Re: Photo: D&RGW Gondola With Load Of Mine Cars

Bob Webber

1916 was the beginning of the bankruptcy / reorg.   The D&RG had sent a few thousand freight cars, and had purchased more (on the Extension's behalf).  This was a combination of old and new - including some from the RGW days.  Some were convertible cars (NG/SG) - though most of those were gone.  You can imagine that building the WP took "a few" cars to haul building materials (mainly because a certain Friendly road was for some strange reason, not assisting) and spoilage. 

You take a 1900 era car - which was only 10 years old at this time - and you start hauling loads they were never designed for - some "live" from the standpoint of stays - and you end up with trucks, bolsters, draft gear, and not much else.

Note that those new cars are house cars.  Most of the D&RG freight cars were flats, convertible, gons...with a bunch of RGW boxes.   After 5+ years of hard work in very dry conditions, a lot were deemed unusable (if not unmovable).  As we all know, one of the nice things about wood vs steel is "any carpenter" can take a wood car that is DOA and bring it back to life.  During this period, there were dozens of passenger cars that had been deems scrapped - and were miraculously resurrected as the new company came to be. 

We all have seen how a reorganized company can come in and sweep with the new brush.  One of the first things they do is take an inspection trip and note all the scrap on the side of the track.  I think the CRI&P did that and got enough back (from the scrapping) to purchase more modern locomotives.  So...on both ends of the former D&RG, new companies went through and had to detail what they had and what could be repaired - and what was written off.  Note the timing - 1916.  The beginning of the Valuation surveys.  Perhaps more than any other time, this was a requirement to review every asset and determine value, viability, and future. Many freight cars that went to the Extension simply could not come back (in the state found).  Does the new company send teams to retrieve the steel and rebuild, or do they receive the benefits from loads of scrap?  The reorg also gives railroads a perfect opportunity to purchase new equipment (often as not, that's a prime reason for the reorg). If you can shove the overworked to the "other" side of the Ledger, while filling the "left" side with new cars...

The D&RG had been a cash cow for the MP & Gould.  That's why they were forced to extend to the Pacific.  Once out of the foreign control, that meant that the cash was going to home. and staying.  They  never got back to the halcyon days of pre-Extension, but they continued work through the 20s and 30s to rebuild the railroad, both in physical plant and in equipment. And that equipment still stayed close to the WP/MP.  Some locomotives were close to the WP, some were closer to the UP (the 1600s were basically a 4-12-2 with the 2 drivers and boiler removed). 

But you'd see an influx of new steel cars being used by the D&RGW in 1923 - not only because of the aforementioned, but also due to the rigors of the WWI traffic & USRA "management".

At 02:14 PM 12/2/2019, Tony Thompson wrote:
Bob Webber wrote:

1923 is the year the sparrows came back - all passenger cars purchased to modernize & equip the WP were brought back to the D&RG, WP had to purchase new cars.  The same thing happened to an extent with freight, though WP kept a lot. 

     I have always understood that most of the D&RG freight cars used by WP at its beginning were returned in 1916, when they bought 1000 new box cars of their own.

Tony Thompson

Bob Webber

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