DRGW History and Information  

  Trip Report: Pile Driver OB on the C&TS - Chapter 1
  Chama to Cumbres
Saturday Morning, 20-Jun-2009
  From: Pile Driver OB on the C&TS Dates: June 20, 2009 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 1
Saturday, 20-Jun-2009, dawned rainy and overcast in Chama, NM. As I recall, the temperature was only in the low 60s.
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Photo 2
Awaiting the 0800h departure of the Friends Maintenance-of-Way Photo Freight, 484 sits idly just short of the coaling tower. Consist for the day (in order for the uphill trip): 484, flanger OJ, wheel car 06092, tool car 04549, D&RGW tie and rail car 06051, idler flat 6708, pipe gon 1557, idler flat 6755, rider boxes 211, 214 and 205, concession/restroom car 3244, rider gon 6205, and caboose 0579.
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  Report Chapters  
   1 - Chama to Cumbres
   2 - Cumbres to Chama
   3 - Epilogue - OB at CRRM
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Photo 3
The first run-by at Lobato - not quite pouring, but not exactly dry either.
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Photo 4
Near the Dalton crossing, the skies just opened up and let loose a torrent of rain. I'd like to say - for the sake of "back when I was your age" stories to future generations of fans - that us hardy foamers took it in style and stayed in the gon, but we all wussed out and went back in the rider boxes.
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Photo 5
Pulling up to Cresco in the rain to top off the tender (well, okay, mainly for a run-by)
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Photo 6
Topped off and ready to go again
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Photo 7
Coming around the pond near Coxo, just about to the third crossing. As you can see, it's still raining. It was a tremendously cold and rainy spring and early summer around here.
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Photo 8
Climbing towards the summit from third crossing
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Photo 9
I have to admit, this is a new run-by spot - the north side of the curve on the climb between Coxo and Windy Point. Unfortunately, it was dark and rainy, but it's still a heck of a shot. Going to have to try this some morning when I actually have light.
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Photo 10
Another shot at the same curve, just through the tree tunnel in front of me.
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Photo 11
And we're finally at the top... It's still pouring, and while the temperature on arrival at Cumbres wasn't too bad, it tanked fairly quickly after arrival. By the time we left, there was snow visible only a couple hundred feet above us.
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Photo 12
We didn't haul OB up the hill, as on the way over from Antonito the day before, it had developed a hotbox. Basically, they had to repeat the process of move it a couple miles and then take a break to let the brass cool in order to get it to Cumbres. So the first order of business for the crew was to go get the pile driver for the day's anticipated demonstration.
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Photo 13
Alan pulling the pin between the MoW cars and the pipe idler, and reminding us that railroading isn't just about the sunny days.
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Photo 14
484 gets wyed, both for operating the pile driver and for the return trip westbound. The auxillary steam port is located on the front of 484, and OB will be set up such that 484 needs to be on the east side.
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Photo 15
Before the fun can continue, though, everybody clears up to allow 487 and the regular daily eastbound through Cumbres. About an hour has elapsed since we arrived at the top.
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Photo 16
487 pulls up to the Cumbres section house and takes on water from the standpipe. Meanwhile, most of the folks from the Friends MoW special are either inside the section house or standing on the porch - out of the rain.
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Photo 17
The regular eastbound takes off about ten minutes after it showed up. On the rear is one of the new parlor cars built for the 2009 season.
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Creative Commons License This work is copyright 2009 by Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net), but licensed under a Creative Commons License. I encourage others to consider CC or other Open Content-style licensing of their original works.

All photographs in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 40D using either a Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS/USM, Sigma 18-50mm, or a Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS/USM.