Download Goin' Railroading: Two Generations of Colorado Stories by Margaret Coel, Visit Amazon's Sam Speas Page, search PDF

By Margaret Coel, Visit Amazon's Sam Speas Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Sam Speas,

As the USA, carried alongside by way of the increasing rail procedure, moved westward within the 19th century, few occupations appeared extra fascinating or romantic than that of railroad engineer. And within the mountains and plains of the West, lengthy hours, backbreaking hard work, sour temperatures, and defective brakes have been the crucible within which the simplest of the early railroaders have been shaped: merely the main committed and expert males handed the checks the narrow-gauge strains of Colorado meted out. In Goin' Railroading, Sam Speas tells the tale of his father, Sam Speas Sr., who left Missouri in 1883 to develop into an engineer in Colorado, and recounts his personal stories and people of his brothers and fellow railroaders at the Colorado and Southern Railway, from the golden period of the narrow-gauge traces in South Park to the ultimate days of steam energy at the entrance diversity and the arrival of the diesel engine.

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Additional resources for Goin' Railroading: Two Generations of Colorado Stories

Sample text

Some railroaders on the Missouri Pacific had gone west to work on the narrow gauge railroads built in the mountains of Colorado. After sampling the long hours, brutal work, and bitter winters, they had hurried back to the Missouri Pacific with tales of their experiences. Thirty-hour trips without rest were usual, they said. Open engine cabs with no protection from freezing blizzards, back-breaking labor shovelling coal or working the locomotives on steep grades, brakes that often didn't work, and trains that wrecked on the mountainsideall were part of the job.

49 percent grades, some of the sharpest curves and steepest grades in railroad history. No challenge had been too great for the builders of the DSP&P, and, in 1887, no obstacles seemed to stand in the way of a prosperous future as a feeder line in the Union Pacific system. Sam considered it a great stroke of luck to work for such a railroad, especially as an engineer. Engineers in my father's day considered themselves the aristocrats of the railroading world. They were in charge of the locomotives, a fact that made them indispensable.

Nothing endeared Colorado's railroads to the public like excursion trains. Before the railroad arrived, most people traveled no farther than a day's walk from home. A twenty-mile trip in a buggy or wagon took all day and was a major event in most lives. With excursion trains, people could climb into the coach for a day's outing, traveling almost 120 miles roundtrip. They pulled out of Denver in the morning and, four hours later, rode across the Loop and arrived at Graymont, a short distance above Silver Plume.

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