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Steam & Excursion > La Junta, CO headlight

Date: 02/09/24 14:57
La Junta, CO headlight
Author: ATSF2324

This was found in the La Junta, CO area.    What is something like this worth?


Date: 02/09/24 18:50
Re: La Junta, CO headlight
Author: wcamp1472

The curved front glass as well as the reflector makes this 
very collectible.  If either one gets broken that could 
easily knock-off 80% of its 'pristine' value.

Any details as to which RR it came from, or likely to have come from,
also adds to the value.



Date: 02/10/24 03:59
Re: La Junta, CO headlight
Author: LoggerHogger

As long as the insides are complete (no photos of that shown) these go from $500 - $1,500 depending onwho buys and if they can pick it up and not have to ship it.


Date: 02/10/24 12:24
Re: La Junta, CO headlight
Author: wabash2800

That's really cool. And if that is the original lighting, the bulb is still in one piece. Was it found along the right-of-way? if so, perhaps there was a  wreck at that location.

A railroader friend told of a whistle falling off a Wabash steam loco. They later found it and was told by the railroad that they could not keep it. LOL The same railroader recalled some nice kerosene marker lights that had came in on an Ann Arbor caboose long after the Wabash stopped using them. He wanted to keep them but again was told no. Having been around railroaders most of my life the general consensus among them is that they were not returned to the Anny but an official kept them. I remember attending an auction in the area that included a number of depot clocks. The deceased man, who had been a local official, had managed to collect the railroad clocks from almost all the depots up and down the line.

Victor Baird

Date: 02/10/24 15:09
Re: La Junta, CO headlight
Author: JHF

Many years as a teenager in the 2960's I was able to purchase a Golden Glow head light and builder's plates which was off a GE box cab electric lock. Stupidly I did not record the road name on the loco and did not have a camera. This was from a scrap yard in the Chicago area. Wish I new then what I know now about documentation. The Golden Glow head light  really produces a golden light, nothing like the bright head lights in use today. It is more like what a head light on dim produces.
John Finch (JHF)

Date: 02/10/24 21:12
Re: La Junta, CO headlight
Author: patd3985

I remember years ago when the U.P. was replacing their "Estate" pot bellied, cast iron coal stoves with oil stoves in all the cabooses and they would just throw them out in a scrap pile and smash 'em to bits! I asked to buy one and was promply told "NO!". I then asked my shift foreman and he said leave it to me...Needless to say, I would find a part of one everyday in the backseat of my car! I never asked anymore questions and after about a week, I had a complete stove! I still have fond memories of that old cast iron stove! I remember the company motto stamped into the top of the stove was: "IF I AM GOOD, PLEASE TELL OTHERS ABOUT IT!".

Date: 02/11/24 00:28
Re: La Junta, CO headlight
Author: wcamp1472


While employed by the D&H, They had bought an order of 
( I think) brand-new bay window cabooses  ( cabeese?) equipped 
With propane heaters.  There was a central radiant-hear, ceiling panel about 
16" wide, and length, door-to-door.  Also, Aladdin kerosene mantle 
lamps mounted in spring-centered wall brackets.

The central ceiling grid was made of ceramic, rectangular 
'waffle" grid heating grids, and equipped with manual flow-control 
propane valves.

Insde of one year, 6 cabooses were set afire. when crews left at the 
end of a shift.  Seems that the crews, to keep warm, would run the ceiling 
grid on high-flow gas setting --- account at track-speed, the wind through 
cab could get bitter cold, especially at Rouses Point, NY --- on the Canadian 

At the end of the shift, instead of trurning-down the gas flow, crews would 
abandon the cabin car, without also reducing the gas/ heat flow.  So, the 
endangerd cabooses caught fire... extensively damaging the interiors.

So, D&H bought brand-new coal fired caboose stoves, and equipped all 
the propane ceiling heaters witn coal stoves.  Now the worst that would happen
when cabs were abandoned, the coal fires simply burned-out. 

Only problem then was frozen plumbing.   Modtly, the freeze damage was in 
the piping and drain traps.  The cure was replacing the split sections with 
short hose repairs.  At future freeze-ups then occurred in the hoses --- which 
were undamaged by freezing.  

Some older cabooses, equipped with coal stroves were scrapped, but the coal 
shoves were removed and preserved for future replacements.

However, in about 2 winters after purchase, cabooses were made 
obsolete, and the D&H removed most from service.  During that time 
I was assigned at Oneonta loco servicing facility.  Mostly we instituted 
92-day diesel loco inspections, relieving some pressure from the Colonie,
NY D&H main diesel shop.

We also became a traction motor repair point.  We had GE 6-axle diesel 
units, fitted with aluminum carbody cables between the main generators and 
the 6 traction motors.  Electricians can relate what happens, several years 
after purchase !

Seems that hybrid connectors at the traction. motors' copper feed wires were
connectec to the aluminum carbody cables ---- over time the aluminum cable
connections over-heated and burned-off at some of the traction motors.

Seems that all the connectors soon experienced aluminum corrosion at 
at the traction motors --- the first failed cables occurred after several heat-cycles..

The first heat cycles resulted the aluminum cables heating-up during high current 
flows ( on mountainous trackage between Binghamton, NY and Albany) the 
aluminum conductors expanded, and squeezed out of the compressed cable connectors
st the traction motors.

On downhill, and low current flows on level track, the lower current flows allowed 
the connectors to cool--- but, the aluminum that had squeezed out, now cooled 
and shrank, but remained outside the crimp --- slightly loosening the formerly
crimped connection.  At each succeeding heat-cycle and high current flows
continued loosen the crimps... eventually.the loosened crimped got so hot that
the aluminum melted burned-off at the conductor junction crimps.

We were supplied with a hydraulic cable-crimper, new connectors, and short
copper cable splices --- applied at the damaged aluminum carbody cables.
Also, we used aluminum conductor 'grease' --- applied at the new connection.
The di-electric cable grease was specially formulated for all aluminum electrical
connectors as an anti-ozidant   Problem solved; however, repairs continued,
because there's no way to get the di-electric grease in existing crimps.

At Oneonta, the cable repairs were permanent, and we returned the crippled 
engines to service, in under an hour, for each copper/aluminum "splice repair".
But, a non-repaired connector is still a threat.

Again, relieving Colonie Shops of extra work, and returned the units to service,
in short order, back to hauling freight right out of Oneonta's large freight yard..  
All gone,  by now!

When Sterzing was relieved of his D&H office, he was hired by CRIP ( Rock Island)
in Chicago.  Soon, when the Master Mechanic position opened at Little Rock, ARK,
abd he offered me the Position + moving expenses,  and a $12,000 pay raise, at the time.
Went to $26K per year --- about a 30% increase, over the D&H rate.

Not bad, for the start of a wonderful RR career!


Not proofed, yet....


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/24 00:48 by wcamp1472.

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