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Railroad Newsletter

The Rail Report is the Club's monthly newsletter. It is filled with Club news, current Colorado rail happenings and Colorado railroad history. This page will only give you a brief glimpse of what is in the newsletter each month. Subscriptions can be obtained by joining the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club.

2001 Events Schedule

October 13 Event: Annual Banquet
November 13 Meeting: Video Potpourri
December 11 Meeting: California Rails

Annual Banquet and Program
Cuban Adventure
By Dave and Jean Gross and Jim Ehernberger
October 13, 2001 • 7:30 PM

Plan to attend the Club’s Annual Banquet. The dinner banquet and program will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2001, at the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts located at 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada, Colorado. We will start the evening at 6:00 PM with a cash bar. Dinner will be served at 7:00 PM. During the evening, we will be giving away many, many door prizes. Dinner will be a choice of Swordfish Parmesan, Lemon Pepper Chicken, New York Steak and this year we are offering a Vegetarian dinner.

The evening’s slide program, “Cuban Adventure” will be presented by club members Dave and Jean Gross and Jim Ehernberger. They traveled to Cuba this year and will share their slides and provide a first hand account of railroading in Cuba ­ most of it is still steam! The program will show the country, the people and the railroad from two different viewpoints. You will not want to miss this social event, so mark your calendars and order those tickets. Ticket are $30.00 each and the ticket order deadline is October 5, 2001. You can order your tickets on the Club’s web site (www.rockymtnrrclub.org) using your credit card. There is no regular Club meeting on October 9th. Our annual banquet is in place of the regular Club meeting. If you need additional information, please telephone the Club at 303-979-2806.

Membership Renewals and Equipment Fund Book Drawing

Membership Renewals For 2002 Are Due No Later Than January 1, 2002.

A renewal notice is included in this issue of the Rail Report. Please note that you can now charge your membership dues on MasterCard or Visa. Also included on the renewal notice are six coupons for the annual book/video drawing. Drawing tickets are $2.00 each and the funds raised benefit the equipment fund. See page 7 of this Rail Report to see how the equipment fund is used for restoration and maintenance of the Club’s historic equipment. The final selection of drawing prizes is underway. The new videos that the Club is planning to release later this year and early next year may be included.

Video Potpourri Night
By Mike Gailus

Now is the time to get your video clips ready for Video Potpourri night on November 13, 2001. Find those special clips and put them on a regular VCR tape and bring it to the October annual banquet. Content should be of train subjects and the length should be about five minutes. Be sure to label your tape with your name, telephone number and subject. We need a host for the video potpourri night. If you would like to coordinate this event, please contact Mike Gailus at a Club meeting or telephone 303-788-0403.

From The President
By Dave Goss

I recently had the opportunity to take Amtrak to California (via the Southwest Chief) and then return on the California Zephyr from Sacramento. I left Denver on an Amtrak Thruway coach at 6:45 AM and arrived in Fullerton, CA, the next morning at 9:00 AM (about 50 minutes late). I thought it might be interesting to see if I could have made the same trip any faster in 1957 or 1962. Why did I choose these dates? Because I have Official Guides for these years!

In 1957, one could leave Denver at 5:00 PM on Train 183 arriving in La Junta at 9:15 PM. Here you would connect with the Chief at 11:59 PM westbound, arriving in Los Angeles at 11:15 PM (no stop at Fullerton on the Chief). The total time on this trip would have been 30 hours and 15 minutes as compared to my 2001 journey of 26 hours and fifteen minutes. However, it is interesting to note that Amtrak allows 2 hours more for the 26-mile run from Fullerton to Los Angeles. Had I taken this same trip in 1962, the trip time would have been 27 hours and 45 minutes.

The trip from Sacramento in 1957 could be over several routes. Had I taken the Overland Route to Denver (via Ogden) the trip would have been 30 hours and 30 minutes leaving Sacramento on the San Francisco Overland and changing in Ogden to the City of St. Louis. My 2001 trip took 32 hours and fifteen minutes, no changes, and on time. The 1957 California Zephyr would have taken slightly less than 30 hours and in 1962, the time was exactly 30 hours. So what does all this rambling mean? For me, train travel forty to forty five years ago offered more variety, more options, different routes and about the same travel time. I guess when we criticize Amtrak as being the only train trip around, we need to remember that even though our choices were broader, the time was essentially the same.

If you did not get a chance to see Car 25 at the September 15th lighting ceremony, you missed a tremendous opportunity. Thanks to a generous donation from Russ and Sue Stuska, the car now has authentic carbon filament lights installed. The dedicated volunteers, who installed them, as well as Darrell and all his volunteers are to be commended for a terrific job well done! I hope to see many of you at the Banquet on October 13th. Remember, there will not be a regular Club meeting this month, as we will be enjoying the special banquet program at the Arvada Center instead.

Member Bob Griswold was featured in an article in the Fall 2001 issue of the University of Denver Magazine published by the Alumni Association. The article tells of Bob’s renown as a railroad historian as well as his volunteer efforts with the Platte Valley Trolley.

The article also recounts the story of David Moffat and includes a brief write-up on club member Charles Moffat III.

Congratulations, Bob and Charles!

Out At The Museum
By Bob Tully

The Club’s ex-Public Service Fairmont Speeder, model M-9-G, built in the late 1940’s is currently under restoration by Club member Gus Mocilac. He is a long time member of the North American Motor Car Operators Association and has previously rebuilt an identical Fairmont speeder for himself. He has also worked on other models.

We moved our speeder to Colorado Springs in mid-July to make work convenient and expedite repairs. At this time the windshield frame, control panel, cab, fenders, wheel covers, tool box, engine cover, floor, headlights and all old wiring was removed. Next come the wheels, axles, pulleys, drive shaft and motor. Then we clean the frame. All metal parts will be sandblasted, and then the fun of a complete rebuilding begins. Following a new paint or powder coat finish and everything working about mid-summer 2002, it will be returned to the standard gauge show track at the Museum for visitor enjoyment.

Gus and other members of the NA Motor Car Association from Colorado Springs are cleaning right of way, rebuilding and repairing 2.8 miles of the old Rock Island line for running motor cars. This track runs from near Murray and Constitution to Towers Boulevard on private land along the east edge of Colorado Springs. Lynn French and Glenn Lark constructed a 12 X 12 foot concrete pad for handling of motor cars and getting them on this historic piece of track.

Back at the Colorado Railroad Museum, we are still primarily working on caboose 0578 but with continual touch up on the Rico and minor efforts on the tender. At least the painting of 0578 is nearing completion. The body was primed as needed with two or more coats of “red” paint everywhere. Ken Gow, Denny Haefle, Roger Sherman and Dwane Fields have done an outstanding job preparing the wood, priming and painting throughout August and September. Next comes a coat of black on the frame, wheels and all undercarriage and couplers. Then white trim on the grab irons, railings, etc. Eventually the final step will come ­ new letters and numbers.

Hopefully, re-lettering will be done this winter. Interested in helping? Give me a ring at 303-428-2322 as we could sure use another hand any 2nd or 4th Saturday or any time you might be available. We can make arrangements for access to supplies.

A Glow That Warmed The Heart
By Darrell Arndt

The fall open house on September 15th for Interurban No. 25 celebrated the installation of the new light fixtures in the ceiling and other improvements. Prior to moving the car outside for operation, we gathered inside the car for the “official lighting.” As the building lights were turned off, Russ and Sue Stuska flipped the switches and the interior was instantly bathed in the glow of twenty-six replica carbon filament bulbs.

For the first time in approximately sixty-five years, the car exuded the ambiance of the vintage lighting that passengers first experienced in February of 1911. Everyone’s high spirits were certainly tempered by the memories of our national tragedy the previous Tuesday as we paused for a moment of reflection.

Blue skies helped as the car was then moved outside for the day’s operation. The new lighting even looked good outside and we are most grateful to club and foundation members Russ and Sue Stuska who have funded the rather expensive replication of the fixtures and who even bought the light bulbs many years ago. Russ and Sue’s generosity is not limited to monetary support as they can occasionally be seen in Rail Report photos working on the club’s equipment at the Colorado Railroad Museum.

Complementing the lights were the new replica advertising cards that were obtained from the Association of Railway Museums who did an excellent job of reproducing them.

Foundation President Joe Minnich and Treasurer Fran Minnich were on hand at the open house to welcome visitors. Foundation trustees assisting included Bob Wilson, Ron Kaminen, Charlotte Williams, Tom Peyton, Ken Hampton and Richard Loveman along with Community Contact Jon Esty and Don Zielesch. Assisting in the operation of the car was conductor Tom Peyton, motorman Irwin Chaim, Dick Kremers and electrician Bob Dunmire.

A big “Thank you” is extended to those who prepared the car for the day including Tom Peyton, Dick Kremers, Hugh Wilson Sr., and Rich Berens. Darrell and Shirley Taylor of Cascade came up and added atmosphere with their vintage dress and Tom Peyton’s commemorative tickets were a big hit (see page 2).

Visitors included Woeber family descendants Don Woeber and wife Leona from Ft. Collins and Philip Woeber and his wife Claudia of Denver. Over thirty books were on sale from the late Ed Haley’s collection that have been graciously donated by the Haley family through Ted Haley and his wife Paula. Most of the books will be available for sale to members at meetings and other functions with a few to be sold by drawings to be announced. All proceeds will go to the No. 25 restoration fund. Ron Kaminen handled the sale of the books and foundation merchandise.

Another recent financial contribution of note was from Don Eliot who has provided other monetary support in the past, most notably for the car lettering. Others thoughtfully gave financial donations during the open house. A total of $775.00 was donated and raised by sales of books and merchandise.

Frank Navarro and Bob Dunmire spent numerous hours preparing and installing the lights fixtures and Frank added a protective coating to the brass. Bob Wilson obtained the light sockets and Fred Swovland did an outstanding job of fabricating the fixtures. The fixtures were designed based on concepts provided by Robert Immergluck of the Western Railway Museum in California. Tom Voelker was engaged to polish the covers and did a marvelous job.

Joe and Louise Piz at A-1 Metal Stripping contributed stripping of the first luggage rack to be installed. Joe and Louise also donated a rare fare register that will be installed in the car. It really looks great after a stunning polishing job by Frank Navarro. Alert Polishing and Plating donated the re-plated of the rope guides for the walls.

Other recent donations of note include a number of fine Herb O’Hanlon black and white views of Denver & Intermountain equipment contributed by Gordon Basset of Colorado Springs. We are always interested in photo’s and items relating to the D&IM operations so please keep us in mind if something shows up.

After visiting the car, a number of folks elected to check out the new Denver Federal Center Museum where our friend Al Green greeted visitors. It was a fine day to visit the car. Thanks to all who stopped by to provide encouragement.

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