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Steam & Excursion > Was It The Gauge Of This Locomotive That Kept Her Around So Long!


Date: 07/30/20 00:58
Was It The Gauge Of This Locomotive That Kept Her Around So Long!
Author: LoggerHogger

A more fore-lone sight was hard to find even in the lean years of the 1930's. 

Here, in Denver, Colorado in July, 1939, visiting Bay Area Railfan Ted Wurm came across this rusting hulk of a Shay locomotive that had clearly been out of service for many, many years.  The object of his attention at the Morse Brothers Machinery Company yard was former Gilpin Tram Railway Shay #5.  This 2-foot gauge locomotive had worked on the Gilpin Tram Ry out of Black Hawk, Colorado from 1902 when she was built until 1917 when that railroad was abandoned for good.

After the Morse Brothers scraped the railroad they took #5 to their yard in Denver to look for a new buyer.  They recognized that the engine had only 15 years of service on her so she should have been a good candidate for re-sale.  Perhaps they felt her unusual 2-foot gauge might also be a selling point.  What ever the reason, #5 languished as we see her her for more than 20 years without ever finding a buyer.

One interesting aspect of #5 that may interest builder's plate collectors what the fact that her Lima round cast iron builder's plate was actually attached to her upside down at the factory.  I doubt that fact prevented her re-sale as much as her unusual 2-foot gauge.

Martin



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/20 01:12 by LoggerHogger.






Date: 07/30/20 07:45
Re: Was It The Gauge Of This Locomotive That Kept Her Around So L
Author: NKP779

GREAT STUFF! Thanks for sharing.

Posted from Android



Date: 07/30/20 08:19
Re: Was It The Gauge Of This Locomotive That Kept Her Around So L
Author: czuleget

Was it used for logging or Mining? 



Date: 07/30/20 08:24
Re: Was It The Gauge Of This Locomotive That Kept Her Around So L
Author: Arved

czuleget Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Was it used for logging or Mining? 

The Gilpin Tramway was a gold ore hauling railroad.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilpin_Railroad
 

Arved Grass
Fleming Island, FL
Arved Grass



Date: 07/30/20 11:30
Re: Was It The Gauge Of This Locomotive That Kept Her Around So L
Author: Earlk

I wonder if the fact the engine was stripped of just about everything including the crankshaft, rods, valve gear and line shafts had anything to do with not finding a buyer?



Date: 07/30/20 14:16
Re: Was It The Gauge Of This Locomotive That Kept Her Around So L
Author: PlyWoody

The Gilpin Gold Tram by Mall Ferrell has a 1938 photo by R. H. Kindig Collection on page 98 which says this is Shay #4 and is on 3' gauge trucks. Gilpin's Shay #1 and #2 were sold in 1905 as 2' gauge engines to Silver City, Pinoa Altos & Mongollon RR in Silver City. NM. #3. #4, #5 were regaged to 3' by dealer.
I have another nearly identical photo taken in 1938 with the adjacent engine having the smoke box door entirely open
I have a second nearly identical photo taken in 1938 stamped on back as Moody Railroad photo both without the engine number listed on the back.
Denver Public Library in 2011 has a Aug 1939 photo of same engine more as a rear side 3/4 angle saying it is at Radesky' Jct. Yd.  (Utah Jct).   Adam County Denver by David K. Clint, Jr.

https://digital.denverlibrary.org/digital/collection/p15330coll22/id/76497/rec/4

Edit to add link of photo of same engine with a August 1939 date which is a year later then the scrap date which has been prior history of these locomotives looking to be sold.  Follow will be a copy of record by Lima Service Department showing Denver and Morse Brothers Machine & Equip only has one Shay on hand "second hand"  I believe two other Shay from Gilpin found buyers or were scrapped earlier.

This Lima inventory is not dated but is the late 1920s because the Routt Pinnacle Coal name was only used 1921-1934. Their two Shays were originally from Noland L &T.  American Smelting Refinery was recorded buying Shay #2797 but it had never been recorded to be in Denver.and it was changed to narrow gauge 3'.
The 2 Shay under D&RG were sold to Pacifc Equipment Co. 6/1929 and 9/1928 so this inventory is before 1928. 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/20 18:24 by PlyWoody.




Date: 07/30/20 14:46
Re: Was It The Gauge Of This Locomotive That Kept Her Around So L
Author: LocoPilot750

From my collection of weird stuff, a Gilpin Tram switch key, kinda hard to find.






Date: 07/30/20 18:46
Re: Was It The Gauge Of This Locomotive That Kept Her Around So L
Author: PlyWoody

Dear Martin,
Is there any chance the Ted Wurm collection contained any other Shay photos taken at the same time at Morse Bros. Machinery Co?   In addition to the 3 Shays that were supposed to be there from Gilpin RR, the CB #1 Lima 598 was sent by Utah Construction Co to Morse Bros. a second time in Sept. 1924 where it was later scrapped.  This locomotive was originally Salt Lake & Mercur RR #7 and then Copper Belt #1.  

Photo below is said to be Gilpin RR No 5 but identical to #4 so not positive.

Top photo by Ted Wurm is a different locomotive than this bottom photo because of the location of the builder plate, above photo has it is higher than this photo that has the plate on the side of the smoke box.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/20 19:14 by PlyWoody.






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