WESTERN PACIFIC AND COLORADO MIDLAND

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WESTERN PACIFIC AND COLORADO MIDLAND
Posted by ALBERTO DEL BIANCO on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 2:56 PM

Why Classic Trains  do not make articles or place photos of this railways?

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 11:00 PM

Colorado Midland was abandoned about 1920, before the "Classic Train" era.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 06, 2016 7:02 AM

It is still appropriate and interesting and important subject matter.  Many, many years ago, early 1950's I believe, those with the full CD can check on this, TRAINS ran an excellent article Grass Grows on the Midland, that both conveyed some of the spirit of the operation, the wildflower excursions, trains snowed in, etc. and the facts about its building and its demise.  It was truly put to death by the USRA.  But it probably should not have been built to begin with.  At the time of its abandonment, it was by far the largest railroad abandonment.  A portion at the east end survived until well after WWII as the Midland Terminal, even into dieselization. 

Possibly the article should be available as a pdf.

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Posted by ALBERTO DEL BIANCO on Thursday, October 06, 2016 11:25 AM

daveklepper

It is still appropriate and interesting and important subject matter.  Many, many years ago, early 1950's I believe, those with the full CD can check on this, TRAINS ran an excellent article Grass Grows on the Midland, that both conveyed some of the spirit of the operation, the wildflower excursions, trains snowed in, etc. and the facts about its building and its demise.  It was truly put to death by the USRA.  But it probably should not have been built to begin with.  At the time of its abandonment, it was by far the largest railroad abandonment.  A portion at the east end survived until well after WWII as the Midland Terminal, even into dieselization. 

Possibly the article should be available as a pdf.

 

daveklepper

It is still appropriate and interesting and important subject matter.  Many, many years ago, early 1950's I believe, those with the full CD can check on this, TRAINS ran an excellent article Grass Grows on the Midland, that both conveyed some of the spirit of the operation, the wildflower excursions, trains snowed in, etc. and the facts about its building and its demise.  It was truly put to death by the USRA.  But it probably should not have been built to begin with.  At the time of its abandonment, it was by far the largest railroad abandonment.  A portion at the east end survived until well after WWII as the Midland Terminal, even into dieselization. 

Possibly the article should be available as a pdf.

 

daveklepper

It is still appropriate and interesting and important subject matter.  Many, many years ago, early 1950's I believe, those with the full CD can check on this, TRAINS ran an excellent article Grass Grows on the Midland, that both conveyed some of the spirit of the operation, the wildflower excursions, trains snowed in, etc. and the facts about its building and its demise.  It was truly put to death by the USRA.  But it probably should not have been built to begin with.  At the time of its abandonment, it was by far the largest railroad abandonment.  A portion at the east end survived until well after WWII as the Midland Terminal, even into dieselization. 

Possibly the article should be available as a pdf.

 

Thank you

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, October 06, 2016 5:24 PM

And, we should remember "Classic Trains" can't print articles if no-one writes them and submits them.

If you're really interested in the Colorado Midland Railway there was an excellent book about it published in 1989 by Sundance Publications Limited (221 Sherman St. Denver CO 80203) called "Colorado Midland Railway, Daylight Through The Divide" by Dan Abbott. 

It's a substantial hardcover book of 375 pages packed with photographs, maps, and a well-researched text.  I got my copy 20 years ago at the Colorado Railroad Museum, they just might have a few copys left so it might be worth your while to contact them.  Sorry, I don't remember what I paid for it but considering the quality I don't think it was cheap, although I doubt I paid more than $50 for it.

You might have some luck with Amazon.com as well, as well as checking with various railbook dealers.  If there's any train shows in your area thay'd be a good place to look as well.  E-Bay might be a good place check as well.

Hope this helps, good luck!

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Posted by ALBERTO DEL BIANCO on Friday, October 07, 2016 8:00 AM
Thank you
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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, October 07, 2016 6:42 PM

You're welcome!

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Saturday, October 08, 2016 5:47 AM

The all time classic on the Colorado Midland remains the book by the same title by the late Morris Cafky which was published in 1965!  The Midland Route:A Colorado Midland Guide & Data Book by Edward M. "Mel" McFarland was published in 1980 by Pruett Press and compliments more than dublcates Cafky's book.  These two books belong in every Midland fan's library along with Abbott's.  McFarland also wrote a book on the Midland Terminal, titled The Cripple Creek Road: A Midland Terminal Guide & Data Book, published in 1984 also by Pruett Press.  The Colorado Railroad Museum published an expanded Second Edition of McFarland's Midland Road in 1986 which contains additional information not found in the First Edition.

Though gone almost 100 years, the Midland refuses to die and remains in the hearts of those who love hard luck railroads.  My second favorite being the New York, Ontario & Western.  The "Old Woman" died in 1957 and it should be noted that it was chartered as the New York & Oswego Midland! 

Not to be forgotten: The Midland Continental.  It was to build between Winnepeg, Manitoba in Canada to Galveston, Texas on the Gulf of Mexico.  Only some 70 plus miles were constructed in North Dakota.  Sadly, it was abandoned in the late 60s or early 70s.  The only remaining depot on the MICO is located in Wimbledon, ND where MICO caboose #710 is on display in front of the depot which is maintained by the MC Depot Transportation Museum.  See the MC thread here on the Classic Trains forum.

For some reason, "Midland" railroads seem to always fall on bad luck.

 

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 08, 2016 8:42 AM

Driving west on Route 24 from Colorado Springs as you go up Ute Pass off to the left you can see the remnants of the old Colorado Midland / Midland Terminal right of way, complete with tunnels.  Some of the old stations are still standing in the towns along Route 24 repurposed for other uses.  In Cripple Creek the old CM/MT station, a very substantial one by the way, is still there and it's a fascinating museum of local history now.

The Cripple Creek and Victor narrow-gauge tourist line (steam-powered!) is near the museum as well and runs along part of the old CM right of way.  Fun ride too!

The old stone CM roundhouse is still there in Colorado Springs, and I understand it's a craft brewery now.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 10:08 AM

Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

For some reason, "Midland" railroads seem to always fall on bad luck.

Not completely.  The Chicago & Illinois Midland has been reasonably successful and is now part of the G&W network as the Illinois & Midland.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Thursday, October 13, 2016 4:01 AM

I stand corrected.  Pardon me!  Are there other Midland railroads around the world that are still operating?  I imigine many British railfans miss the London Midland, & Scottish Railway as much as I miss the CM and MT in Colorado!

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Friday, October 21, 2016 5:48 AM

To be more specific, the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, occupies what was the Midland Terminal right of way.

One can still ride the rails of the Colorado Midland today!  Amtrak's California Zephyr runs over former CM ROW west of Glenwood Springs* and continues west over what was the Rio Grande Junction Ry. to Grand Junction.  The RGJ was jointly owned and operated by the CM and D&RG!

*The original D&RG ROW was utilized when I-80 was constructed through the Glenwood Springs area.  The D&RGW was subsiquently relaid on the CM ROW!    

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, October 22, 2016 11:59 AM

Sorry to have to correct English. but you mean consequently, not subsiquently.  Subsiquently would mean there was a gap in service, which there certainly was not.  The D&RGW tracks on the old CM RoW were, of course, put in place before the actual removal of the old tracks and construction of I-80.

But the information you are presenting is accurate and worth learning and not very-well known.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, October 22, 2016 9:37 PM

Actually you both need correcting, as the new interstate highway was I-70.  Whistling

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:51 AM

I accept your correction.   Did not drive on the highway.   But did ride the old CZ twice over the old roadbed, and the RGZ over both the old and the new, the latter about 31 times altogether.  Then Amtrak's CZ four times over the new, once eastbound mostly on the rear platform of Dick Horstmann's Lehigh Valley 353.

Subsequently is an adverb referring to sequence of events.

Consequently is an adverb referring to cause and effect.

In Hebrew, subsequently is ahar kakh; consequently, kee-tosa'at ze or kee-toa'at zot. 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Monday, October 24, 2016 2:41 AM

English and math were my worst two subjects.  I was strong in history and geography.  I stand corrected and thanks guys for coming to my assistance.  You may tar and feather me but please don't make me eat crow.  I would love to learn Hebrew and Latin.  I did teach myself German without any outside help from any schooling or teaching aids though I do ruin the lauguage because I speak it with a Texas accent having been born in Dallas at 4:08AM on a hot 1946 Fourth of July.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 24, 2016 11:47 AM

And you will keep your USA citizenship while living in Germany just like i keep and treasure mine.  Now, can someone who is a German scholar help by exact German translations for subsequently and consequently? 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Monday, October 24, 2016 5:17 PM

I never applied for dual citizenship.  I have enough trouble remembering to renew my US passport which comes up for renewal in Feburary 2017 I believe.  Better go check it again...  Speaking of treasures, you can still visit the synagogue here in Ansbach/Middle Franconia/State of Bavaria.  Located in the middle of the old city (now our traffic free pedestrian zone or verkehrsfreie fußgängerzone) it was spared the burning on the Kristallnacht since the entire inner city would have been burned to the ground!  Instead, a symbolic fire was built in the middle of the cobberstone street where the synagogue proudly stands to this day. 

On the other hand, the Deutsche Reichsbahn's Ansbach Bahnhof and railway facilities were bombed by the allies during WWII.  Ansbach was, and remains, a major junction point between the north-south Hamburg-Munich and east-west Nuremberg-Stuttgart trunk lines.

C'est la vie!

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 5:00 AM

I kind of wish you had applied for German citizenship so you could vote in their elections.  I did apply for Israeli citizenship and received it without any problem and without any pledge of allegance.  That fact that I knew enough Hebrew, had spent more than three years altogether in the country, and had four citizen references was enough.  When asked why I moved to Israel, I responded "for religious reasons."  This meant no renunciation of ties to the USA.

People who come on the "Law of Return," fleeing from anti-Semitism, without any time already having visited/lived in Israel, have a different system and may be required to drop their former citizenship.   My first visits to both Germany and Israel were in 1960, age 28.  Last visit to Germany was in 1995.  Moved to Israel in July 1996, age 64.  

i did not find any real anti-Semitism or anti-Americanism in Germany, about five visits altogether, usually in conjunction with other European countries, about half a year total time, mostly railfanning, some acoustical/audio international meetings. .

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 12:07 PM

Believe it or not, I want to return to the States and settle in Spokane, Washington.  I don't want to be buried in German soil when I leave this poor polluted war torn planet!  I've never been to the Pacific Northwest but have someone dear to my heart that was born, raised, and still resides in the Inland Empire.  

About me: www.railroadevangelist.com Links to Summer 2015 REA All Aboard magazine, page eight and nine.  

Shalom 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 9:34 PM

Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

I never applied for dual citizenship.  I have enough trouble remembering to renew my US passport which comes up for renewal in Feburary 2017 I believe.  Better go check it again...  

It sounds like you don't take heed of the warnings from travel experts.  They say the practical shelf life of a passport is 6 months short of its expiration date.  Passport control personnel are concerned that if a foriegner becomes sick or otherwise incapacitated, it may take several months before they are able to renew their passport.  Passport holders within 6 months of expiration, are denied entry into foreign countries.

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 5:33 AM

I live in a foreign country!  Haven't received any deportation orders from Berlin yet....besides, what the State Dept. charges for passports today, I'm not going to renew early and give the US government six months of my hard earned $$$ to them!  Sad but true, my bank acct. doesn't come close to Gates' or Trump's because it's short a shiny new dime....

Once I built a railroad, I made it run

Made it race against time

Once I built a railroad, now it's done

Brother, can you spare a dime?

 

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 27, 2016 7:07 AM

I try to maximize the positive influence of whatenever length of the rest of my life the Eternal allots to me, and will gladly let others worry about just where my bones should be.

 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Thursday, October 27, 2016 1:06 PM

In the event the Eternal takes my life before I make my grand return to the States I hope my ashes can be sent to a friend who will spread them on along the former Northern Pacific right of way east of Spokane.  

The days of your life are numbered like the pages of the Bible.  Grandmother Esther Walton.  From the TV series The Waltons. 

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 1:18 PM

As we fast approach 2017 I am reminded that the fabled Colorado Midland was running off it's last miles before the braindead politicians who were in charge of the erroneous USRA in Washington DC shut the railroad down instead of routing only priority war traffic over the railroad which was considered the shortest route over the Rocky Mountains at the time.  

RIP Colorado Midland, though you are gone, you still have a trainload of dedicated followers.  You will never die for your spirit still lives within our hearts!

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:06 AM

Colorado Midland probably would have been abandoned during the Great Depression after the Moffat Tunnel and the Dotsero Cutoff were built.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Thursday, December 22, 2016 1:00 PM

The Colorado Midland, like the Milwaukee Road's Pacific Extention, should have never been built to begin with.  The point is, during WWI it was shut completely down at a time when it was considered the shortest route over the Rocky Mountains and was a prime candidate to move priority shipments essential to the war effort in Europe.

The Great Depression took it's toll on many railroads, from severe cutbacks to outright abandonment, but that's another story altogether!

RME
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Posted by RME on Saturday, December 24, 2016 2:46 PM

Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
The point is, during WWI it was shut completely down at a time when it was considered the shortest route over the Rocky Mountains and was a prime candidate to move priority shipments essential to the war effort in Europe.

May I ask "priority shipments of what?"

The great problem leading up to the "nationalization" under the USRA was the piling up of empties at embarcation points to Western Europe, on the East Coast, which the railroads themselves could not adequately address without conducting collusive activity prohibited by then-Federal law.  To my knowledge, there was no concern with trunk capacity from, or empty return to, any major points served by CM as opposed to D&RG.

Now, it might have been nice to have thrown some of those millions of Liberty Bond dollars at rebuilding the CM on a 'crash' basis into a modern, block-signaled, perhaps double-tracked artery with modern (USRA?) power.  But what's the actual benefit from that compared to expanding capacity on ATSF, or the Hill lines, or the Sunset Route, or even expanding electrification on the Pacific Coast extension? 

If shortest or even best-built were the chief criterion, the Lackawanna connecting to the Nickel Plate would have ruled the NYC-Chicago freight market...

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Monday, December 26, 2016 10:41 AM

It is likely that there was WWI war material that had priority over other commodties enroute to Europe from west coast manufactuers when the USRA took over operations of the railroads.  The way I understand the situation outlined in Colorado Midland published books, the CM was literally chocked to death with freight, not just war traffic, by the USRA since the Midland had the "shortest route" through the Rockies compared to the D&RG via Royal Gorge at the time. 

Carlton had untertaken the almost impossible task of completely rebuilding the railroad due to prior years of neglect so the line wasn't in any condition receiving so much additional traffic at the time.

It appears that the USRA ran the railroads using maps instead of logic or brains, thus the CM looked good on the map as the shorter route, therefore the road simply received more traffic than it could handle due to the construction trains out on the line as the same time.

Most will agree, the Colorado Midland should have never been built.  There are many other railroads in the US that fall into the same category.  The New York & Oswego Midland (Later NYO&W) to name another.  Fact is, had WWI not occured, and Carlton had been successful in rebuilding the CM and extending it to Salt Lake City as he had invisioned, would the CM have lasted up to the outbreak of WWII or possibly beyond, taking into consideration the D&RG didn't obtain the Moffat Tunnel line until it purchased the D&SL?

 

 

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, December 26, 2016 1:42 PM

It's like everything else, if there was enough business to keep it alive the CM just might have survived to WW2, if not, it wouldn't have.

Hey, I just remembered another "Midland" that's still around.  There was the New Jersey Midland, organized in 1870, which evolved into the New York, Susquehanna and Western which survives to this day.  Not a major player with only two freights a day, one in, one out, but it's still there.

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