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Modeling the Gilpin Tram Part I
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 Posted: Mon Nov 12th, 2012 10:06 pm
   
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Keith Pashina
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Si:

Thanks for the comments. The Gilpin Tram line certainly had its oddities. Most of their bridges were rock-filled wood cribbing, with a short span, usually less than 12'. A trestle is an oddball for them, but it sure looks "narrow-gaugish".

Keith

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2012 05:16 pm
   
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W C Greene
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While the Gilpin had small "bridges", the Silver City NG had "trestles" the longest of which was this one over Pinos Altos Creek in NM.




This one was over 250' long and 24' high over the creek. Imagine little GT #1 and ore cars crossing this. It only lasted 2 years, was burned down just before abandonment.

I trust Keith won't get upset by this hijacking of his thread but I think he will understand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Woodie



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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2012 09:42 pm
   
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Keith Pashina
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Woodie:

I love that SIlver City, Pinos Altos & Mogollon bridge you built. How long is your 35n2 model? It must be several feet long. Also, did you cut all the lumber for it yourself? If you purchased the wood at a hobby shop you must have made the owner very happy!

Thanks for posting the photo.

Keith

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2012 09:51 pm
   
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W C Greene
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Keith-it is just one bent short but is a bit over 6 feet long. I cut most of the wood (from the LHS) but made Mr. Grandt very happy for selling me all those 800 plus #16 NBW's. Every year I hose it down with Thompson's Water Seal and it has been outside for about 4 or 5 years now. I used Mr. Tufford's plans in the old LID magazine.

Woodie



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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2012 11:04 pm
   
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Keith Pashina
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Woodie:

You must still have nightmares about drilling holes and putting in N-B-W castings! That is a very fine model and looks great in your photos.

I never thought about it before, but you have some interesting maintenance issues with an outdoor layout that I haven't thought about before. I guess it makes your model all that more prototypical.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2012 11:59 pm
   
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Keith Pashina
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Since we have been talking bridges lately, I thought I could share some photos of the prototype bridges on the Gilpin Tram.


The Gilpin Tram crossed many small gullies and gulches along its 26+ miles of trackage.  There were no large rivers to cross or tall trestles - the Gilpin Tram preferred to be built low-budget and following the contours of the mountainsides - any fills were small and any rock cuts very modest.


The photo above is Shay #2 pulling empties up through Prosser Gulch, across its small bridge with cribbed timber approaches.


This is a sketch of bridge drawings I hand-copied from original journals from the 1890s, of notes on bridge construction details. 


Chase Gulch was a tortuous climbe from the yards at Black Hawk to the mining districts.  Along the way was this Gilpin bridge, basically wood cribbing with a culvert-like opening in the middle.


This is the same bridge site as in the photo above - the wood cribbing was replaced with this stone structure set a little further back up the gully.  That's friend Darel Leedy on the bridge, to give you an idea of how big this bridge/culvert is.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2012 12:08 am
   
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Keith Pashina
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As we continue the "Gilpin Bridge Saga", here's a 1890's vintage photo of the bridge near the head of Chase Gulch.  Here, the mainline made a nearly 180 degree turn across the gulch to continue its climb up the backside of Winnebago Hill.

What I really like is that the bridge builders took advantage of the natural rock shelf, and built right above a small waterfall.  This would make a fine model!


The mainline curvers off the left edge of the photo, and the diverging track is the Tucker Mill branch.

 

The photo below shows the typical Gilpin Tram bridge abutment for the wood cribbing. Small logs were laid up, and filled with a mixture of dirt and rock.  This particular one was on Chase Gulch, almost directly uphill of the C & S ore transfer chutes in Black Hawk.




A detail I'd like to model someday would be a wood culvert coming out of a rock retaining wall, such as this one, also in Chase Gulch, near the Smith Road crossing.  That is Dan Abbott in the photo - he's the author of The Gilpin Tram Era by Sundance Publications, editor of the Gilpin Railroad Historical Society newsletter, and author of tons of other narrow gauge articles.


Finally, because we haven't beaten this subject to death quite yet, here is a bridge site over a small creek bed along the Banta Mine Branch.  I like the pastoral scene here.  This mine branch is a lot more woodsy than most of the terrain that the Gilpin Tram ran through.


What I have been trying to show in these photo posts was the simple nature of the bridges on the Gilpin Tram - a small bridge could be built from small twigs and dirt to create a realistic model, or a carved plaster rock wall with a stripwood culvert could easily be made to duplciate some of these scenes.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2012 06:08 am
   
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Milocomarty
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Great proto pics Keith :2t:



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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2012 10:37 am
   
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Herb Kephart
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Outstanding, Keith! :glad::glad::glad::glad:


Herb 



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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2012 11:12 am
   
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W C Greene
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This is the kind of thing that keeps me here on Freerails. Thank you, Keith. Now, we need some more.

Woodie



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