The following will be the "James Collection". The passages are his side of many conversations we had over 3 days. James lives in Colorado. As the notes progressed I gathered, and he finally gave up, that he was not only a railroad enthusiast but had worked in the field. The talk ranged from trains to jeep trailing to local interests. He had connections to Oakdale which had spawned the exchange. Enough explaining. The following will be his words edited by me to exclude chit chat and personal stuff and a few secrets that Louisiana Jones, aka me, can't give away until the time is right.
Thought you might like to see this picture my mother took of my father, brother, and me in August 1950. This was a southbound Missouri Pacific local from Alexandria that had gone into the siding. I think the crew had gone to lunch. This was right across from my grand parent's house and general store at the intersection of (a) street and Highway 165. Just South of here was the depot and freight station which are now gone. Two passenger trains a day went through Oakdale from Lake Charles to Little Rock.
I also used to go to a gravel pit north of Forrest Hill
that had a used Tremont and Gulf engine they used
to switch cars to the Missouri Pacific. The crew let
me ride on the engine with them. Looking back,
I'm lucky I didn't get hurt.
I found these two photos I took in an album I have. This is
the T&G engine I rode on. Pictures are poor quality and
this is best I could do retouching them. From the roster
on Mississippi rails it was scrapped in 1964.
Also, a picture I took at Long Leaf in the early fifties of
engine 202. Notice the whistle, bell, and number plate
on the front are still there. I think they have been
stolen since then.
Have you seen this site? Has some good pictures of the Red River and Gulf.http://www.msrailroads.com/Louisiana_RRs.htm
Just North of the gravel pit I told you about was another one
that had been shut down. Two locomotives were stored there;
one was an ex- Louisiana Midland 509. I can't find a picture I
took but found one on the Mississippi Rails site that was taken
at the gravel pit in 1954 when the engine was in operation. I
did some research and somehow the engine survived and is
on display at a railroad museum in Tennessee.
Then the talk changed to his home turf railroad, the Durango and Silverton.
I have ridden the train several times, the first in the early fifties.
I was in Silverton in August of this year. I live ....... about 125
miles from Silverton. A few friends and I go camping and jeeping
in this area once a year. Here are some pictures I took of Silverton.
Two trains were in town then.
Me: You can see the depot. These shots get larger when clicked.
Hit you "back button" to return. Wouldn't want you to get lost.
A train in the turn around wye.
Me: If you ride the D&S RR, be prepared for cold fog. Do not
let that detour you . Ride in the open air cars. Dress in
layers, bring a blanket and heat some bricks to keep your
Me: It is one of the "coolest" rides around. The Cumbres and Toltec
in Charma, New Mexico is a "must", also. No bricks required.
Me:About that he added:
I haven't ridden to Cumbres and Toltec but followed it from
Chama to the top of the pass in my car about twenty years ago.
Me: Now there's some "chasing trans".
Me: Just as a tease, it seemed, he added this:
I live in Colorado now. There are a lot of abandoned narrow
gauge railroads in the mountains here. I used to ride dirt
bikes on some of them which was really fun.
Me: I mentioned my son was thinking about doing some jeep
trails in the mountains around Silverton.
Jim on Jeeping:
..... I went Jeeping all over Colorado. A Tahoe could do most of
the trails here. They are old wagon roads built during the
mining boom of the 1880's. They used to be really rough but
are better now, the counties keep them up for the tourist that
come here and rent Jeeps. ATV's are really popular here also.
The area between Ouray, Telluride and Silverton has some of
the best scenery and historic mining remains in the state. ..........
I am sending some pictures from our trip in August. These
are old wagon roads between Ouray and Silverton. You need
a four wheel drive with low range due to steep grades and
Me: Acrophobiacs should not look at these. They, like all on
this page, expand when clicked.
Then he did a bit of sleuthing that about the possibility of
a remaining engine at the Woodworth sand pits. The
information turned out to be out of date but led to more.
His research netted these links:
Just found this tonight
Looks like it was sold earlier and is now at this museum in Tennessee.http://www.flickr.com/photos/midwestrailfan/2510937065/
Putting that in the rear view mirror, he moved on.
Just South of the pit where the T&G engine was working was another abandoned pit. Tracks ran about a mile west of the highway and this ex-Army 0-6-0 T was abandoned at the end of the track. There were faded letters U.S.A. on the side of the cab above the numbers. I did some research and the Army ordered quit a few of these during the war and shipped many overseas. I went back to this location in the mid 80's but the tracks and engine were gone. I guess you have seen the Army movies made of the railroad at Camp Claiborne on U-Tube? Sorry about the wrong information on engine 69 but at least you didn't go there on a wild goose chase.
Me: I love wild geese. Bring them on. There is always some golden goose egg that shows up.
Back to Jim:
Here is a video of one in Germany, you can get the idea.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0wvPDgDloA
Here are his pictures of the little sand pit ex-Army 0-6-0 T
That's going to do it for this Monday morning's run through the streets.
More later. Thanks Jim for sharing all of this with us!!!