Hello to everyone,
Hope you all had a great holiday season. I’m going to start up a Rocky Mountain Division newsletter & this is the first one. My hope is that it will help keep the membership informed on what’s happening in the motorcar hobby & also what’s going on within the RMD. I’m including some pictures from the RMD Fall Colors excursion that took place last Sept. I did contact the other excursion coordinators & I have some upcoming excursion information to share. Now none of this is confirmed yet or listed on the NARCOA run calender but I will give you what I have. Philip Walters plans on running narrow gauge excursions on the Durango & Silverton & on the Cumbres & Toltec the first week of June & again in the third week of August. Jon Keeling is planning another Fall Colors excursion on the Creede Branch for Oct 3 & 4, that’s the first weekend in Oct & we will also schedule the annual membership meeting to take place probably at the Blue Creek Inn on that same Saturday afternoon or evening. Richard Reiff is working with the Rio Grande Scenic for two days out of Alamosa to include La Veta pass. The most likely dates will be Sun/Mon June 21/22. Richard hopes to include excursions on Fri June 19 on the Leadville Colorado & Southern, out of Leadville & on Sat June 20 on the Creede Branch out of Southfork. Richard will be working with Jerry Geiger & Jon Keeling & try & secure those dates for those railroads. That’s all I know about for excursions at this time but I’m sure there will be more. Hope this will help everyone in making plans.
I did include a few pictures of our ride in Sept on the Creede Branch & here is a short review of the ride. Jon’s hope for the ride was that it would be a fun experience for the operators & a chance for all those that participated to get to know each other & so he devised some activities for the operators.
We had 8 motorcars run on Friday, 10 cars on Saturday & back to 8 cars on Sunday. The weather was great on Friday & we took a leisurely ride from the depot in Southfork to the end of the line just outside of Creede & back. We ran about 40 miles & for those that haven’t run the Creede Branch it is very scenic. We follow the Rio Grande River all the way to Wagon Wheel Gap, about 13 miles, then cross the highway several times & on to the end of the line. We turn our cars on the Wassen Wye & head back, stopping for lunch at Blue Creek. The activities all took place on Sat & they included a poker run, where you picked up a card at the various stops we made & we also had a radio activity where a special word was broadcast & your passenger wrote it down. Out at the Wasson Wye we had a switching activity where the operator had to negotiate both legs of the wye & with his passenger throwing switches make it back to his starting point safely.
You also had to radio in that all switches were lined & locked for the main. The weather started out nice on Saturday morning but drizzled a bit in the afternoon. We did have a porta potty & an easy-up awning staged at the wye & also a propane barbecue. Some of us cooked our lunch on the barbecue. My wife, Donna & with help from Tracy & Don Shank hauled all of the equipment & supplies up to the wye in pickups. Al Rodi towed a pump car out to the wye & Brian towed out Don Shanks pedal car & a number of people played with those out at the wye. Doug Summer won the poker hand with an ace high flush, Pat Green did the best negotiating the wye with a belt car & a gentleman from Indiana did the best negotiating the wye in a chain drive car. All of these winners received $20 for there efforts. It was a fun day. Sunday we woke to a light rain & the excursion again was a leisurely run out to the end of the line & back. Most people set-off & headed home around 3:00 pm but several of us took another ride out to Wagon Wheel Gap & back & that was it. Thanks go to Don Shank, the railroad owner for allowing us to run. Jon Keeling the EC, Al Rodi & my wife Donna for all the help they provide all weekend long & a special thanks to our flaggers, Diane Keeling & Dave Elwood. It was a great motorcar weekend.
Now, onto some official stuff. Everyone needs to pay for their NARCOA insurance by March 31 2015 or you won’t be running any NARCOA excursions in 2015. It’s a new year & the 2015 Rocky Mountain Division dues of $15 are do. A number of members have already payed their dues & I hope all of you will renew your membership for 2015. The annual meeting minutes are posted on the RMD website. Your RMD board will do their best to schedule as many excursions as possible & we hope to see you out on the tracks in 2015. Sincerely,