Busy, busy, busy has been our mantra over the last few months and a lot has happened. In order to separate the revenue streams the Southern Colorado Railroad (SCRR) has been financially divided from the Lake Lenore Lumber Company (Triple L Co.) so that each has to show an operating surplus to ensure it is viable. Ben and Bill Flowers may have a speech impediment but they are sensible, successful businesspeople, as is Lil Wede.
This means that the rolling stock refurbishment and maintenance can be better controlled during and after the tourist season. It also allows the signwriter to use less paint on the locos and stock.
As the only loco available at the time, No.2 Angel O’the North, has been working hard taking ballast and maintenance of way trains out to the worksites. All the turnouts in the depot area are manually worked but one at the eastern end of the main loops had to be worked remotely. Rodding was sourced from the CME’s workshop store as were the components for the bell crank and switch lever. (Full size readers may recognise old ‘square’ pins from 13 amp plug tops screwed together with holes machined to take the turnout stretcher bar operating pin. In addition the rodding guides are brass screws with a clearance hole drilled near the top to take the rod.)
General Manager Crystal Yokels has not let the grass grow under her feet and, besides being involved in the everyday refurbishment tasks has been recruiting hard but selectively from the railroad volunteer fraternity. The new CME, mentioned in the last paragraph, is Mr Edward G. Bostonson (Teddy) not to be confused with the Reverend of similar name who built and ran the famous Cadeby Light Railway from the rectory garden in his parish in Leicestershire and who was an inspiration to the Flowers brothers.
Teddy Bostonson has assessed the motive power situation and managed to get three of the line’s four steam engines running again. He and the few staff he has employed are working mainly out in the open air from the small maintenance shed adjacent to the Wye track site.
SCRR locos to be used for the passenger operations.
No2 – Angel O’the North has had its solid buffer beams, central buffers and chains removed to storage and new beams, incorporating knuckle couplers, fitted instead. The style is very much like the logging engines already owned by the company. A study to fit a typical sand dome on the boiler top is currently being considered as is a spark arresting smoke stack, the latter being needed if there is a fire risk during the dry season. The loco is currently the mainstay of the railway, being easy and quick to raise steam and will pull any of the stock except the logging cars, which have link and pin type couplers.
No. 22 – Ex Colorado & Southern 2-6-0, The Mogul is in the shops having a radio fitted as there are no signals on the line. It has a regulator and reversing gear problem that will take some time to fix. It will be mainly used on passenger services.
D&RGW GP9 is a guest loco on the line and is privately owned by a group of volunteers. It is awaiting a decision as to whether it will have a radio for control or just be on static display. The owners have decided not to purchase diesel fuel at this time so the loco will have to be converted to battery electric in order to run.
Triple L Co. locos for stone and logging trains.
No.5 – 3 cylinder two truck Shay has had boiler gauge glass problems that have now been solved. However it has a steam leak that is being worked on. It has run for a short while and will take on the task of stone and log shipments through the closed season and display trains when the tourists arrive.
No.4 – Two truck Class B Climax, another geared loco had been suffering with a bent drive shaft that has now been satisfactorily straightened. The coupling pins, which were lost, have been replaced by fabricated ones based on full size pop rivets. This will share the same duties as the Shay, alternating as the management see fit. Test runs have shown it to be a useful addition to the line.
Both Triple L Co. locos will be lettered Lake Lenore Lumber Company as will some of the appropriate rolling stock. To that end Teddy Bostonson is experimenting with decal paper, kindly supplied by Mr Davis D. Keeble, a well known Swiss railway enthusiast.