DRGW History and Information  

  Trip Report: Durango Railfest 2008 - Chapter 5
  RGS East Mancos Tank
A Special Trip to the East Mancos Tank
  From: Durango Railfest 2008 Dates: Aug 21-24, 2008 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 97
Before heading over to Mancos to visit the tank, I stopped by the Durango bridge to catch DSNG 486 and the second regularly-scheduled train.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 98
Here's the property - the East Mancos tank is well within the ranch, and normally off-limits. The ranch is currently up for sale, so if you have an extra $3+ million lying around, you too could own East Mancos. Thanks to Dave (the realtor) and Rod Guggenheim, a few of us had the opportunity to visit the site.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592
  Report Chapters  
   1 - RGS Goose 5 to Tacoma
   2 - 315 from Durango to Rockwood
   3 - 315 Back to Durango
   4 - Saturday's 315 Photo Mixed
   5 - RGS East Mancos Tank
  Site Navigation  
   Back to Trip Reports Index
   Back to DRGW.Net

Photo 99
After driving most of the way in, we walked the last few hundred yards down to the tank site. The track here made a series of loops to descend the hill to cross the East Mancos River on Bridge 131-A, and the East Mancos tanksite was on the approach to the bridge. See Google Maps for an aerial photo. This is looking down the grade towards the tank, still out of view.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 100
After walking down the grade a bit, there's the tank we've all come to see.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 101
As you can see, the tank has a bit of a lean to it, but is still generally in decent shape. As on most disused tanks, though, the bands are slipping. The strange roof under where the spout would be is obviously not RGS, and was added by one of the property owners.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 102
A view of the (geographically) east side of the tank
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 103
Looking west back up the grade
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 104
The attachment point for the spout, including the two guides for the counterweights on the sides
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 105
If you look closely, the numbers are still visible on the water gauge.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 106
Detail shot showing the stone footings and west side of the base.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 107
Another detail shot of the southwest corner.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 3888x2592

Photo 108
Inside the center box, showing the pipe that fed the spout.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 109
And on the other side of the center box are these two cast iron pipes, presumably the feed lines for the tank (though why two? overflow line?)
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 110
An overall east side shot of the base.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 111
The southeast side of the tank base
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 2592x3888

Photo 112
A close-up of the central pillars under the east side. No, they're nearly vertically straight, I just can't hold a camera.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 113
One of the other guys found this in the weeds - it's hard to tell, but it's the old tank ladder.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 114
Since I forgot my tape measure in the CR-V, I just wound up shooting lots of things with my hand in the picture. Turns out the bottom tank band is six inches wide.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 115
Another detail shot, showing the construction of the tank base and deck on which the tank itself sits.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 116
Detail of the area around the former spout connection.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 117
Note the tensioning rods between the large wooden members - they're round half-inch iron rods.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 118
A close-up of the output pipe coming through the underside of the water tank supports.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 119
One of the saddest items at the site is this former carbody. This is the remains of one of the Denver & Rio Grande's earliest cars, one of four 34-foot mail and baggage cars built by Billmeyer and Small in 1880 as D&RG 6-9. Eventually they became D&RG 55-58, and in 1891 were sold to the RGS. RGS 152 landed here as a makeshift section house in 1903. Only one other carbody, RGS 150, survives today, and can be found at CRRM. (From The RGS Story, Volume XII, p.255)
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 120
A look in the uncollapsed end, showing where the stove was previously located.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 121
Next to the remains of RGS 152 are the remains of a non-descript boxcar, presumably used as a toolshed by whoever was living in the sectionhouse.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 122
Even more than half a century gone, remnants of the RGS are everywhere. Here's a tie with spikes still in it, just off the right of way.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 123
One of a dozen or more tieplates that the group found while walking along the grade. One guy even found a Greer Spike.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 124
Looking back at the tank from near where Bridge 131-A would have started. Little remains of the bridge today, but WH Jackson captured two trains from near here back in 1889 in this photo.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 125
Looking southeast, the RGS grade heading for Grady can be seen high on the hillside.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 126
On the way home, I followed the old RGS and decided to photograph the other two remaining tanks. Here's the one at Rico, taken out the car window in the pouring rain.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 127
Looking back to the south past the Rico tank.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 128
The third is the restored tank along the road at Trout Creek.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592
[<< Previous]   Chapter 5   [Next >>]
Creative Commons License This work is copyright 2008 by Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net), but licensed under a Creative Commons License. This allows and encourages others to copy, modify, use, and distribute my work for non-commercial purposes (only), without the hassle of asking me for explicit permission or fear of copyright violation. 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.