Incline coal trestle design help requested

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by stdguage, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    Hello. I'm new to the forum and a returnee to the hobby.

    I hope this is the appropriate place for this.

    I want to build an incline 12 pocket coal trestle with a sand house fitted into the the last trestle bents. It will be based a bit on the 19th century Colorado Midland. It will probably be only the last 180 ft and a static display since it will be fit onto a compact sectional switching and steam locomotive facility (9.5 ft total length) layout. Further expansion to it's complete length and operational. Before you ask, the coal is shoveled so that is not what I mean. Just a push up of coal and sand gondolas with about 220 ft plus connecting rails and switches.

    Has anybody built a similar model or has access to a set of "plans" that could help me get started. I have several photos, but they all seem to be of the non-sandhouse side.

    I am probably going to bash the pockets from a modestly priced coal tower kit or .... Any suggestions on a starting point that will not be "too" 20th century?

    Oops! This is getting too long.:mrgreen: Bye for now.
  2. modelsof1900

    modelsof1900 Member


    a very nice idea and a really impressed modeling plan. I think I know such a coal trestle but I think also that it is not with a sand house. I will check my plans if I have copied it and than I will find a way for sending copies to you.
    Building such a facility near to 1900 will not be a problem I think. Build it from wood, avoid concrete and make an old time roof, tar paper or corrugated metal. I would build it in this manner.

    Wish you success - and let show us your pictures here.
  3. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Ooo! Colorado Midland! My dad's train room has a picture of Pike's Peak from the Colorado Midland's trackage.

    Do you have any books on the Midland? I know there are a few out there...because they might have more photos.

    I'm not quite picturing exactly what you want to build...although the C&S's Como coal trestle pops to knowledge of the Midland is relatively weak. Also, Model Masterpieces offered a number of CM structures back in the 1970's and 1980' might want to ask on the early rail yahoo the CM is certainly one of the most popular turn of the century railroads...I can recall a few discussions about the CM on there.
  4. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    You could check your local library for books on the subject especially if you are modelling locally.
  5. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    Ron's and NKP174's suggestion to check books at the library is excellant. All modelers should do this. I have already done a bit of snooping, but more is required.

    Living in Colorado is a great advantage. I am interested in specificly the Basalt coal trestle and sandhouse, but other photos of similar situations would be helpful. The two best books for photos and information that I have found on Basalt are Morris Cafky, Colorado Midland and Mel McFarland, A Colorado Midland Guide and Data Book.

    MKP174's suggestion to check out Model Masterpieces CM structures from back in the 1970's and 1980's is good. I recall a diarama they built to show off the Colorado City roundhouse. They had several kits, but I find nothing regarding coal trestles and sand houses. Good thought to try however. I had forgotten about their kits. If only I was more interested at the time. Sigh! A few summers ago, my wife and I visited the Van Briggle Pottery that was located in the old Colorado City Roundhouses. They have recently closed however.

    I hope to someday use the models on a more Basalt specific portion of a larger layout with a better hint of trackage that existed, but for now the smaller potable and transportable will be a home for the models. Life in a small townhouse!

    In Cafky, I find the best pictures are on p. 317 showing the beginning of the incline with gondolas so that estimating dimensions and spacing of the trestle bents are possible. On p. 315 the end of the trestle structure is visable as well as a rather dark view of the coal chutes in a picture dated as the late 1890's. Not enough detail to figure out the coal chute details however. Chapter XIII gives the description as "a trestle-type, 12 pocket coal chute with a 250-foot incline" and "an 18x20-foot sand house." It is a 200 ton coaling facility.

    Mel has some better pictures. He repeats Cafky's p 315 picture and the details are just as dark on his p.60. On p. 61 he has a great picture of the end of the trestle and some detail of the sand house on the other side dating from 1896. I do not know what I am looking at to model however regarding the sandhouse. On p. 217 I can spot a windowless steeple similar to the one on the Leadville sand house dated 1889. No other details on the sand house are visable. I do not know if the "steeple" survives until 1896.

    So I need help for photos or model details from the period to model the coal chutes. And I need some idea what to model for the sand house. Is this structure completely off the ground fitted adjacent to the trestle? Probably. The p. 61 picture clearly shows some large beams and bracing that appears to be holding up the sand house beside the trestle. The descriptions of fitted into the trestle bents may mean simply this frame and bracing since the bents do spread out at their base.
    Many of the narrow guage lines did use trestle coaling, but the sand house seems to have been kept apart. I ceretainly will use the construction methods and materials of the period as suggested by modelsof1900.

    This may be beyond the scope of the forum, but help and suggestions are always useful. Thanks!
  6. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    That makes me laugh this place will always deliver trust me. Especially with opinions and idea's so worry not Jedi.

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