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05/2014

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METAL_RIVETS

WELCOME TO SOUTHWEST NARROW GAUGE
THANK YOU FOR CHECKING OUR SITE.
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Structure collections to be offered for sale will be Fine Scale Miniatures, Master Creations, Builders in Scale, Timberline, Thomas Yorke, S.S. Ltd., Historical Scale Models, Model Masterpieces and many others, most of which are no longer made. Also, we stock current manufacturers: Sierra West and Downtown Deco.

Locomotives and rolling stock for which we are currently specialist dealers are Accucraft, San Juan Car Co., Precision Scale Co. , M.M.I. Die Cast, SoundTraxx and Blackstone Models.

Our site is updated on a daily basis and we especially try to keep important upcoming items listed. Most brass locomotives and cars produced today because of high costs are done in very limited quantities. We encourage you to reserve items of interest because most are sold out by the time they arrive. We don't charge deposits for reservations and only ask the courtesy of a call if you change your mind about an item reserved. 

Thank you for your support.

 

SOMEONE RECENTLY ASKED IF I BUY NARROW GAUGE COLLECTIONS. THE ANSWER IS YES, BUT IN KEEPING WITH MY OPERATING POLICY I AM INTERESTED ONLY IN FIRST CLASS QUALITY LOCOS AND CARS WHEN I PURCHASE. I PAY TOP DOLLAR AND WANT THE BEST JUST LIKE YOU EXPECT WHEN YOU PURCHASE FROM ME. 
REGARDING CONSIGNMENTS, AGAIN ONLY THE BEST IS ACCEPTED, I TAKE 20% OF THE SELLING PRICE THAT THE SELLER AND I AGREE ON AND ONCE THE ITEM IS SOLD I STAND BEHIND IT WITH MY PERSONAL GUARANTEE.
 

FOR OUR FAITHFUL CUSTOMERS


Sam Furakawa has authored two beautiful books about the modern day "Durango and Silverton Rail Road" and the "Cumbress and Toltec Scenic Rail Road"Bob Hayden of Hayden Publishing Co. produced the books. proceeds go to the Narrow GAuge Preservation Foundation.
I have had 40 pairs of these books signed by San and Bob. I'm pleased to offer these signed and matching numbered books on a first come first served basis @100 per set, post paid anywhere in the continental USA. 
one comment i hears was "Sam has cameras the world hasn't even seen yet"... When you see the photos in these books you will understand the comment.

2014 TRIVIA

HARDLY A WEEK GOES BY THAT I DON'T FIND MYSELF RESEARCHING SOMETHING IN MY COLORADO RAIL ANNUAL #24 (COPYRIGHT 2000) AND COLORADO RAIL ANUAL #25 (COPYRIGHT 2003) BOTH BY HERBERT DANNERMAN. THESE ARE INCREDIBLE BOOKS REPRESENTING MANY YEARS OF RESEARCH BY MR. DANNERMAN. EVERYONE WHO SERIOUSLY MODELS THE D&rGW AND RGS WILL APPRECIATE THE CHRONOLOGICAL INFO CONTAINED THERIN. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE WONDERFUL COVER PAINTINGS ARE DONE BY HERBERTS SO NMIKE, A MASTER MODELER HIMSELF. CONTACT THE COLORADO RAILROAD MUSEUM AND PURCHASE THESE BOOKS.

Chile Line Trivia

Many of the southbound Chile line runs contained a 30 foot refridgerator car delivering meat from an Alamosa packing plant to Santa Fe. Obviously the car returned to Alamosa empty on the northbound trips.

Gramps and U.T.L.X. Tank Cars

Many types of tank cars were seen on the various Colorado Narrow Gauge lines, ie: Conoco, Texaco, Cycx, Gramps Union Tank Car line, (UTLX) Richfield. Legend has it that a man who owned several tank cars leased to the refinery at Alamosa was asked by his grandchildren which cars were his. He had the name "Gramps" painted on his cars. The Gramps and UTLX cars picked up crude oil from the Jicirilla Apache Indian Reservation west of Chama that was piped to a loading dock in the Chama R.R. Yards. The crude was then hauled from Chama to a refinery at Alamosa.

D&RG

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D&RGW narrow gauge Emblems

Most modelers of Denver & Rio Grande narrow gauge select a specific era to model. The D&RGW narrow gauge used 5 different emblems from 1887 through the 1950's; the railroad eventually had 7 different emblems. Almost all locomotives and cars built by various importers model C-16's up to K37's, and with the exception of the C-series locomotives, the K series started in 1903 with the K27's.

For those who model the 1920's and later, the following logos are the most significant:

A) From 1884 through 1922 the railroad emblem featured the Curecanti needle and read "Denver and Rio Grande R.R." i.e. D&RG.

B) In 1922 this logo changed to read "Denver and Rio Grande Western" i.e. D&RGW. This logo was used for approximately four years, 1922-1926.

C) In July 1926 the railroad adopted the beautiful "tricolor" logo which read "D&RGWRR" in the outer circle with "Royal Gorge route" inside the circle and "Scenic Line" in the banner below. The logo was red, white and blue. This logo is important to many modelers inasmuch as it was used from 1926 through 1936.

D) On June 24, 1936 the "Moffat Logo" was officially accepted even though it was used on printed material beginning in 1934. This logo had "Rio Grande" in the outer circle, "Royal Gorge/Moffat Tunnel" in the inner circle and "Scenic Line of the World" in the hanging banner. This is probably the most important logo to D&RGW modelers since it was officially used from 1936 and kept on much equipment up to 1945, long after the Flying Grande logo went into use.

E) In 1940 the "Flying Grande" logo was adopted and applied to new or out shopped equipment. The Flying Rio Grande logo ran on the narrow gauge lines until the end of operations in 1968, even though a new herald was designed in 1947, officially adopted in 1948 and used until 1967. For contrast the new 1948 logo could be seen on modern diesels and cars at Alamosa and Salida while the "Flying Grande" logo was still seen on narrow gauge equipment in those cities.

In summary, modelers who model 1926 through 1936: "Tri Color Logo".

1936 through 1944: "Moffat Logo", especially 1936 to 1940. 

1940 to 1978: "Flying Grande" logo. 

Modelers who wish to use Moffat and Flying Grande logos can specifically model 1940 through early 1945, after 1945 the Moffat logo disappeared.

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MOFFAT LOGO

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Tuscan colored passenger car Color Change

In 1918 and 1919 during World War I the United States Railway Administration (USRA) was put in charge of all railroads in the United States. The USRA sent a memo to railroads telling them to repaint Tuscan colored passenger cars to Pullman green. The reason given was that green was less costly. In 1887 the D&RG painted passenger equipment Tuscan red, the practice ended in 1918 under the USRA directive; therefore, prototype passenger equipment colors are Tuscan red from 1887 through 1918 and Pullman green thereafter.

 K27's on the R.G.S.

We are often asked by modelers what K27's operated on the Rio Grande Southern Railroad. The following locomotives operated on the R.G.S. at one time or another, all were piston valve locomotives: #452, 453, 454, 455, 456, 458, 459, 461, 462, 463 and 464. Photographs of every one of these locomotives in both 1930's Moffat logos and 1940's Flying Grande logos on the R.G.S. can be found in Richard Dorman's books "The Rio Grande Southern", "An Ultimate Pictorial Study", "The Southern" and "Ultimate Pictorial II".

"WITH THIS RING, I REWED"                                                                                  

Story related to Bruce Kinkner by Gordon Chappell January 5, 2004 as told to Gordon by Bob Richardson

Probably one of the most famous Colorado Narrow Gauge locomotives is C-19 #346 currently residing at the Colorado Railroad Museum. At one time the #346 was leased to the Colorado and Southern Railroad and ran there, complete with bear trap stack. While on the C&S the 346 wrecked on Kenosa Pass. After restoration the locomotive was returned to the D&RGW and served as Durango Switcher minus one steam dome band lost in the Kenosa Pass wreck. Subsequently the 346 was sold to the Montezuma Lumber Company and eventually the 346 was purchased by Bob Richardson and moved to his "Narrow Gauge Motel" at Alamosa, Colorado; still without one steam dome band. During the filming of the movie "Denver and Rio Grande" two C-18's were wrecked, their hulks were returned to Durango and stored. While touring the Durango Yard Bob Richardson spotted some dome bands among the scrap and purchased the band from A.R.R. employee where upon he restored an original C-19 boiler band back on to #346. #346 at the Colorado R.R. Museum today looks completely normal. Little does anyone know how much trouble Bob Richardson went to make it so.

RIO GRANDE GOLD LOCOMOTIVES

Think you all know about C-16 #268 Bumblebee and K28 #473 painted in Rio Grande Gold colors? Well there was a third D&RGW narrow gauge painted "Grande Gold". In 1958 K36 #483 was painted "Grande Gold" for a Rheingold beer commercial filmed at Durango Colorado. The 483 was hastily returned to the shops and repainted black after the commercial. Occasionally when work or painting on 483 is being done, spots of yellow paint still show up . . . per John Coker 10/20/2004.

Also the 4th loco was C-18 #319 painted Grande Gold and numbered #268. This loco was used in the movie "Denver & Rio Grande" and wrecked for a movie scene.

 CHILI LINE

In the early days of the Chili Line the line was laid with 30 pound rail (30 pounds to the yard). T12 locomotives were the motive power. The first C-19 locomotive to run over the line broke 19 rails. The engineer was the late Bob Parmenter who related this story to Gordon Chappell.

Silver Vista Maiden Trip Test Run      May 02, 2006

Pictures

473 BUMBLEBEE

The Durango & Silverton K28 #473 was repainted & restored to the Bumblebee scheme for a September 2003 photo special. The locomotive has been returned to the black paint scheme & actually hasn't run in the last year. 

473 is going to be returned to the Bumblebee paint scheme to pull the Silverton train complete with excursion car 313 "Silver Vista" at the 2006 August Railfest & 21st Annual National Narrow Gauge Convention August 17-21st, 2006 at Durango. 

Incidentally, 2006 is the 125th Anniversary of the Narrow Gauge arriving at Durango.

THE SHAVANO

Passenger trains ran over Marshall Pass to Gunnison and Montrose from the first days the line was opened. The passenger train was called the "Marshall Pass Route Express". In 1936 and 1937 38 passenger cars were remodeled with closed vestibules, steam heat, air signals and electric lights. On April 8th, 1937, the D&RGW unveiled the newly modernized train titled "Shavano" at Salida, Colorado. The Shavano made its first run on April 9, 1937. The final run of the Shavano occurred on November 24, 1940. 

Reproduction of the Silver Vista

                                                                               Elsewhere I have listed the history of the D&RGW excursion car #313 "Silver Vista". GREAT NEWS! The Durango & Silverton Railroad is going to reproduce the "Silver Vista" in its original configuration. The railroad plans to introduce the car in conjunction with "Railfest 2006" & the 21st Annual National Narrow Gauge Convention being held at Durango, Colorado August 17-21, 2006.

THE "SAN JUAN"

Passenger trains ran from Alamosa through Durango to Silverton from the late 1880's. The passenger train was called the "San Juan New Mexico Express". The Express ran to Silverton complete with R.P.O. baggage car/cars, coach/coaches and a parlor car. In 1936/37, 38 passenger cars were modernized with electric lights, steam heat, air signals and closed vestibules. A newly modernized passenger train titled the "San Juan" was unveiled at Alamosa, Colorado on February 8, 1937. The train was displayed at Durango, CO. on February 9, 1937. The San Juan terminated at Durango. The final run of the San Juan occurred on Jan. 13, 1951.

For those modeling the Denver & Rio Grande it should be noted that no K28's ran to Durango before 1928. Until 1928 the rails would not support K28's. In 1928 the line between Chama and Durango was changed to 70 pound rail.

locomotives painted in the Bumblebee scheme

As mentioned earlier, the D&RGW over the years had three, not two locomotives painted in the Bumblebee scheme. First #268 for the 1949 Chicago Worlds Fair. 268 retained its Bumblebee paint until end of operations and is now fully repainted and displayed at Gunnison Co. Secondly, K-28 #473 was painted Bumblebee and ran in 1950-1951 on the Silverton and San Juan trains. Third and very little known is K36 #483 painted for a beer (Rhinegold) commercial. Here is an actual ad photo. Coincidentally, 483 had a garish purple paint job when it was used in the movie "The Good Guys & the Bad Guys" filmed at Chama. The Bumblebee 483 picture was sent to me by railroad artist and former engineer, John H. Coker; thanks John. Note the single black stripe on the coach thus indicating the photo was taken after 1955. The coach is open vestibule either 280, 306 or 320.

C-18 #319 was painted Bumblebee #268 for the movie "Denver & Rio Grande". The loco was wrecked in the movie.

 

FIDELITY TO PROTOTYPE

Most narrow gauge modelers demand perfection and spend countless hours striving for same. Brass narrow gauge cars are hand built in very small quantities to exactly depict their prototype. if you have brass passenger cars check celistorys for variety. Few modelers realize that an individual Hon3 or On3 factory painted passenger car is seldom produced in quantities of more than 30 pieces. These museum quality cars are instant heirlooms produced usually only one time. a production run of On3 passenger cars is a maximum 150 pcs. example, coach 306, 312 and 320 produced in 2004, 150 pcs total.

        306 Bay window Green
        306 Silverton (bay window removed ) 2 black      striped Circa 1950-1955.
        306 Silverton, one black stripe, post 1955
        312 Green
        320 Green Bay Window
        320 Silverton (bay window removed) two           black stripes
        320 Silverton one Black stripe post 1955.

Do the math 3 road numbers, 7 paint schemes, 150 total pcs. Even divided evenly thats only 20 of each car. If you have brass factory painted passenger cars, appreciate what you have. If modelers dont collect brass cars they will soon b replaced by generic plastic cars therefore compromising "fidelity to prototype".

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Food for thought. 

Until Prescion Scale Co/ Mountain Models die cast division introduced Hon3, On3, On30 factory painted locomotives, the average cost for a fine Hon3 unpainted brass loco was $600, an unpainted On3 d&RGW, R.G.S. loco was about $1500.
Southwest pays their professional painter over $300 to paint an Hon3 loco and over $400 for an On3. 
Modelers who are now offerred factory painted Hon3 locos for $300 and factory painted On3/on30 locos for $400 to $600 should realize what incredible value they are buying. All parts on MMi Hon3, On3, On30 locos are brass.

Personal Trivia

In 1953 I traveled to Farmington NM with three friends to visit one friends family. The first evening there i heard a train whistle and took my 16mm box camera out back thru an apple orchard to the tracks.
I took two pictures, one of a headlight coming north towards me (towards Durango) and a second of the cab side and fireman looking at me as the train passed.
I didnt realize that the track was narrow gauge, what the loco was or that it said "Rio Grande" on the tender.
I didnt see the narrow gauge again until 1964 when i visited Durango and Rockwood with my then wife and two children. Having had a lifelong love of trains I then fell hopelessly in love with the D&RGW/ R.G.S. Narrow Gauge.
I cry every time i think of the prime years I wasted between 1953 and 1964.

Trivia

At one time D&RGW K37 #497 had a Flying Grande Herald on the left side of the tender that was applied using the right side stencil. The result was a Flying Rio Gande herald leaning in the wrong direction.
Also, certain pictures of the right cab side of 497 show the letters "D&RGS" on the lower left and "K27" on the lower right. other pictures show "K37" on the lower left and "D&RGW" on the lower right. could the same employee who did the tender have also done the cab sides?

 

I WORK CLOSELY WITH PSC/ MOUNTAIN MODELS. AS YOU KNOW THE LAST IMPORT OF MMI K27S AND K28S WERE PRODUCED BY MMI EXCLUSIVELY FOR SOUTHWEST. IN PLANNING WITH MMI FOR MY LAST IMPORT OF 300 ON3/ON30 K27S I HAD A RGS #455 AFTER THE WRECK MADE FOR ME KNOW ING I WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR EXTRA TOOLING. I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT TOOLING COSTS HAVE INCREASED 66% IN THE LAST YEAR AND PRODUCTION PRICES CONTINUE TO INCREASE AS WELL. THE TOOLING INCREASE DOES NOT AFFECT SOME OF MY RERUNS BUT IT WILL CERTAINLY AFFECT FUTURE MMI DIE CAST LOCO PROJECTS.