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Tracing the Midland Terminal to Cripple Creek
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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 04:28 pm
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jtrain
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Big steam:



Courtesy of the Denver Public Library online photo database: http://digital.denverlibrary.org/

I first heard about the Midland Terminal Railroad in 2013 when I went to Cripple Creek to see the old mining camps and artifacts strewn across the landscape. At first, I didn't think too much of it, since I was focused on Georgetown and the C&S. But lately, with another chance to see Colorado, I've started looking at railroads around Colorado Springs as possible prototypes. The Midland Terminal is proving to be one of the most fascinating.

To start, the MT took an unusual route to Cripple Creek, breaking off the mainline of it's sister railroad, the Colorado Midland, at divide, and then went south, hugging the western and southwestern base of Pikes Peak until it came to Goldfield. The tracks then broke off into a large maze of switchbacks, horseshoe curves, and small yards. However, the mainline went west, then back north into Cripple Creek, with Cripple Creek being the last stop.

The MT wasn't alone, there was also the Florence and Cripple Creek, The Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District Railway, as well as two electrified trolley lines that shuttled mine workers from the small towns into all the mines.

As I said, a complete maze of tracks in the Cripple Creek District. However, I recently discovered an online print of a map showing all the gold claims, towns, mines, and the railroad tracks.

The source comes from the University of Texas online library database, here's the link:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/topo/colorado/

Scroll down until you see Cripple Creek, then click on it.

That's all for now, I'll have more photos and other links soon.

--James:java:

Last edited on Thu Nov 13th, 2014 04:30 pm by jtrain



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 12:00 am
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jtrain
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I found a source that shows an incomplete steam roster for the Colorado Midland and the Midland Terminal. Most assets from the Colorado Midland were bought by the Midland Terminal in 1921, including all the track from Divide to Colorado Springs.

The link shows photos who are owned by Otto C. Perry, and are included in the Denver Public Library.
http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr284.htm

The data base includes Alco and Baldwin built steamers with 3 wheel arrangements: 0-6-0, 4-6-0, and 2-8-0 as well as two rotary snow plows. Assuming there are more locomotives than this, the Midland Terminal seems to have a pretty big steam roster for only about 70 miles of track!

Here are a few of my favorites so far:


The sole 0-6-0 on the list, appears to be used in the yard at Colorado Springs. Built in 1887 and labeled as CM/MT #100.


One of the ten or so 2-8-0's on the list. Originally CM #2, but became #62 in 1918.


One of the Alco 10 wheelers, but the roster also has some Baldwin ten wheelers listed as well. This one is #20, built in 1887.


And Rotary B. The site lists a Rotary A as well. No other info given though.

From this list, I can make a few comments about the locomotives:

The engines are all quite dirty and seem to be a uniform black or dark grey color, with the front end of the loco being a light grey or silver, kinda like the DRGW paint scheme. But very dirty, little to no marking visible. A large cylinder is present on both ALCO and Baldwin locos on the left side above the drive wheels but under the raised running boards, compressors are on the right side.

Again, photos retrieved from donsdepot website, but are under the Denver Public Library database from the collection of Otto C. Perry.

That's all for now.

--James



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 12:16 am
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jtrain
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I also ran across a couple of youtube videos, one in color!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsGeVybQPes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWpu0iHtDNE

The videos tell me that there was 25 miles of MT owned track in the Cripple Creek, Victor, Bull Hill area. I see double heading was common from Bull Hill to Divide with long trains of gondolas with the occasional hopper.

In addition, on the first video there was a short clip showing what looks like a completely blacked out caboose (no windows). I also see some pretty heavy 4-6-0's and 2-8-0's that look like something you'd see on the Pennsy or the NYC.

A significant portion of the gondolas are also Rio Grande owned, but I don't know what kind.

The second video shows short passenger trains were common, and also show that there was a significant fleet of wooden framed box cars. The first video mentioned that these box cars used to haul the gold ore to prevent theft Wage must have really been cheap then, you couldn't afford to hand toss gold from box cars now-a-days.

Okay, that's good for tonight! I so far have a map, two videos, and a partial locomotive roster.

I'll need more photos, perhaps an article or two, and maybe a book before the research starts to add up. Might be time for a personal visit to Cripple Creek again in December as well.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 11:06 am
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Herb Kephart
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Wouldn't that be rotary A behind the loco?

Herb



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 12:25 pm
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Hey, come to think of it, yes that is Rotary A. On the site there is a separate picture of rotary A though.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 12:44 pm
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Now for a post on the Colorado Springs Roundhouse.

The roundhouse for the Colorado Midland and the Midland Terminal was a 14 stall, brick laid, monster of a round house. Last winter I got to see the inside, which still had original timbers 2 feet thick!

For now though, I'll focus on the outside. I found a photo from waymarking.com that shows an areial view of the engine facilities:



Uploaded through this link:
http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image.aspx?f=1&guid=b84eb59c-7e26-475e-9a1d-de483c3e1423

Compare that with a Google Map sat image I took from my computer:



As you can see, not only has the roundhouse survived, but so has the machine shop to the left. The machine shop is now a museum for ghost towns and western life.

Here is one of the photos I've taken of the roundhouse back in 2013:


It appears that the far right side had a building portion that collapsed or burnt down, but I don't see it in the aerial shot. Also notice that unlike other standard gauge roundhouses, this one had the vents towards the front (closer to the turntable) than being at the rear. So, all locomotives must have been backed into the roundhouse at night.

I also see a large ramp with a loader of some kind and ore bins. I don't know for sure if this was for coal or gold ore. I'm guessing it was coal, which meant that the CM and the MT had a very large fleet of locomotives for only being a short line.

In addition, I think most of the gold ore went to the smelter in Colorado Springs, which will be a subject of interest later on.

A lot has changed since the 40's!

--James:java:



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 10:03 pm
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Going back to the map, I spent a couple hours studying. Because the tracks are all a true mess, especially at Victor and Goldfield, I did my best to color code the routes in the image below:



Red is the Midland Terminal trackage, which should mostly be correct. Since this is our railway of focus, the MT served Gillett, Cameron, Goldfield, Victor, Anaconda, and Cripple Creek.

Yellow is the Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District Railroad. This RR closed down in 1921 and some track was likely absorbed into the Midland Terminal.

Green represents all the trackage owned by the Florence and Cripple Creek, including the trackage of the Gold Loop RR. This trackage was 3ft gauge and so had mostly separate routes with tighter curves. I assume that the FCC RR had a yard at Cripple Creek, Victor, and Gold Field with dual trackage to several mines.

Blue represents all the known trackage that was electrified for the interurban railway. I assume it was standard gauge.

The accuracy of track in the yards is near impossible to tell, except that the gauges can be determined in photos if photos exist. Most photographers weren't taking pictures of track and were instead interested in the equipment, structures and scenery.

I hope this coloring will help determine separate tracks. For this thread, we will focus on the Midland Trackage, so I am paying close attention to all the red colored track.

Until the next post.

--James:java:

Last edited on Fri Nov 14th, 2014 10:04 pm by jtrain



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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 10:39 pm
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Ray Dunakin
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Very interesting stuff! I don't recall ever hearing much about this RR. Was it narrow gauge or standard?



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 Posted: Sat Nov 15th, 2014 01:47 am
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jtrain
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Ray,

The Colorado Midland and the Midland Terminal happen to be the first standard gauge railroads to penetrate the Front Range, and circumvent Pike's Peak (+14,000 feet) no less!

The Florence and Cripple Creek was the 3 foot gauge rival.

I'm actually quite surprised how much I've been able to uncover in only a few days. It took me months to get this far with the Colorado Central last year.

When I get to Colorado I plan to find some books or a magazine article about this short line. I also plan to visit Cripple Creek. If there's just enough snow, it will highlight the original roadbeds and will be perfect for pictures.

I again went to the map, this time I labeled the main points of interest based on my previous trip to the area and the map:



These points of interest follow the Midland Terminal trackage, obviously other railroads have different and unique areas all by themselves.

Next I need to look at the area between Gillett and Divide, and then the route down the valley to Colorado Springs. Once those two areas are analyzed, the entire route will have been cataloged on this thread from Cripple Creek to Colorado Springs.

Thanks for looking.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Sun Nov 16th, 2014 07:06 pm
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Another source to add. The Cripple Creek District Museum also has a database of photos from around Cripple Creek, Victor, Gold Hill, etc... Many of these photos featuring Midland Terminal equipment.

So heres the link:

http://cripplecreekmuseum.com/cgi-bin/photosearch.cgi

Type in "Midland" and you should get a tremendous number of photos. I will not post the photos since this particular museum holds a strict copyright to their database.

By the way, this museum also takes care of the Midland Depot in Cripple Creek.

--James:java:



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