburbs expanded and the situation just got more bottlenecked. It was a truly odd example and really shoulda started standard gauge but there were a few reasons it didn't. Costs and the lease may have impeded initial SP widening of gauge but by the early '90s it was inevitable and by 1900 things were under way. The effort was only slowed by the quake damage of '06. Already by 1901 cars considered excess by the SP were being transferred from the SPC to handle Tonopah traffic on the Carson & Colorado.

I bet the SP would have standard gauged it by 1886 if they could have...

Dave Eggleston

> On Jun 17, 2021, at 5:37 PM, Nolan Hinshaw <nualain48@...> wrote:
>
> 







--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Dave Eggleston
 

The SPC was a narrow gauge oddity from the start. Engineered more as a standard gauge to move commuters fast up the East Bay and to get tourists into, and long lumber drags out of, Santa Cruz and Felton on standard gauge grades and curvature.

When leased by the SP it was increasingly efficiency-ized; it was a big revenue generator but gauge break was still an issue. Lumber groves expanded, tourist travel increased, east Bay suburbs expanded and the situation just got more bottlenecked. It was a truly odd example and really shoulda started standard gauge but there were a few reasons it didn't. Costs and the lease may have impeded initial SP widening of gauge but by the early '90s it was inevitable and by 1900 things were under way. The effort was only slowed by the quake damage of '06. Already by 1901 cars considered excess by the SP were being transferred from the SPC to handle Tonopah traffic on the Carson & Colorado.

I bet the SP would have standard gauged it by 1886 if they could have...

Dave Eggleston

On Jun 17, 2021, at 5:37 PM, Nolan Hinshaw <nualain48@...> wrote:




New False Front - Haberdashery HO

richrands
 

Berkshire Valley Models has just released a new laser cut kit - #2032 Haberdashery $29.95
Based on the building still standing in Georgetown Colorado.
https://www.berkshirevalleymodels.com/


Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Nolan Hinshaw
 

On Jun 17, 2021, at 14:30, Nigel Phillips <nigelp18000@...> wrote:

The article referred to was spot on, most narrow gauge lines were quickly converted to standard gauge if successful. If not they were abandoned.
As any SPCRR.org members can attest, one highly successful 36 inch gauge line stayed that way for some time after its absorption into the transcontinental giant plying the same area. ~It ran between Santa Cruz CA and Alameda CA and ran a ferry service between there and San Francisco which beat CP/SP's similar service between Oakland and San Francisco.

Read Bruce McGregor's _South Pacific Coast for an idea of big time urban railroading on a narrower than standard gauge.
--
Artie the Hinged Jaw
Retired AFU Game Warden


Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Nigel Phillips
 

John, 

Not so special for a one commodity carrier. The Great Falls and Canada Railway was built to transport coal from small mines in Lethbridge AB, to the Great Falls smelters in MT, in  1890. 3 foot gauge, converted to standard gauge by the Great Northern in 1903. The Canadian section around Lethbridge  continued as mixed narrow gauge/standard gauge  for a few years until completely taken over by CP.

Again, not so special for longevity. The Newfoundland Railway was narrow gauge from its inception in 1897 until it's closure in 1988 under CN ownership. 3.5 feet gauge. Freight and passenger for most of its life, 906 miles in total. The rot really set in when Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949.

The White Pass and Yukon was formed from 3 narrow gauge railways in 1898, 3 foot gauge. Started as a one commodity railway (gold), later freight and passenger. Still running as a scenic railway although much shorter.

The article referred to was spot on, most narrow gauge lines were quickly converted to standard gauge if successful. If not they were abandoned. 

Nigel 


On Thursday, June 17, 2021, John Stutz <john.stutz@...> wrote:
Russ

EBT was clearly a special case, being from circa 1905 on ,the transportation arm of a coal company operating in a district where the rolling coal seam topography precluded any large mines.  That company survived by using the EBT to combine the output of multiple small mines, and move the raw coal to a single large coal cleaning plant, located alongside the standard gauge that could take it on to actual markets.

John Stutz 
On June 16, 2021 12:43 PM Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:


Really interesting, John, that the author has absolutely nothing good to say about "the narrow gage myth".  I model the East Broad Top, which ran successfully from 1875 until 1956, and for much of its lifetime showed a profit for the shareholders.  I'm sure you could think of other narrow gauge railroads for which the same could be said.  And this was written at a time when the country was covered with narrow gauge railroads.  Amazing.

Russ Norris

On Wed, Jun 16, 2021 at 3:29 PM John Stutz < john.stutz@...> wrote:
I have recently been combing the technical press for articles on tunnel construction, and ran across a 1905 evaluation of the cost savings to be expected, in constructing and operating light railways on a narrow gauge.

This is by the editor of Engineering News, probably the leading engineering publication in North America at that time.  It begins on the lower left of the following page:


John Stutz




--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

John Stutz
 

Russ

EBT was clearly a special case, being from circa 1905 on ,the transportation arm of a coal company operating in a district where the rolling coal seam topography precluded any large mines.  That company survived by using the EBT to combine the output of multiple small mines, and move the raw coal to a single large coal cleaning plant, located alongside the standard gauge that could take it on to actual markets.

John Stutz

On June 16, 2021 12:43 PM Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:


Really interesting, John, that the author has absolutely nothing good to say about "the narrow gage myth".  I model the East Broad Top, which ran successfully from 1875 until 1956, and for much of its lifetime showed a profit for the shareholders.  I'm sure you could think of other narrow gauge railroads for which the same could be said.  And this was written at a time when the country was covered with narrow gauge railroads.  Amazing.

Russ Norris

On Wed, Jun 16, 2021 at 3:29 PM John Stutz < john.stutz@...> wrote:
I have recently been combing the technical press for articles on tunnel construction, and ran across a 1905 evaluation of the cost savings to be expected, in constructing and operating light railways on a narrow gauge.

This is by the editor of Engineering News, probably the leading engineering publication in North America at that time.  It begins on the lower left of the following page:


John Stutz




--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Randy Hees
 

The original proponent of the narrow gauge interurban missed several issues associated with interurbans...  particularly the use of public street right of way, and the ability to operate on streetcar tracks into or through cities... Adopting a strange gauge would prevent sharing tracks with local streetcars.  I would also suggest that interurbans  were in many cases the "new narrow gauge"  serving communities which could not justify a conventional railroad line...

As for Russ...   The East Broad Top was successful in part because the coal already had to be unloaded for cleaning and sizing, so the break of gauge was not an issue.  

Randy 

On Wed, Jun 16, 2021 at 12:43 PM Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:
Really interesting, John, that the author has absolutely nothing good to say about "the narrow gage myth".  I model the East Broad Top, which ran successfully from 1875 until 1956, and for much of its lifetime showed a profit for the shareholders.  I'm sure you could think of other narrow gauge railroads for which the same could be said.  And this was written at a time when the country was covered with narrow gauge railroads.  Amazing.

Russ Norris

On Wed, Jun 16, 2021 at 3:29 PM John Stutz <john.stutz@...> wrote:
I have recently been combing the technical press for articles on tunnel construction, and ran across a 1905 evaluation of the cost savings to be expected, in constructing and operating light railways on a narrow gauge.

This is by the editor of Engineering News, probably the leading engineering publication in North America at that time.  It begins on the lower left of the following page:


John Stutz


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Dave Eggleston
 

Russ, 

Yes, there were lines that provided some, if not ongoing, profits but I doubt weren't talking about a large number of lines. I don't follow the EBT but other lines I do follow were completely dependent on extractive industries and mostly built inexpensively to keep costs at bay. Both of these were quickly found to be Achilles' Heels. Most lines tied to extractive businesses weren't as lucky as the EBT

Yes, there were narrow gauge lines across the country in 1905 but the number had been rapidly decreasing in the prior decade. The lines remaining increasingly were in areas that offered no profit interest to larger companies for acquisition or standard gauging and many (not all) were local shoe-string operations that within a decade would succumb to transport and economic realities--not able to cheaply transfer goods, local economies too small to justify upgrades, the inroads of truck transport, etc. 

Even though many remaining narrow gauge lines would see good years for another 15 years or so, I think that the editor's criticism comes with solid evidence around the realities of traffic breaking gauge and the increasing costs (especially labor) around that, even in 1905. The narrow gauge had been around for 35 years by that time and the original arguments weren't holding as they had in 1870. While it got tracks to places that couldn't afford standard gauge, narrow gauge was already in the late 1870s seen as a bottleneck unless traffic was fairly captive or the physical realities offered no other choice. Cheaply built lines succumbed to their light engineering in many cases; lines built into low-income areas didn't generate enough to overcome their financing, operational and tax burdens. Lines like the Santa Cruz & Felton were wildly successful in their early years but when bought out by the 3' South Pacific Coast in 1879, the curvature and grades were immediately quite expensively reworked to near standard gauge standards to allow for operation at a profitable mainline level. The D&RG began standard gauging its narrow gauges around 1880 to be more profitable and competitive, the UP began to standard gauge several of its narrow gauge subsidiaries by the late 1880s, the SP did the same as early as 1879. The Tonopah boom of 1905 did finally drive up lots of traffic for the narrow gauge Carson & Colorado and SP and for about a year the connecting narrow gauge Tonopah Railroad tried to keep up with the traffic--it and the Carson & Colorado were quickly standard gauged in light of reality. Big narrow gauge systems in Oregon, Kansas, Utah and Ohio were all converted or abandoned in the 1890s in light of the realities of traffic handling and profitability. The SPng outlived the EBT, thanks to the SP's ownership and efficiency focus. But it was a part of a much larger line that was dramatically cut back to only the sections that paid and that the SP deemed not worth cutting into the slim profits by standard gauging.

I am a fan of narrow gauge, pretty much have no interest in standard gauge lines, researching western lines for 40 years, just for the record. 

Dave Eggleston









Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Ken Martin
 

By 1905 the fervor for narrow gauge was over. While there may have been some savings in construction as he points out the cost of maintenance is the same and where costs really add up is interchange where you have to unload one car and then load another car. It was one thing in the 1870’s where you have 27’ ng and 28’ sg cars but by 1905 standard gauge cars are 34’ and starting to get 40’ cars and you get to having two narrow gauge cars to one standard gauge car. By 1905 many narrow gauge roads were converting to standard gauge. Even the Rio Grande was building standard gauge also look at the South Pacific Coast (1906). 

The EBT was unique in that it’s main traffic was coal to the breaker in narrow gauge hoppers, unloaded, sorted and then loaded into standard gauge cars. So you avoided much of the interchange expense.

Ken Martin



On Jun 16, 2021, at 12:43 PM, Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:

Really interesting, John, that the author has absolutely nothing good to say about "the narrow gage myth".  I model the East Broad Top, which ran successfully from 1875 until 1956, and for much of its lifetime showed a profit for the shareholders.  I'm sure you could think of other narrow gauge railroads for which the same could be said.  And this was written at a time when the country was covered with narrow gauge railroads.  Amazing.

Russ Norris


Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Russ Norris
 

Really interesting, John, that the author has absolutely nothing good to say about "the narrow gage myth".  I model the East Broad Top, which ran successfully from 1875 until 1956, and for much of its lifetime showed a profit for the shareholders.  I'm sure you could think of other narrow gauge railroads for which the same could be said.  And this was written at a time when the country was covered with narrow gauge railroads.  Amazing.

Russ Norris


On Wed, Jun 16, 2021 at 3:29 PM John Stutz <john.stutz@...> wrote:
I have recently been combing the technical press for articles on tunnel construction, and ran across a 1905 evaluation of the cost savings to be expected, in constructing and operating light railways on a narrow gauge.

This is by the editor of Engineering News, probably the leading engineering publication in North America at that time.  It begins on the lower left of the following page:


John Stutz


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Narrow gauge - in 1905

John Stutz
 

I have recently been combing the technical press for articles on tunnel construction, and ran across a 1905 evaluation of the cost savings to be expected, in constructing and operating light railways on a narrow gauge.

This is by the editor of Engineering News, probably the leading engineering publication in North America at that time.  It begins on the lower left of the following page:

https://archive.org/details/sim_enr_1905-06-29_53_26/page/688/mode/1up

John Stutz


Re: Early boxcar door latches

Brian Kopp
 

Dale, thanks for the Grandt 5095 idea. I will take a look.

I am bashing the old time 28' Mantua 1860 HO boxcars into 28' 1880s HOn3 cars. I am thinking of the ATSF NG cars on the DRG.  Just narrow them and drop the height a bit. Here is my first attempt in process along with a reference photo for inspiration......

I have some early stretched skin ATSF logo decals that I had Josh at Bedlam Creations print in white, along with car numbers that match the ones on the ATSF DRG cars. I will post a photo in a week or two when I finish this first one.

--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Re: Muddy Mudhen

Mike Conder
 

Yep, love that rusty, crusty look on both these locos. 

Mike Conder

On Mon, Jun 14, 2021 at 8:41 PM Bernie H via groups.io <bigbern89=icloud.com@groups.io> wrote:
That is a awesome looking Porter!!!!!


On Jun 14, 2021, at 20:28, Darryl Huffman via groups.io <darrylhuffman=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


Jim,

I may not know the secret for true happiness, but I do know it doesn't come from trying to please everyone else.

What is important is what you think.  Don't try to please me.  Don't try to please some guy that lives in Montana.

Back in the 1970s, the most popular "expert" on weathering would use an air brush to paint vertical stripes of dust on locomotives.

I thought they looked stupid but he was very popular.

Today one of the most popular expert weatherer is Jimmy Booth at PBL.  I love his work.

But I fall into the Tom Yorke, Malcolm Furlow type of weathering.  I overdo it.  At least according to most people.

But I build my models and layouts to please my wife.  If she says it looks good then I am happy.

My favorite weathered locomotive attached.

Now, having said that, I agree with the other responses.  I have lived most of my 76 years with a railroad running through my back yard.

24 years in the desert.  45 years in Alaska.

But I have never seen a locomotive with that much mud on it.  But I have not seen all locomotives.

Darryl Huffman

You can find my Youtube Channel of Model Building Videos Here:


You can follow my blog here:

<martin-for-emailing.jpg>
<porter-modified-2.jpg>

--
Mike Conder


Re: Early boxcar door latches

Dale Buxton <dbtuathaddana@...>
 

Brian,

The part I've been using is the Grandt Line/SJ 5095 "Small Hinge Assortment". It comes with two door hasps. One with a padlock and one without. The 5001 set has Camel door hasps which was really a much later design of a hasp. You could cut the Reefer door latch down for the hasp but it doesn't really look right to me. Clear Creek Models made a really nice strap-type Reefer door latch that you could cut the hasp out of and it looked really good. But I haven't seen that part anywhere for years. Someone has to have the molds but, I have no idea who that would be.

What Are you modeling? I'm modeling 4000 series 30ft as rebuilt boxcars.

Dale Buxton 

On Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 8:09 AM Brian Kopp <kc5lpa1@...> wrote:
I know the Grandt Line/SJ 5001 kit has a door with latch attached, but for those that scratch build early box cars what do you use to make your own latches? They are not in the Tichy 5070 kit either.....
I was unsure about some instructions, like Trout Creek, suggesting the Grandt Line 5166 reefer latch would work.

--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Re: Early boxcar door latches

Brian Kopp
 

The Tichy Train Group kit I meant is the 3070 early wood boxcar kit (not 5070). The 3070 is very useful but does not have a latch that I saw.

--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Re: Muddy Mudhen

Jim Schulz
 

I fall into Darryl’s (Furlow, Yorke) thinking on weathering.  I like to overdo it.  Gives it character.  Darryl, I really like your porter engine.  Wonderfully done!

 

Then again, seeing Blackstone’s HOn3, C-19, #346 with Blackstone’s weathering, it too is quite beautiful.  It’s a mild weathering and I wouldn’t change a thing.


 

But as mentioned, PBL’s weathering is also nice.  It looks kind of vertical, as though a lot of rain had washed the coal dust over the tender.  But here there is also a tan and rust coloring.  I like that.  More color.  And it goes from top to bottom on the tender.

 

So many ways to do weathering.  Happy mudding!

 

Cheers!

 

Jim Schulz


Early boxcar door latches

Brian Kopp
 

I know the Grandt Line/SJ 5001 kit has a door with latch attached, but for those that scratch build early box cars what do you use to make your own latches? They are not in the Tichy 5070 kit either.....
I was unsure about some instructions, like Trout Creek, suggesting the Grandt Line 5166 reefer latch would work.

--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Re: Muddy Mudhen

John
 

I think the parts of the boiler above the walkways should be mud free as should most of the tender, maybe just the bottom foot or two. Mud is splashed up and probably wouldn't get past the walkways and if there's that much water on the track, they probably wouldn't be speeding, so mud wouldn't get thrown up very high from the side rods.
John


On Mon, Jun 14, 2021 at 6:34 PM, Bernie H via groups.io
<bigbern89@...> wrote:
Looks great!!


On Jun 14, 2021, at 19:16, Russ Norris <rbnorrisjr@...> wrote:


Looks realistic to me.  

Russ

On Mon, Jun 14, 2021, 8:56 PM Jim Schulz <jim@...> wrote:
Took my Blackstone K-27, #461 and ran it through the mud.  Too much mud?  Too little mud?  I think it needs more mud.

<Muddy-Mudhen.jpg>


Cheers!

Jim Schulz


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Re: Muddy Mudhen

Bernie H
 

That is a awesome looking Porter!!!!!


On Jun 14, 2021, at 20:28, Darryl Huffman via groups.io <darrylhuffman@...> wrote:


Jim,

I may not know the secret for true happiness, but I do know it doesn't come from trying to please everyone else.

What is important is what you think.  Don't try to please me.  Don't try to please some guy that lives in Montana.

Back in the 1970s, the most popular "expert" on weathering would use an air brush to paint vertical stripes of dust on locomotives.

I thought they looked stupid but he was very popular.

Today one of the most popular expert weatherer is Jimmy Booth at PBL.  I love his work.

But I fall into the Tom Yorke, Malcolm Furlow type of weathering.  I overdo it.  At least according to most people.

But I build my models and layouts to please my wife.  If she says it looks good then I am happy.

My favorite weathered locomotive attached.

Now, having said that, I agree with the other responses.  I have lived most of my 76 years with a railroad running through my back yard.

24 years in the desert.  45 years in Alaska.

But I have never seen a locomotive with that much mud on it.  But I have not seen all locomotives.

Darryl Huffman
darrylhuffman@...

You can find my Youtube Channel of Model Building Videos Here:


You can follow my blog here:

<martin-for-emailing.jpg>
<porter-modified-2.jpg>


Re: Muddy Mudhen

Darryl Huffman
 

Jim,

I may not know the secret for true happiness, but I do know it doesn't come from trying to please everyone else.

What is important is what you think.  Don't try to please me.  Don't try to please some guy that lives in Montana.

Back in the 1970s, the most popular "expert" on weathering would use an air brush to paint vertical stripes of dust on locomotives.

I thought they looked stupid but he was very popular.

Today one of the most popular expert weatherer is Jimmy Booth at PBL.  I love his work.

But I fall into the Tom Yorke, Malcolm Furlow type of weathering.  I overdo it.  At least according to most people.

But I build my models and layouts to please my wife.  If she says it looks good then I am happy.

My favorite weathered locomotive attached.

Now, having said that, I agree with the other responses.  I have lived most of my 76 years with a railroad running through my back yard.

24 years in the desert.  45 years in Alaska.

But I have never seen a locomotive with that much mud on it.  But I have not seen all locomotives.

Darryl Huffman
darrylhuffman@...

You can find my Youtube Channel of Model Building Videos Here:


You can follow my blog here:

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