Passenger Cars of the South Park

DSP&P Fleet Information - Page 2


— Denver, South Park & Pacific —

The Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad was officially born 1 October 1872. By the spring of 1874, it had not yet reached its first goal of Morrison, 16 miles from Denver. But it had ordered two passenger cars: one first class passenger car and one first class baggage car. These cars were to be built by Hallack & Bro. Lumber Company, from which the South Park had also ordered 40 freight cars of various types. Hallack was a lumber yard and millwork firm, not a car builder, and it is almost certain that they simply fabricated these cars from kits produced by one or more of the eastern car building firms, most of which were quite happy to sell parts of cars ready to put in place as one Jackson & Sharp advertisement puts it.

The first class baggage carwhich was actually a combination coach-baggage carwas delivered July 7, 1874, almost a week after the line to Morrison was officially opened for business. It was entered on the roster as coach-baggage #1 and—as was the custom—given a name: Auraria (Auraria having been early Denver’s twin city and rival on the opposite bank of Cherry Creek, with which it merged in 1861). Auraria was immediately pressed into service on the twice-daily mixed train to Morrison.

The first class passenger car was delivered August 5th. It was a coach, entered on the roster as coach #2, and appropriately named Denver. It was no doubt similarly pressed into immediate service, as the line was doing a brisk business in excursions.

These two cars were the only varnish the South Park had for the next four years. But then the South Park went nowhere but to Morrison for almost three of those years. The financial panic of 1873 had kicked off a depression that would make capital hard to obtain for years. It was a wonder the South Park even got to Morrison when it did. But this 16 miles of track would be very busy during those years.

Poor (28) says —

“For many years thereafter, passenger service to Morrison varied with the seasons. At times the service required only a mixed train, while at other times regular passenger service was scheduled. For many years Morrison and vicinity was a great place for Sunday picnic parties. During the summer season as many as four passenger trains were sometimes operated out of Denver into Morrison for the benefit of the Sunday excursionists.”

— 1878 —

In the spring of 1878, track laying resumed at Morrison Junction, nine miles from Denver. By June, the end of track was 32 miles from Denver, or 12 miles above the mouth of Platte Canyon. On the 10th of June, eight pairs of passenger trucks consigned to the South Park arrived at Denver on the Kansas Pacific, and additional passenger cars were on order from car builder Barney & Smith {1}, which had been supplying the line with freight cars. On the 29th, the Denver Daily Times announced that regular mixed trains would begin running to Pine Grove, 43 miles from Denver, on the following Monday. (10)

The Barney & Smith passenger cars were received in Denver on 29 July 1878, and entered the roster as coach #3, coach-baggage #4 and coach #5. They were given the names Geneva, Halls Valley, and Leadville, all of which represented destinations yet to be reached. According to the Denver Daily Times (9), Geneva and Leadville were “passenger cars,” while Halls Valley was a “combination passenger and express car. (See the Three Barney & Smith Cars page.) As seems typical for the South Park, all were immediately put into service: this time for the big July 4 excursion to end-of-track.

— 1879 —

During 1879 the end-of-track advanced steadily. On January 17, end-of-track was at Halls Valleysoon to be renamed Webster70 miles from Denver. By May 19 it was at the summit of Kenosha Pass, 9,991 feet above sea level. By June 27 it was at Hamilton (Como), which would later be a division point. By the end of the year end-of-track had crossed the South Park and was 3.8 miles short of the summit of Trout Creek Pass, 166 miles from Denver. And with each extension of the track, business increased dramatically.

While the railroad laid track, its Denver shops were busy manufacturing both freight and passenger equipment, probably assembling some of it from knock downs produced by Barney & Smith. In June, they out-shopped coach-baggage #6, the first passenger car not to be named. During the year they also out-shopped two badly needed baggage cars: baggage #40 and baggage #41. Poor’s Manual of Railroads for 1879 reported that the road owned six passenger coaches and two baggage, mail and express cars. (2)

This would be

o   Coaches #2, #3, #4 and #5
o   Coach-baggage cars #1 and #6
o   Baggage cars #40 and #41

In August, The Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe leased to the South Park a large amount of narrow gauge equipment, among which were six first class passenger coaches just built for them by Bowers, Dure & Co. (3)  (These later became South Park #16, #17 and #22-25, but that’s getting ahead of our story, as it appears they were not actually on the property for another nine months and not added to the roster until then.)

In September, the South Park shops out-shopped coach #7, the last car with a name, calling it Como, probably in recognition of having reached that town just three months before. They also produced their first baggage-mail-express car, B-M-X #42. And in December they out-shopped chair car #8, a special-service car, which was converted to an ordinary coach within a few years.

While the South Park had been acquiring more track and more passenger cars, Jay Gould and the Union Pacific had been acquiring South Park stock. Gould and his friends had already acquired a half interest in the Rio Grande, and they wanted no more competition between the lines. So on 1 October 1879 the companies signed a “Joint Operating Agreement” that allowed the South Park to use the Rio Grandes trackage from Buena Vista north into Leadville in return for letting it use the South Parks trackage from Buena Vista west into Gunnison.

It was about this time (October/November 1879), and probably in anticipation of Leadville business, that four Pullman Palace sleeping cars were assigned to the South Park line. Since these cars were owned by the Pullmans Palace Car Company, they received no number designation from the South Park. They simply went by the names Pullman assigned them: South Park, Bonanza, San Juan, and Leadville. Perhaps the arrival of these named cars had something to do with the South Parks discontinuing the naming of its own passenger cars. Notice that Pullman named one Palace car Leadville when the South Park already had a coach named Leadville.

Unfortunately, neither railroad had yet reached Buena Vista. And while the South Park would press ahead and get there the following March, the D&RG was in no hurry, and would not reach there until four months later. It would be 21 July 1880 before the South Park would be able to schedule regular service between Denver and the booming town of Leadville.


The Rocky Mountain News of 10 January 1880 (4) stated that six passenger cars had just been finished in the shops. These would be
o   Coach-baggage #6
o   Chair cars #7 and #8
o   Baggage #40 and #41
o   B-M-X #42

But these cars were not nearly enough to handle the increasing rush to Leadville. In March, as its tracks reached Buena Vista, the South Park took delivery of six coaches from the New York Elevated Railroad. Sounds odd, doesn’t it? But you must remember that elevated railroads at that time were not yet electrified; trains of coaches were powered by dinky steam engines. It would be more than 20 years until they were electrified.

Why were cars acquired from the New York Elevated Railroad? They were not a car builder, but a car user. Besides, the NYERR was standard gauge, so these cars would be wider than those built for narrow gauge tracks. Perhaps the fact that Jay Gould owned a substantial interest in the NYERR had something to do with it. The NYERR had been upgrading its structures to be able to use heavier locomotives and rolling stock, and needed to get rid of its old “lightweights.” Gould was well-known for his interest in managing his properties, as well as buying and selling them. And the South Park desperately needed cars.

South Park coach #2 had been destroyed by fire only days before, and one of the NYERR cars was assigned its place on the roster. The South Park shops were in the process of building two more coaches so the #9 and #10 spots on the roster were already spoken for. The other five cars from the NYERR became coaches #11 - #15. The NYERR cars may have proven unsatisfactory, or they may have been made surplus by the unexpected availability of cars from the Santa Fe, because within five years they had been demoted to outfit cars, and in another year they were gone.

In April the South Park outshopped two more coaches, coach #9 and coach #10. Like all other passenger cars turned out by the South Park shops, these were probably erected from assemblies manufactured by an eastern car builder.

In late May the South Park finally received the six coaches it had leased from the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe the previous August. The prior month, the ATSF, the D&RG and the U.P. had signed the Tri-Partite Agreement thatamong other thingswould keep the ATSF out of the Colorado mountains, and the South Park proceeded to buy most of the leased equipment.

About the same time, the South Park acquired four coaches and two baggage-mail-express cars from the Pullmans Palace Car Company. The ATSF and Pullman cars were apparently delivered in such a way that the South Park—in its usual manner of numbering in the order received—numbered the cars in the following fashion

#16, #17:   2 ATSF coaches
#18 - #21:   4 Pullman coaches
#22, #24:   2 ATSF coaches
#23, #25:   2 ATSF coach-baggage cars

The two Pullman-built baggage-mail-express cars became B-M-X #43 and B-M-X  #44, numbered in sequence with the baggage cars already on the roster.

The South Parks Denver shops out-shopped another baggage car that summer, which was entered on the roster as baggage #45.

Assuming the South Park followed its usual practice of numbering cars in the order received, it was probably about this same time that it acquired a combination coach-baggage car from the Ohio Falls Car Company that it entered on the roster as #26. The C&S passenger car diagram page for this car says it was built in 1879and it may have beenbut it appears to have been received by the South Park and entered on its roster in the second half of 1880. (6)  Both the difference in these dates, and the reason this one car was acquired from this builder from which no other South Park cars were acquired may be accounted for by the fact it was the only builder that offered off-the-shelf cars. All others built cars only to order.

In May 1880, with the promise of entry into the booming city of Leadville on the horizon, the South Park Denver shops had begun construction of a private car. They had also begun construction of a paycar. These were the South Parks first, last and only non-revenue passenger equipment. The paycar was out-shopped in July and the private car in October, but the latter received precedence in numbering and was put on the roster as officer car #050, while the paycar became paycar #051.

On 14 June 1880, the Rocky Mountain News published a report on the South Park that indicated the roads roster included, among other things, 26 first class coaches and 5 baggage cars (5) (Baggage #45 probably hadnt been out-shopped at that point).

With these cars, the South Park was well-outfitted when in July 1880 the Rio Grande tracks reached Leadville. The South Park immediately scheduled daily through passenger service to that thriving metropolis from Denver. Two passenger trains a day were scheduled. Fare was $12.50. (Equivalent in buying power to $235 today!)

Train #261, the Day Express, left Denver at 8:35 in the morning and arrived in Leadville at 6:55 that evening. The return Day Express, train #262, left Leadville at 7:30 in the morning and arrived in Denver at 6:00 that night. (28)

Train #263, the Leadville Express, left Denver at 8:00 in the evening enroute to Buena Vista, where the train divided. The Leadville section arrived in Leadville at 7:00 the next morning, while the Gunnison section arrived in Gunnison about 11:00 a.m. On the return trip, train #264 left Leadville at 7:30 in the evening, arrived at Buena Vista at 9:32, picked up the sleeper section from Gunnison and arrived at Denver the next morning at 7 a.m. (28)

But 1880 was the height of the silver boom, and In addition to his half-interest in the Rio Grande, Jay Gould had acquired control of the South Park. With the beginning of the new year, Gould would sell his personal interest to the Union Pacific and the South Park would become the South Park Division of the Union Pacific Railway, managedor mismanagedfrom Omaha, as a feeder to the U.P. main line. Rates would rise, business would decline, and the South Park would add only four more cars to its passenger car roster.

(Opinion: We believe the South Park was operated thereafter by the Union Pacific mainly as a foil to create competition for the Rio Grande and keep its rates up. What do you think? Jay Goulds son George would inherit control of the D&RG and maintain it up to the time of the 1st World War. It may be interesting to note that we came to this conclusion before reading pages 274-278 of Poor where he comes to a somewhat similar conclusion.)


When the Alma Branch was opened in December of 1881, there was considerable traffic between Garos and London Junction (Alma Junction). Two trains were run daily, a passenger and a mixed, but the passenger was soon dropped. We don’t know what equipment was used for this run.


Construction of the High Line began in 1882, and passenger service was established as end-of-track advanced, usually on a mixed-train basis.

In September 1882, as its tracks reached Gunnison, two more Pullman sleeping cars were assigned to the South Park. The Kenosha took the place of the San Juan, which had been destroyed by fire the previous year, and the Hortense brought the Pullman sleeping car roster to five.

In October, sleeping car service was inaugurated to Gunnison. The following extract from Time Table No. 4 shows sleeper service in red. (27) (47)

(Colorado Division)
Denver, South Park & Pacific
Time Schedule No. 4
To take effect Sunday, November 11, 1883 at 12:01 A.M.

No. 277
No. 275
No. 263
No. 261
No. 264
No. 276
No. 278
lv. 5:35 p.m. lv. 10:00 a.m. lv. 8:00 p.m. lv. 8:35 a.m. Denver Union Depot ar. 6:00 p.m. ar. 7:00 a.m. ar. 9:40 a.m. ar. 4:15 p.m.
6:25 11:50 8:29 9:04 Bear Creek Junction 5:33 6:31 9:01 3:30
    ar. 1:55
lv. 2:00
ar. 2:05
lv. 2:25
Como lv. 12:40
ar. 12:20
lv. 1:10
ar. 1:05
    ar. 5:00 ar. 5:05 BUENA VISTA lv. 9:20 lv. 9:32    
    ar. 7:00 a.m. ar. 6:55 p.m. Leadville lv. 7:30 a.m. lv. 7:30 p.m.    
    No. 287
      No. 288
    lv. 5:45 a.m.   BUENA VISTA   ar. 9:10 p.m.    
    ar. 7:20
lv. 7:40
  Alpine Tunnel   lv. 7:45
ar. 7:25
    ar. 11:50 a.m.   Gunnison   lv. 3:03 p.m.    
Daily mixed trains that ran from Bear Creek to Morrison, from Como to Breckenridge and Keystone, and from Garos to Fairplay are not shown.

The Gunnison leg of this service operated until 1887, but not always as a night train. Apparently there were times when there was insufficient demand, and the sleepers were then used as parlor cars on the daytime train. It appears there was never more than a single passenger train daily, and that it varied seasonally from two to four cars. (27)


Poor (20) says the record (uncited) discloses that in 1883 the South Park had 28 passenger coaches (including the two business cars), five Pullman cars, and six mail, baggage and express cars.

But the South Park and the Rio Grande were now arguing over the trackage fees paid by the South Park for the use of the Rio Grande trackage from Buena Vista to Leadville. In mid-1883 the Union Pacific decided the DSP&P would build its own line into Leadville over Boreas Pass from Breckenridge.

And a combination of bad weather, poor route planning, mismanagement from Omaha and competition from the Rio Grande was proving too much. After 1883, the South Park failed to earn enough even to pay its bond interest. The U.P. had to loan them the money to pay it. The clock was ticking.

Nevertheless, the Union Pacific was putting Westinghouse automatic air brakes on all its equipment, and began with the South Park . The massive undertaking occupied the winter of 1883/84.


In 1884, as the South Park reached Leadville by its own tracks, it added two more coaches to its roster: coach #27 and coach #28. Company records disagree on the source of these two cars. The 1885 renumbering list says they were from the Union Pacific, while the later C&S passenger car diagram pages say they were built by Pullman. Both could be correct. The U.P. could have bought the cars from Pullman, then sold them to the South Park.

The Union Pacific Annual Report for 1884 shows the South Park having 12 first class and 16 second class coaches, 3 baggage and 3 baggage-mail-express cars, 5 sleepers and 2 office and pay cars. {7}

12 First Class Coaches —
  #1, #3, #4, #5, #7, #8, #16, #17, #22, #23, #24, #25
16 Second Class Coaches —
  (Second #2), #6, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #18, #19, #21, #26, #27, #28, #29
3 Baggage Cars —
  #40, #41, #45
3 Baggage-Mail-Express Cars —
  #42, #43, #44
5 Sleepers —
  South Park, Bonanza, Leadville, Kenosha, Hortense
2 Office & Pay Cars —
  #050, #051

The Union Pacific had to loan the South Park the money to pay its bond interest for 1884.

— 1885: Denver, South Park & [Union] Pacific —

The Union Pacific annual report for 1885 {20} says the U.P. had contracted with Pullman to purchase a ¾ interest in the 28 Pullman Palace Cars then on the U.P. system, and that the contract had proved profitable. Such “associations” were becoming quite common between Pullman and the railroads as the latter saw Pullman making fat profits on the cars “they” hauled.

The Union Pacific, having found it almost impossible to keep track of locomotives and cars with each subsidiary railroad assigning its own numbers, renumbered all rolling stock according to its own scheme. A guide book was issued 1 June 1885 to help employees keep proper records. This book would serve as an indispensable record for future generations of railfans, and is published in Ehernberger/UP.

The Union Pacific had to loan the South Park the money to pay its bond interest for a second year.


In 1886, the Union Pacific needed a replacement for their private car #06, and swiped DSP&P office car #050 as a replacement.

Sleeper service was provided between Denver, Leadville and Gunnison on a regular basis. (22) The Night Express left Denver at 8:30 in the evening for Como, where the train divided. The Leadville section arrived in Leadville at 7:15 the next morning, while the Gunnison section arrived in Gunnison at 11:15 the next morning. On the return trip, The Gunnison section left at 4:30 in the afternoon while the Leadville section left at 8:45 in the evening. They combined at Como and arrived in Denver at 7:00 the next morning.

The Union Pacific had to loan the South Park the money to pay its bond interest for a third year.


By 1887 the demand for sleeper service had declined to the point it could not be continued. In July, service to Gunnison was dropped and the sleeper was thereafter cut off at St. Elmo. By November it had been eliminated altogether. It seems to have been continued to Leadville, however, until sometime in 1896. Also in 1887, former coach #24 (now U.P. #62) was dropped from the roster with no explanation.

Union Depot Time Card No. 92, dated 9 October 1887 shows the following trains arriving and departing Denvers Union Station. {33}

Denver & South Park Division. — (Narrow Gauge)
    Depart       Arrive
No. 401 Leadville Day Express, daily 8:00 am   No. 404 Night Express, from Leadville, St. Elmo and Gunnison, daily 5:45 am
No. 455 Morrison Accommodation, daily 8:10 am   No. 456 Morrison Accommodation, daily except Sunday 11:40 am
No. 457 Morrison Accommodation, daily except Sunday 3:00 pm   No. 402 Leadville Day Express, daily 6:00 pm
No. 403 Night Express, for Leadville, St. Elmo and Gunnison, daily 10:15 pm   No. 458 Morrison Accommodation, daily 6:30 pm
Accommodation, of course, means a mixed train.

The Union Pacific refused to loan the South Park the money to pay its bond interest for a fourth year. It said in effect that $2.65 million was enough to loan a railroad that had earned just $19,563 for the year.

1888: Receivership

In May the [unpaid] bondholders forced the railroad into receivership.

1889: Denver Leadville & Gunnison

Early in the year the Receiver sent the two sleepers, Kenosha and Hortense, back to Pullman, where they were rebuilt and sent off for service in Mexico.

On 17 July the assets of the DSP&P were sold at foreclosure to a committee of the bondholders for $3,000,000, and on 29 August those assets were transferred to the newly organized Denver Leadville & Gunnison Railroad Company. The passenger car legacy of the South Park consisted of 17 coaches, 8 coach-baggage cars, 3 baggage cars, 3 baggage-mail-express cars, 3 leased Pullman sleepers and a paycar.

The following table attempts to summarize the prior discussion. Note that we disagree with some of the “generally accepted wisdom” as to when some of these cars were acquired. For discussion of that point, see the Alternative Dates page and/or the descriptions of individual cars.

No track laid 1872   None
No track laid 1873 None
Track to Morrison 1874 Coach-baggage #1; Coach #2
No track laid 1875 None
No track laid 1876 None
No track laid 1877 None
Track to Baileys 1878 Coaches #3-5
Track over Kenosha Pass, to Como and beyond 1879 Coach-baggage #6; Coach #7;
Chair car #8;
Baggage #40, #41;
Baggage-mail-express #42;
Pullmans South ParkBonanza, San Juan, Leadville.
Chair car #8 converted to coach-baggage
Track over Trout Creek Pass to St. Elmo; to Leadville via D&RG 1880 Coach #2 burned.
Coaches 2nd #2, and #9-22, #24-27, #29;
Coach-baggage #23, #28;
Baggage-mail-express #43, #44;
Baggage #45;
Office car #050;
Pay car #051
U.P. assumes control; Alpine Tunnel bore completed; Track to Fairplay 1881 Pullman San Juan burns.
Track through Alpine Tunnel to Gunnison; Over Boreas Pass to Breckenridge 1882 Pullmans Kenosha, Hortense
Track to Kokomo 1883  
To Leadville by its own tracks; Association with Pullman to share profits; Terrible winter 1884 Coaches #27, #28 acquired;
Coaches #11-15 demoted to outfit cars
  1885 Renumbering of cars by U.P.
  1886 Office car #050 rebuilt to U.P. second #06 and departs property.
  1887 Coach #24 dropped from roster.
South Park goes into receivership 1888 May - Receiver appointed
Aug - DSP&P reorganized as Denver, Leadville & Gunnison 1889 Jan - Pullmans Kenosha and Hortense rebuilt by Pullman and sent to Mexico
Jul - Property sold at foreclosure.


In mid-February the snow was so bad Denver Leadville & Gunnison management decided to close down the Alpine tunnel for the winter. It would not be open again for five years.

On 1 April 1890, 12 railroads owned by or under the control of the Union Pacific were combined into the Union Pacific Denver & Gulf Railway. The Denver Leadville & Gunnison, while controlled by the Union Pacific, remained separate from this combination, but as Poor says, it was the tail of the UPD&G kite.

The DL&G retained the U.P. car numbering system, but it appears from the photographs we have that a good many passenger cars were repainted with fancy striping (and possibly changed from their original “chocolate brown” to the more modern “Pullman green”). One wonders whether this was a pride thing, trying to give the new railroad a better image, or whether the finish on the cars has so deteriorated during the years of neglect by the Union Pacific that they just had to be painted.

In July the government of the United States began buying silver for coinage at a fixed price. Colorado got a big boost.

— 1891 —

Gold was discovered at Cripple Creek.

— 1892 —

Coach #9 was rebuilt as a combination coach-baggage car.

— 1893 —

Coach #10 was rebuilt as a combination coach-baggage car.

In June, a stock market crash initiated years of depression. In July, three Denver banks closed. During the year the Union Pacific, the Santa Fe and the Colorado Midland were all forced into Receivership. In November the government quit supporting the price of silver, and Colorado, too, slid into depression.

But in December the bankrupt Union Pacific Denver & Gulf was separated from the Bankrupt Union Pacific and assigned its own local Receiver: Denver coal man Frank Trumbull.

— 1894 —

In July, the Denver Union Station burned to the ground. On 7 August, Frank Trumbull, who had been appointed separate Receiver for the Union Pacific Denver & Gulf, was appointed separate Receiver for the Denver Leadville & Gunnison as well. From this point on the UPD&G and the DL&G would be [well] operated as one railroad.

— 1895 —

Early in May, 1895, Trumbull decided to reopen the Alpine Tunnel. Through traffic was resumed between Denver and Gunnison.

— 1896 —

Pullman sleeper service between Denver and Leadville was discontinued altogether, although one passenger train a day was continued as well as a mixed train until about 1910.

— 1898 —

With the Union Pacific in bankruptcy, on 18 November the assets of the Denver, Leadville & Gunnison were sold at foreclosure to representatives of the bondholders for $1.5 million.

During one of the worst winters on record, coach-baggage #709 (former DSP&P coach #10) was destroyed on Christmas day near Alpine Tunnel.

Three days later, the assets of the former DL&G were conveyed to the newly organized Colorado & Southern Railroad. The DL&G's contribution to the C&S passenger car roster: 25 passenger cars and two “official” cars.

1899: Colorado & Southern

At the stroke of midnight on January 11, the C&S assumed control of the former Denver, Leadville & Gunnison and the Union Pacific, Denver & Gulf Railroads under President Frank Trumbull. This begins another renumbering of rolling stock, of which unfortunately we have no single reliable record. Standard gauge passenger cars were assigned numbers below 100 and narrow gauge passenger cars were assigned numbers over 100.

The DSP&P/DL&G’s contribution was 25 passenger cars and two “official” cars. This would have consisted of the following:

DSP&P # DL&G # Type C&S #   DSP&P # DL&G # Type C&S #
7 56 Coach 154/129   16 59 Coach 155
17 60 Coach 156   22 61 Coach 157
3 63 Coach 160   4 64 Comb 158
5 65 Coach 159   18 68 Coach 163
20 66 Coach 162   21 67 Coach 161
27 70 Coach 164   28 71 Coach 165
1 700 Coach-baggage 122   6 701 Coach-baggage 123
8 702 Coach-baggage 124   23 703 Coach-baggage 125
25 704 Coach-baggage 126   26 705 Coach-baggage 127
9 57/708 Coach-baggage 128   40 1000 Baggage 102
41 1001 Baggage 103   45 1002 Baggage 104
42 1300 B-M-X 113/105   43 1301 B-M-X 114
44 1302 B-M-X 115          
051 026 Paycar B-2   (2nd) 025 Outfit Officer Car B-3

— 1900 —

Three new coaches were ordered from the St. Charles Car Company, which just the year before had become one of the 13 companies that joined together to become American Car & Foundry. Coaches #172, #173 and #174 would be the last first-class passenger equipment owned by the C&S.

— 1902 —

Needing more all-purpose cars, coach #150 was rebuilt as a combination coach-baggage car and renumbered #130.

— 1904 —

Here is an extract from Time Table No. 3 for the Clear Creek District (former CCRR) of the C&S Northern Division, effective 5 June 1904. {47}

No. 3
June 5th, 1904
Day Ex.
Mail & Ex.
Day Ex.
Mail & Ex.
Leave Daily Leave Sunday Only Leave Daily Leave Daily STATIONS Arrive Daily Arrive Daily Arrive Sunday Only Arrive Daily
9:00 a.m. 11:05 a.m. 3:20 p.m. 8:05 a.m. DENVER UNION DEPOT 9:40 a.m. 5:35 p.m. 6:20 p.m. 3:30 a.m.
9:40 11:45 4:02 8:50 GOLDEN 8:50 4:56 5:40 2:51
10:31 12:38
4:45 1:59
10:58 1:15 5:41 10:37 Idaho Springs 7:24 3:27 4:19 1:34
11:40 2:00 6:26 11:25 GEORGETOWN 6:45 2:42 3:35 12:55
12:01 p.m. 2:20 p.m. 6:50 p.m. 11:50 a.m. SILVER PLUME 6:25 a.m. 2:20 p.m. 3:10 p.m. 12:35 p.m.
Arrive Daily Arrive Sunday Only Arrive Daily Arrive Daily   Leave Daily Leave Daily Leave Sunday Only Leave Daily
A.M. times are in black.  P.M times are in red.

— 1906 —

In February, a fire in the 7th Street shops in Denver destroyed several cars, among which was baggage-mail car #115.

The Colorado & Southern realized its mistake in numbering its diminishing fleet of narrow gauge passenger cars over 100 while numbering its burgeoning fleet of standard gauge passenger cars under 100. Rather than having some standard gauge passenger cars numbered under 100 and others numbered beyond the extent of the narrow gauge cars, it decided to renumber all narrow gauge cars under 100 and renumber all standard gauge cars over 200 (excursion cars received #120 - #148). Records created during this renumbering give us another clear trail of evidence as to the history of these cars.

Time Table No. 6 -- June 10th, 1906 (First Class Passenger portion only)

  Westbound (read down)   Eastbound (read up)
Train #71 Denver & Leadville Passenger (Lv Daily) #73 Fish Train (Lv Sat. only) #75 Fish Train (Lv Daily ex. Sunday)   #70 Fish Train (Ar Daily ex. Sunday) #74 Fish Train (Ar Mon. only) #72 Denver & Leadville Passenger (Ar Daily)
Denver lv 8:15 a.m. lv 2:05 p.m. lv 5:05 p.m.   ar 8:40 a.m. ar 10:05 a.m. ar 5:55 p.m.
Grant ar 11:56 a.m. ar 5:35 p.m. ar 8:30 p.m.   lv 5:20 a.m. lv 6:45 a.m. ar 2:20 p.m.
Como ar 1:15 p.m.           ar 12:55 p.m.
Leadville ar 5:30 p.m.           lv 9:00 a.m.
Mixed (Second Class) train service only, Como to Gunnison

— 1910 —

Gordon Chappell {40} says —

“After the [Alpine] tunnel was closed in October 1910, a tri-weekly train was scheduled to make runs from Buena Vista up the Chalk Creek valley to St. Elmo, Romley and Hancock, as there was still considerable traffic from the mines of that region. Westward they still bore the old designation Train No. 94, eastward Train No. 93.”

Combination coach-baggage #21 was used on this run until May 1917.

— 1915 —

For some reason, as yet unknown to us, the vast majority of C&S narrow gauge passenger cars were “rebuilt” that year. We not only do not know why, but we also do not know to what extent. But it couldn’t have been a significant one, due to the sheer number of cars involved. According to the rosters in Kindig and in  Ferrell/C&S, the only cars that were not “rebuilt” were the three mail-coaches that had been remodeled in 1906 and the one bought new that year, coach #76, coaches #81, #82 and #83 (which were rebuilt in 1923), and business car #911. In all, 72 cars were “rebuilt” that year!

— 1917 —

In May 1917, combination coach-baggage #22 replaced #21 on the tri-weekly train from Buena Vista up the Chalk Creek valley to St. Elmo, Romley and Hancock.

— 1920 —

Excursion business was beginning to decline, due largely to the increasing popularity of that dirty monster, the personal automobile.

— 1921 —

Passenger service on the Clear Creek line was reduced from two trains daily to one.

— 1923 —

Coach #81 was rebuilt just before being sold to the Herr-Rubicon Supply Company in February together with coach-baggage #23, coach-baggage #27 and coach #57.

— 1925 —

Service to Central City over the switchback above Black Hawk was discontinued, though a petition for its abandonment would not be filed until 1931.

— 1926 —

In May and early June a good many cars that had been stored at Golden were brought to Denver to be made ready for heavy excursion traffic expected during a Rotary Club convention in June. Cars thought to be in storage included observation cars #139, 140, 141, 143, 144, 145 and 146, and coaches #42, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 60, 61, 68, 78, 79, 80, 82 and 83. Apparently the railroad had been using primarily its combination cars for regular traffic. It turned out that observation car #140 and coaches #55 and 60 were actually parked at different places on the line with broken end sills.

On 10 August, the railroad petitioned the Public Utilities Commission to suspend all passenger service on the Clear Creek line.

— 1927 —

The PUC allowed the C&S to cease running regular passenger trains on the Clear Creek line for a “test period” of 12 months, beginning 4 June. There would be only one more passenger train on that line. One run as an excursion to Black Hawk at the reopening of the Central City Opera House 19 July 1932. The local freight was made a mixed train with the addition of a combine to handle the mail, express and a few local passengers.

— 1928 —

With service declining, the C&S proposed to convert coach #77 to a combination coach-baggage-mail car, but did not. Coaches #50 - #52 and #53 - #54 were dismantled.

Plans were made to convert coach #75 and coach-mail #40, to combination coach-baggage-mail cars, but these plans were never put into effect.

On 17 August the Denver Board of Water Commissioners filed a petition with the ICC for abandonment of the line in Platte Canyon from Waterton to Buffalo so they could construct a dam and reservoir. Seeing their chance, C&S management petitioned 22 September for abandonment of the entire Leadville line.

— 1929 —

The road was depending more and more on combination cars. Yet mail-coach #41, former Pullman Bonanza, was dismantled sometime in late 1928 or early 1929.

In January, baggage-mail car #10 was dismantled.

In May, coaches #53, #54 and #55, #coach #59, and coaches #78 and #79 were dismantled.

In October, coach #60, coach #80, and coaches #82 and #83 were dismantled.

— 1930 —

On 2 June, the ICC turned down the requests for abandonment of the Platte Canyon line.

— 1931 —

On 27 March the C&S petitioned the ICC for abandonment of the trackage from on the Central City switchback that it had quit using in 1925. The ICC approved 9 May and track was removed by the end of July. Passenger, mail and express service via the combine carried by the local freight was discontinued.

— 1932 —

The last passenger train on the Clear Creek line was run 19 July 1932 as an excursion to Black Hawk at the reopening of the Central City Opera House.

— 1935 —

The C&S re-applied for abandonment of the South Park line and was given ICC approval.

— 1936 —

On 28 February the C&S filed for abandonment of the entire Clear Creek line.

— 1937 —

On 9 April 1937, the last passenger train to Leadville left Denver Union Station as Train #70 (locomotive #60, RPO #13, coach #75) (loco #60 was replaced at Como by loco #9).

On 10 April, the last passenger train to Denver left Leadville as Train 71 (loco #9, RPO #13, coach #75).

On 30 April the ICC approved abandonment of the Clear Creek line from Idaho Springs to Silver Plume but then postponed action. It reaffirmed its approval on 5 November, giving an effective date 0f 31 January the following year.

— 1938 —

The last run was made on the Clear Creek line as far as Empire on 30 January and dismantling began. Coach #73, coaches #74 and #75, coach #77, and possibly several others, were stripped down and converted to bunk cars for the use of the line’s dismantler, Platt Rogers, Inc. The entire line above Idaho Springs was pulled up in less than two months.

— 1939 —

In January, baggage car #3 was retired and its body converted to a shed at Longmont, Colorado. It was reportedly being used as late as 2003. Baggage car #4 was also retired, but not dismantled until August.

In April, coaches #71 and #72, and mail-coach #43 were dismantled.

In May, baggage car #1, baggage-mail-express cars #11 and #12, coach #56, coach #58, coach #62, coach #73, coaches #74 and #75, and mail-coach #42 were dismantled.

In July, baggage car #2 and coach #61 were dismantled.

Coach #77 and mail-coach #42 were dismantled sometime during the year.

Coach #76 was refurbished and exhibited with RPO #13 and 2-6-0 #9 at the New York Worlds Fair in 1939/40.

— 1940 —

On 27 March the C&S applied for abandonment on the remainder of the Clear Creek line. Trucks on newly-built highways were beating it to death.

After having been exhibited with 2-6-0 #9 at the New York Worlds Fair in 1939/40, coach #76 and RPO #13 were stored at the CB&Q shops in Aurora, Illinois, where they were joined in the mid '40s by business car #911, which had been stored at Denver.

— 1941 —

The ICC  approved the C&S petition for abandonment of the remaining Clear Creek line. The last train ran to Idaho Springs 4 May.

Coach #70 was given to the town of Idaho Springs together with locomotive #60, and the two were pushed there up the Clear Creek line 8 May 1941. Dismantling of that line began almost immediately thereafter.

— 1948 —

Coach #76 was repainted yellow, and as the Deadwood Dick,” ran with mogul #9, RPO #13, and business car #911 on the CB&Q sponsored Deadwood Central Railroad at the Chicago Railroad Fair (1948-1949).

— 1949 —

After masquerading as the “Deadwood Dick” for the duration of the Chicago Railroad Fair, coach #76 was returned, along with mogul #9, RPO #13, and business car #911, to the Burlington shops at Aurora, Illinois.

— 1957 —

Mogul #9, RPO #13, coach #76 and business car #911 were moved to the Black Hills Central Railroad at Hill City, SD (then owned by the Burlington).

— 1988 —

Mogul #9, RPO #13, coach #76 and business car #91 were donated to the Colorado Historical Society and moved to the Georgetown Loop Railroad at Silver Plume, Colorado.

— 1980 —

The body of C&S baggage car #2 was moved to the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer at Grand Island, Nebraska, where it was restored to service as #104, its pre-1906 C&S number.

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31 October 2006

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