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The Colorado & Wyoming Railway Operation

Operation is broken down into just a few elements;

Mining and Refining Operations:

The majority of the mining operations takes place on the upper level of the layout. A stamping facility with an attached mine, the mine is now closed, is the only visible portion of this operation. Since the mine is closed the raw ore is moved to the stamping mill from other mines located in the mountains, which are located via the upper staging yard. The raw ore is transported in steel ore hoppers, shown on the right in the image below. The tailings created from the stamping process are moved to tailing piles, again located via the upper staging yard, or used in other areas as ballast in the mountains. The tailings are moved using wooden side dump cars, shown on the left in the image below. The most common motive power used for this operation is the Climax locomotives, shown below. The concentrates from the stamping mill is packaged in either burlap bags or barrels for shipment to refineries located off of the layout. Low sided gondolas and box cars are used to ship the product out depending on where the final customer is located. Low sided gondolas are used if the product is to be shipped by river barge and boxcars are used if the shipment is to be transferred to the Colorado & Southern Railroad. Supplies for the stamping mill are delivered using whatever type of rail car is required for the load and are delivered along with empty low sided gondolas and boxcars as called for by the Mountain Mining Company. Personal is transported between the mining facility and town by the CWRy in a dedicated modified passenger car. This passenger car is used for both the mining and timber companies.

Side Dump and Ore Hoppers Climax

Lumber and Forest Operations:

The lumber and timber operations is run by the Riverside Lumber Company and has facilities located on both levels of the layout. On the upper level there are two visible facilities, the first being the log loading area. At this location logs are dragged out the forested areas and a spar loader is used to load the logs onto skeleton log cars. Also log cars are loaded at other log loading areas located further down the rails and accessed via the upper staging yard. Loaded cars are assembled into trains for delivery to the lumber mill on the lower level of the layout. A loaded log car train is only three to five cars in length and moved using a Shay locomotive. The trains are short due to the 5% downgrade to reach the lumber mill. Once the cars are at the mill the logs are dumped into a holding pond and moved into the mill as required. The empty log cars are either stored at the mill or sent back up the mountain to the log loading areas as required.

The second area is the lumber camp where a cook and dining car is located for use by the train crews, forest managers and operations personal. Located at this site there will often be a water car and storage car. Only the personal required to stay at the camp remain there overnight with the majority of the workers returning to town each day on the CWRy passenger car. Other supplies that are required for the operations are delivered as required.

At the lumber mill the logs are stripped of bark and milled into finished rough cut dimensional lumber as specified by the customers. The lumber is shipped out using flat cars and transported to town. The flat cars can be transferred to the Colorado & Southern Railroad for use at locations not located on the layout, moved to the river barge for transportation by water or used in town at various small businesses where crates, skids, barrels and furniture is made.

Logcar Shay

Railway Interchange:

A town and a railroad can only survive for a limited amount of time if there is no connections to the rest of the world, the Colorado & Wyoming Railway and the town on my layout are no different. On my layout there are two such connections using different transportation methods. Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages for the individuals in the town as well as the local business. The first important item is that it gives more than one option to use when making a choice on how to get out of town or to get to town. The railroad connection is the most widely used option as it gives everyone the largest number of choices on where to go. The Colorado & Southern Railroad operations this option and has both passenger and freight operations scheduled into town. Freight operations are a little different as all of the freight traffic is interchanged with the CWRy and is than delivered to the businesses by the use of local switcher locomotives. In town the CWRy uses gas mechanical units and to move any traffic to other areas is done using any of the steam locomotives that are available. Freight trains are scheduled twice a day Monday to Saturday and once a day on Sundays. Extra trains are run as needed for interchange traffic when the demand is needed. Freight traffic is busy due to the lumber mill and mining operations.

The other method of transportation is to use the river with dedicated barges and other boats as needed. No regular passenger service is available on the river but from time to time there are specials that occur. Most of the river traffic involves the movement of bulk products that are not time sensitive in travel time. The largest customer is the mine with the transporting of metal concentrates that are headed for a smelting plant further down the river. In this case the mine concentrates are delivered from the stamping plant to the dock by the CWRy. The barges and boats don't work to any fixed schedule but generally there are two barges a week that carry the concentrates. Another barge carrying equipment into town that is too big for the railroad or just being used to carry mixed cargo is used about once a week.

Support for local businesses:

Support for the local businesses is most handled by LCL, less than car load, shipments as most businesses don't require a full car load of traffic. The local hardware store, dress maker shop, tailor shop, market, excreta would most likely not have the room to store a full car load of supplies. The CWRy is set to handle this as they will open up the cars and deliver the individual shipments to the various vendors. Only larger businesses such as the barrel maker, the cabinet maker, furniture manufacturer, skid and create builder and other similar businesses produce or consume enough material or products that require a full car.

Passenger Service:

Passenger service is one trip into town and one trip out of town each day, seven days a week. Mail is also moved in and out of town on this train on a Monday to Saturday schedule. Additional passenger or worker service is provided each day from town to the various operations along the mountain route. These include the lumber mill, the stamping mill, the tree loading areas and the mines. This train leaves town each morning and returns in the evening.