September 2008 RAILROADING SINCE OCTOBER 13, 1989

Calendar of events 2008
Sept 8: Board Meeting – Maggie Mae’s – dinner at 6:30 pm – meeting at 7:30 pm
Sept 10, 11, 12 & 13: ARM (Association of Railroad Museums) Conference – see below
Sept 19, 20 & 21: Cumbres & Toltec trip – see below
Sept 26: Business Meeting – Club room- 7 pm
Sept 27: TECO joint swap meet and train show – see below
Sept 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30: Tuesday work sessions – 7 to 9 pm
Sept 5, 12 & 19: Friday work session – 7 to 9 pm
Sept 6, 13 &20: Saturday work session or run trains 9 to 11 am
Oct 4 & 5: Depot Days Pueblo Railroad Museum – go on your own
Oct 6: Board Meeting – Maggie Mae’s – dinner at 6:30 pm – meeting at 7:30 pm
Oct 3, 10, 24 & 31: Friday work session – 7 to 9 pm
Oct 4, 18 & 25: Saturday work session or run trains 9 to 11 am
Oct 7, 14, 21 & 28: Tuesday work sessions – 7 to 9 pm
Oct 11: Club Anniversary Pot luck at the Peck’s – see story below
Nov 7: Load MTL around noon and head to Denver for setup
Nov 8 & 9: GTE show in Denver – 9 am to 4 pm both days
Nov 28: Setup for club show after 5 pm
Nov 29: Club train show & swap meet – show time 10 am to 4 pm – then tear down & clean up.

ARM (Association of Railroad Museums) Conference
We are going to meet at the club at 2:30 pm on Wednesday September 10 to load the MTL. We’ll then head to the Crown Plaza at Circle and I-25 to setup. We will be setting up the 14’X22’ configuration of the MTL. We will run trains from 5 to 8 pm and participate in the welcoming party. For those who can help run trains during the conference the times are 7 to 11 am. That’s right 7 to 11 am Thursday, Friday & Saturday with teardown after 11 am. For those interested in breakfast, the cost is $5 each morning.
Cumbres & Toltec Trip
Six members of the club are going on the trip. Mike found out that the ride he had initially setup was booked so those going will still stay in Chama and ride the bus to Antonito and ride the train to Chama.
TECO Joint Swap Meet (September 27)
The club will load the MTL at 7 pm Friday September 26 just before the business meeting. We will setup the MTL on Saturday morning at 7 am at the Crown Plaza at Circle & I-25. For those who are selling items, you need to be setup by 7:30 am for the early buyers. The regular show hours are 9 am to 4 pm. See Mike on details on how to acquire a table.
Combined Picnic
I was glad a few members showed up early as the pavilion was taken and so was the picnic table. We found out there was another pavilion on the other side of the lake and Lester was sitting over there holding it. We made a quick decision to go over there and setup. As it turned out we had a better view of trains as we were right next to the tracks and no bushes blocking our view. As we were setting up we heard a train coming from the south and as Mike was walking to his car to get something he saw that the train was a passenger consist and yelled our “PASSENGER TRAIN” so everyone could get ready. A consist of BNSF with a mixture of cars, BNSF, SF & NS. We found out after it had gone through that it was a special for the Democratic National Convention. There were also coal and mixed freight and MOW trains that went by. It turned out to be a great day for watching trains. A little after 3 the wind picked up and the clouds rolled in and a couple of lightning strikes suggested it was time to head for home.
  Here she comes!   She's here!  
  There she goes!   Mixed freight  
  Some locos   The Clubs  

The South Park
The title “The South Park” refers to The Denver South Park & Pacific Railroad and a few other names during its brief history. My goal is to cover as much of the old line from Denver to Crested Butte and write short articles on what I find along the way. So as you can guess this will eventually turn into several articles and I hope you enjoy them. I have not tried to find any remnants of the line in the Denver area due to growth and a couple of reservoirs. I may try and travel this section as I do more research and schedule a 4-wheel drive to cover some sections I can’t in the van. So I’m starting at Nighthawk and will work my way to the main line at South Platte.

Exploring the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad (Part 1)
We started our exploration at the Nighthawk end of the spur line that serviced that community from 1904 to 1916.

This plaque was all we found at the site besides some cottages. You’ll note on the plaque that it gives a compass direction and we didn’t have one with us so we guessed. As we were leaving we picked up part of the old grade behind the sign. The road from Nighthawk to South Platte is built on the old railroad grade. This was a nice drive as the road was well maintained. We saw several porta-potties along the route for use by fishermen, tubers, and bikers we encountered all along the route. We saw many interesting rock formation during this enjoyable ride. I let my imagination get the better of me as I heard the sound of steam, screaming flanges, and filled my nostrils with the smell of burning coal as we chugged down the road.

  Following the South Platte River   Narrow road ahead  
  View of grade above river   Rock work along edge of grade  

So ends part 1 of exploring the DSP&P. I am already in the planning stages of covering this same area either late this fall or early next spring when the vegetation is not so thick and I might get some better photos.