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Nostalgia & History > 4th in a TP series

Date: 07/18/05 22:16
4th in a TP series
Author: xtra1188w

Today I found the fourth 4x5 negative that my Pop made from the depot at Tennessee Pass ca1956. This shows a meet of that extra west with the four F units in the hole to meet an eastbound freight with an L131 class 3600 number series just exiting the "new" tunnel at the summit of Tennessee Pass. The old bore is plainly evident to the right of the new tunnel. I reckon that the barrow ditch seen here was dug to drain the old tunnel. This view is looking compass direction northwest from the operator's bay on the 2nd floor of the TP depot. US24 runs directly across the top of the summit in this view, and still does so today. Across the tracks to the right is the same road that goes to the bottom of the hill at TP today. Those two houses are long gone now. The upper most one had until recently at the time of the photo been occupied by a little old widow lady that earned a small stipend and her rent for the house as the postmistress of Tennessee Pass until she passed away in about 1954 or so. Her name was Mabel Recklau, and she was the widow of Fred Recklau. Fred Recklau had been an operator/telegrapher for the Rio Grande until he was fired. It was determined by an investigative board that Fred had been responsible for getting some trainorders mixed up while working 2nd trick at TP, and as a result there had been a headon collision at Granite Colorado between two passenger trains in 1925 or 1926, resulting in loss of life and a lot of injuries, plus destruction of equipment.


Date: 07/18/05 22:29
Re: 4th in a TP series
Author: xtra1188w

That 6 dome tank car in the previous image was a "ROMA WINE" car. There used to be quite a bit of bulk wine tank cars head east thru TP on the Grande. Up until 1953 or 1954, the Rio Grande kept a couple of "car knockers" at TP who walked the trains checking for hot boxes, or dragging brakes, and etc. Once upon a time in about 1952 or so, one of these guys said that he'd found a car on an eastbound freight with a leaky drain valve on one of these cars, and that it'd likely all drain out before it reached its destination on the east coast, and that he'd have to repair it right quick. Of course it didn't get done until he'd filled up a couple od "Jerry Cans" with some of the contents first. That's what Pop discovered after he'd walked out to the standing blue flagged train to see what was taking so long for its repaire to be done.
Pop related this story to us one summer day after he'd come home after he'd got off work at 3:30pm.


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