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Author Topic: Railroad wars  (Read 13936 times)
coolwaldo

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« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2012, 09:48:41 PM »

Another good read if you can find it is The Scarlet Woman Of Wall Street. Written by John Steele Gordon. About the Erie R.R..
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Be happy. Play with your trains.
Doneldon

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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2012, 12:12:26 AM »

La Junta is about 100 plus miles E of the Royal Gorge. No action occured around La Junta that I'm aware of.  If I remember correctly, the main confrontation between Bat Masterson & co. and the D&RG occured at the Pueblo roundhouse.

Paul-

You're correct, but the Santa Fe sent their people from La Junta and built some of the right-of-way from La Junta.

                                                                                                                                                              -- D
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2012, 01:12:32 AM »

The "war" between the Santa Fe and the Rio Grande involved not only the Royal Gorge but also the Raton Pass (between Trinidad Co and Raton NM).

The Santa Fe was trying to build south through Raton Pass  while the Rio Grande wanted to also.  This was part of the overall plan to connect Denver with Mexico concocted by the Rio Grande.

The Santa Fe wanted to build west through the Royal Gorge to reach the rich mining area of Leadville, CO.

The problem was, each disputed pass only held enough room for one railroad.

The Santa Fe held the upper hand at Raton Pass.  The land in the pass was owned by Dick Wooten, who was a Santa Fe sympathizer who operated a toll road there.

Santa Fe had also beaten the Rio Grande to the Royal Gorge and had constructed track through it, including the famous Hanging Bridge.

Santa Fe's main line passed through Dodge City Kansas and La Junta, Colorado.  It then continued southwest to Trinidad CO, the north end of the pass.  A Santa Fe branch built northwest from La Junta to Pueblo, and on north to Denver.  Another Santa Fe branch ran west from Pueblo to Canon City and the Royal Gorge.

The main thrust of the Santa Fe was to follow the Santa Fe trail from Kansas City to Los Angeles.  Santa Fe wanted to go through the Royal Gorge to compete with the Rio Grande in the mineral traffic of central Colorado.

Rio Grande really wanted to be a north-south railroad.  But it could not afford to pass up traffic in Central Colorado.  So, in addition to its main line to Trinidad, it also built west from Pueblo to Canon City.

Both railroads wanted to build up the easy grade of the Arkansas River Canyon to Salida.  The only real physical obstacle was the Gorge itself.

I don't know how far the Santa Fe got, but they did make it west of the Royal Gorge.
At Parkdale, just west of the Gorge, they constructed a little stone fort to defend it from the Rio Grande.  I was there last summer, and saw what I believe are the remains of the fortification.

Both railroads maintained roundhouses at Pueblo, which also were impromptu forts.
And both railroads built stations in Canon City.

Federal Courts finally settled this turf war.  The Santa Fe was awarded sole rights to Raton Pass.  Rio Grande was awarded sole rights to the Royal Gorge, and had to pay Santa Fe $5million for the track they had constructed through the Gorge.

Rio Grande's dream of a great north-south railroad was squashed.  Rio Grande eventually did reach into New Mexico, by narrow gauge branches out of Durango and Chama, reaching Farmington and Santa Fe.  But the terrain was too rugged for standard gauge trains, and these lines eventually were abandoned.

Santa Fe eventually reached Santa Fe, but the New Mexico capital was never on the main line.  It was served by a branch out of Lamy.

Santa Fe also built a more southerly main line via Oklahoma and Amarillo TX that connected with the Raton line.

Rio Grande became an east-west railroad reaching Leadville and crossing Tennesse Pass to reach Salt Lake City.  It also established a narrow gauge rail network by running west of Salida into the southwest part of the state.  While Santa Fe became a major trunk line railroad, Rio Grande became more of a regional railroad by today's standards. It lived on bridge traffic between Denver and Salt Lake City.

Les
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Doneldon

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« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2012, 11:48:29 PM »

The main thrust of the Santa Fe was to follow the Santa Fe trail from Kansas City to Los Angeles.  Santa Fe wanted to go through the Royal Gorge to compete with the Rio Grande in the mineral traffic of central Colorado.

Les-

Not really true. The Santa Fe Trail ran from west Central Missouri to the city of Santa Fe. The lines from Chicago
into KC and west from Northeast New Mexico to Los Angeles had nothing to do with the Santa Fe Trail.
                                                                                                                                                            -- D
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2012, 12:57:58 AM »

The Santa Fe trail had two routes into New Mexico: the northern route via Raton Pass, and a southerly route that ran from Kansas City through Oklahoma and Amarillo Texas that roughly paralleled old Route 66.

I think Belen NM is the meeting point of these two routes.  The Los Angeles main continues west (again the route of Highway 66) through Gallup and northern Arizona.
A secondary main splits off at Belen to serve Las Cruces NM and El Paso TX.

The original Santa Fe trail was a military road connecting Central Missouri with Santa Fe, as you state.  The line from Belen to El Paso had also been a military road.

Some of these routes were Spanish Colonial Roads.  A Spanish Colonial Road connected El Paso with Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Another ran from Santa Fe via Raton Pass up the Front Range of the Rockies to the Denver area.

This route was followed by Interstate 25 from Las Cruces to Denver.  North of Raton Pass, it was the route used by the Rio Grande and the Colorado Southern.

I don't know if the route between Belen and Southern California was a road before the Santa Fe built it.  The route between El Paso and Los Angeles used by the Southern Pacific had been another Spanish Royal Road.

The Spanish Royal Roads were built to connect missions, and to connect the main Colonial Capital of Mexico City with the Provencial Capital of Santa Fe.

Les
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Doneldon

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« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2012, 04:20:53 AM »

Dd-

The route through Amarillo was not part of the Santa Fe Trail, only the the path from central Missouri which split into two
routes from western Kansas to Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Railway built the Oklahoma/Amarillo line explicitly to avoid the steep
grades on the split section of the Santa Fe Trail west of Kansas, particularly Raton Pass. Even passenger trains with light
 tonnage (compared to freights) and powerful modern diesels crawl up Raton.

I know this because I jumped off of the Cap up there one day, picked a bunch of brown-eyed Susans (my fiance's favorite
flower) and was able to run and jump back on the train with them. She was getting on the train in Chillicothe IL and I wanted
to surprise her. I stored them in a food locker until we got to Illinois. It turned out to be quite exciting for the people in the
diner because no one thought I'd be able to reboard. I was a little worried about that myself as it turned out. It seems the
flowers were a lot farther from the train than they looked to be.
                                                                                                -- D
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2012, 10:48:01 AM »

That reminds me of "The Silver Streak" where that guy keeps getting tossed off the train!

Did you have trouble getting back on?

At least you would have been stranded in pretty country.

Les
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beampaul7

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« Reply #37 on: October 02, 2012, 07:30:39 PM »

LES & DON
You guys are both right and..........................not so right. First off the Santa FE trail was not established by the military, but by a man named William Becknell in 1821 using pack mules and was so succesfull that he returned with wagons for a second trip more succesfull than the first.  The trail was then a trade route tho the military certainly used it in the years to come.  The mountain branch indeed used Raton Pass.  The Cimmaron Cutoff which was used in wet years as there was little water on the cuttoff split off from the main route west of what is now Dodge City, ks.  The Santa Fe trail was never used by the ATSF tho the RR paraleled the trail across ks.

Les, the route I think you're trying to include as part of the sf trl as Rt-66 and I-40 was actually the National Trail or hwy that was extended from Ft Smith, AR to the West Coast & was never a part of the SFT.  That story is very interesting as well and involves a man named Edward Fitzgerald Beale, Jefferson Davis, a flagstaff at what became Flagstaff, AZ, the camel corp and a man called Hi Jolly. 

History Is Fun.
later,

Paul G










   







t
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M1FredQ

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« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2012, 07:00:00 PM »

What books or sources are you drawing off this info from  this would be great projects for the kids at school to help them learn some geography!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!
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beampaul7

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« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2012, 12:30:45 AM »

m1fredq,

I refreshed my memory with wickipedia before I posted, but was verifying info I had in my head, but the thing that sent my warning bells clattering was when someone said that the sft was built as a military road which I knew was false.  Over the years I have read many books and articles about the trail and the western U.S. so while I may be a little fuzzy about the details (hence the verifying on wiki, I have a pretty solid, tho not infalible, memory of history in the west.  don't know if this is all that helpfull, but my only advise is to read, read some more, and read read read.

Paul G
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Doneldon

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« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2012, 08:16:45 PM »

someone said that the sft was built as a military road which I knew was false.

Paul-

The military did use the Santa Fe Trail but it was built as a commercial endeavor.

                                                                                                               -- D
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2012, 09:42:49 AM »

History is fun, and railroad history (the financial shenanigans part) is especially fascinating. One word of warning about doing reading - don't rely on Wikipedia (or any encyclopedia for that matter) as anyone can join and edit things. Also, Wiki articles often have no references. If you are really interested in a Wiki article - check out the reference. Wiki articles can be wrong or edited with a certain bias.

Another interesting topic - although very dry - is the background to the creation of Penn Central.
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beampaul7

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« Reply #42 on: October 10, 2012, 11:12:17 AM »

To Donaldon & Woody

Hi guys.

Doneldon,  My original post to you and Les was done on a time deadline and I'm afraid that spelling, contect, and punctuation left a lot to be desired.  If you will reread that post carefully you will find that I did mention that the military used the trail but it was developed, as you mentioned, as a trade route.

Woody, thanks for the heads up about Wiki. As I said, I use Wiki merely to help confirm info I'm pretty familiar with already.  I'm well aware about their biases and get some pretty good laughs when they get political.  I't has reached the point where one must skeptically filter everything one reads, especialy from the media.  Thanks for your're concern.

Now back to railroading.   Shocked Grin Cool

Later, Paul G 

 
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Doneldon

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« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2012, 04:53:34 PM »

thanks for the heads up about Wiki. As I said, I use Wiki merely to help confirm info I'm pretty familiar with already.  I'm well aware about their biases and get some pretty good laughs when they get political.  I't has reached the point where one must skeptically filter everything one reads, especialy from the media.

Paul-

The validity and accuracy of Inet material worries me a good deal. There is wonderful information but a lot of outright rubish, too. I fear
that many people aren't able to tell the difference which means that the web ends up making a larger gap between people's knowledge
than reducing it. I had hoped the web would make us all a little more equal but I think it may be doing just the opposite. Actually, I'm
afraid that might be true for our communication, too. Instead of enhancing communication and bringing us closer together, the Inet
enables us to have virtual communication without the real contact or relationship which is part of personal contact.
                                                                                                                                                                          -- D
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beampaul7

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« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2012, 06:43:05 PM »

Fully agree, Doneldon, we are losing the form and texture of our language also.  Texting is making things even worse.  What disturbs me even more, however, is watching the people around me, constantly tuning out with electronics of every kind, never alone with their own minds and selves.  What's wrong with a little self annalyis once in a while?
My wife and I are watching a video about the decade of the "50's" and they show TV commercials of the day.  We were amazed that the ads seemed to be a full minute and people spoke much slower.  You can actually understand what they are saying.  People today speak so fast that with my artificially enhanced hearing I'm just not able to  process quickly enough in many cases to carry on a conversation.  End of rant!

History is still lots of fun tho.....

Paul G
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