RI's Rocky Mountain Rocket.

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RI's Rocky Mountain Rocket.
Posted by NP Eddie on Sunday, December 16, 2012 12:50 PM

This post is regarding the switching of the Rocky Mountain Rocket at Limon, Colorado.

Wayner's "Car Names, Numbers and Consists" states that a Chair/Postal Car and one Sleeper ran to Colorado Springs. Were additional Colorado Springs cars involved, maybe in the summer?

I have seen a picture of the two locomotives shuffling cars between the Denver and Colorado Springs trains and that the RI used the UP from Limon to Denver.

How much time did this switching take and where did the RI crew from Limon to Colorado Springs get on their train? I assume that one crew member was paid extra (an arbitrary) for uncoupling and coupling passenger hose and the steam line.

When was the Colorado Springs section discontinued?

Ed Burns

Retired NP-BN-BNSF Clerk from Minneapolis and an ATCS host in Anoka,MN

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, December 16, 2012 6:48 PM

Ed, the February, 1950, issueof the Guide shows a club diner that ran between Chicago and Colorado Springs, in addition to the coach and sleeper. The schedule shows twenty minutes from arrival to departure in Limon for the Colorado Springs section and westbound and fifteen minutes eastbound for the same section; it does not show the departure time for the wb Denver section, nor arrival time for the eb Denver section.

I would say that the Limon-Colorado Springs crew boarded at Limon and came back to Limon the same day, having worked about 157 miles in about eight and a half hours.

In November, 1963, there was only a through coach Chicago-Colorado Springs

Johnny

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Posted by KCSfan on Monday, December 17, 2012 4:22 AM

In the summer months there were additional cars that ran in the Colorado Springs section. The June 1954 OG shows the following equipment (car no's. are for the westbound train). Two chair cars #76 and 77; a Chi-Colo Spgs diner; two sleepers #73 a 8 Sec, 2 DBr, 2 Compartment car and #74 a 6 Sec, 6 Rmt, 4 DBr car.

At the same time, equipment of the Denver section was: Two chair cars #78 and 79, a club diner, sleeper #72 a 10 Sec, 4 Rmt car,  observation car #70 a 5 DBr, buffet lounge car.

Times in Limon are the same as Johnny noted and I feel he is right about the train crew working Limon - Colo Spgs and back the same day.

Mark   

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, December 17, 2012 6:21 AM

Recall that the two-unit lashup that pulled the train included an E-7 A-unit in the lead followed by the custom  E-7 (or was it E-6?) AB, a square B-unit body with a front cab, the A-unit going to Denver, and the AB going to Colorado Springs.   Probably in the summer, an additional unit was assigned, probabliy going to Denver.    Occasionally Rock Island equipment would be transferred from CS to Denver or back, usually on the joint DRG&W-AT&SF train.   When this happened there would be four railroads represented, because the through CB&Q cars for the Denver Zephyr from and to CS would be on the train.  Excuse me, five, because sometimes the slumbercoach was NP (stainless steel) in pool service!

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, December 17, 2012 6:49 AM

The original RPO-Coach for the CS section had 44 seats to the Denver coach's 52 seats, so it was really a fairly even split. Sleepers were 10Sec4Rmt and 5BR to Denver, 8Sec2DBR2Cpt to CS, also a fairly even split.  The Kansas City sleeper was a Pullman pool-service Cascade series car.  Before the AB6's were delivered, the CS section rated a whaleback-tendered Pacific, with the E3s going to Denver. Extra cars if needed came from the two groups of coaches purchased in 1940/41 and from the Pullman pool.

By August 1957 the split had changed a bit.  The RPO-Coach had been rebuilt into a Club-Lounge and the consist looked like this east of Limon:

E(3/6/7)

AB6 (by this time twin-engined)

Baggage/RPO CS

Baggage Denver

52 seat coaches  (one each Denver and CS)

Diner CS

Club-Diner Denver (rebuilt from RPO-Coach)

6Sec-6Rmt-4DBR sleeper (built for Golden State service) Denver

8-2-2 CS

8Rmt-6DBR CS

The 5DBR-lounge-obs seems to have been dropped by then.

As far as I can find the CS split lasted until the end of operations, but most likely with a boiler GP7 or GP9 taking the place of the AB6 west of Limon.

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Posted by KCSfan on Monday, December 17, 2012 8:03 AM

The City of Denver and the Denver Zephyr ran on nearly identical 14-1/2 hour schedules and were the preferred trains between Denver and Chicago. The Rocky Mountain Rocket ran on a slower, 17-1/2 hour schedule between the two cities. For this reason it's probable that the majority of the Rockets Denver passengers were going to/from the intermediate cities it served, Omaha excepted. The UP's faster City of Denver would have been preferred by Omaha Passengers. 

On the other hand the Rocket was the only through train between Colorado Springs and points east so it would have been the train of choice between that city and even Chicago.

Mark

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, December 17, 2012 10:24 AM

KCSfan

On the other hand the Rocket was the only through train between Colorado Springs and points east so it would have been the train of choice between that city and even Chicago.

Mark

After 1956 the DZ's through cars offered 18 hrs 45 min WB and 18 hrs 50 min EB.  Before that a change to the Royal Gorge was required at Denver.

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Posted by jridge on Monday, December 17, 2012 1:37 PM

Don't forget about the MoPac's Colorado Eagle.  Ran from Pueblo to St Louis.  Anyone know when this train was discontinued?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 5:13 AM

It was a joint D&RGW - MP train and ran through to Denver on the joint with D&RGW crews west (north) of Pueblo.  Usually, the MP power ran through.   A small portion of the equpment was owned by the D&RGW but painted like the MP equipment.   But it was not a Chicago - Denver train although of course one could connect with it from Chicago and ride to Colorado Springs or Denver.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 8:17 AM

KCSfan

The City of Denver and the Denver Zephyr ran on nearly identical 14-1/2 hour schedules and were the preferred trains between Denver and Chicago. The Rocky Mountain Rocket ran on a slower, 17-1/2 hour schedule between the two cities. For this reason it's probable that the majority of the Rockets Denver passengers were going to/from the intermediate cities it served, Omaha excepted. The UP's faster City of Denver would have been preferred by Omaha Passengers. 

On the other hand the Rocket was the only through train between Colorado Springs and points east so it would have been the train of choice between that city and even Chicago.

Mark

I've heard that traffic for Colorado Springs was heavier than that for Denver.

As to the psgr trainmen getting an arbitrary for working the steam/air connections, I've seen some pictures (Some have appeared in Kalmbach publications, so they may be available somewhere on their site.  Most likely MR side) where you can see a car man standing next to the uniformed trainman while making the switching moves.  The car man would be the one to do that work.  If there wasn't a car man available and the trainman had to do the work, then he would get an arbitrary for doing it.

Jeff  

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 10:09 AM

Not to get too far off topic, but I observed a similar situation in South Amboy, NJ in 1982.  Two carmen were assigned to break and make the steam/signal/air connections when the motive power on North Jersey Coast Line suburban trains was changed from a GG1 to a pair of E8A's.

Paul The commute to work may be part of the daily grind, but I get two train rides a day out of it.
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Posted by bedell on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 6:25 PM

We have often driven US 24 from between Limon and Colorado Springs along the now torn-up RI route. Does anybody have a link to photos of the Colorado Springs section of the Rocket on that track with the AB6 as power?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 8:20 PM

Not in motion, but (I'm guessing by the pilot covers being open) at Limon:

http://cdm16079.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15330coll22/id/45505

 

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Posted by FlyingCrow on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 8:50 PM

The poster needs a copy of "Where the Rockets Wed", April 1953 TRAINS Magazine.

AB Dean Jacksonville,FL
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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 9:59 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

Not to get too far off topic, but I observed a similar situation in South Amboy, NJ in 1982.  Two carmen were assigned to break and make the steam/signal/air connections when the motive power on North Jersey Coast Line suburban trains was changed from a GG1 to a pair of E8A's.

Something similar happened on the NYC when I used to ride it 50 years ago thru the electric/diesel change-over point at North White Plains, NY.  IIRC the conductor would stand on the platform where he could see the carman work the connections, while it turn the engine crew could see the conductor.  Of course the car mans work was made more hazardous by the nearby 3rd rail.

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Posted by thomas81z on Friday, January 04, 2013 7:46 PM

 i used to live in colorado springs, wow  limon is in the middle of nowhere lol . i remember trackage coming in from the east thru widefield/ security i wonder who ran on that routeQuestion

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, January 11, 2013 10:05 AM

Two lines came from the east into Limon, the Rock Island and the Union Pacific line from Kansas City, the former Kansas Pacific line.

Paul The commute to work may be part of the daily grind, but I get two train rides a day out of it.

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