The 13th annual DSP&PHS convention started at the Colorado Railroad Museum, where many members enjoyed a ride on Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose No. 7. While this isn't a relic from the DSP&P/C&S, it was a rare opportunity to re-enact a piece of narrow gauge history. We were also privileged to view the rehabilitation work on DL&G engine No. 191. Donations from our restoration fund played a part in this important work.
After lunch, the group set out for its first exploration - the last remaining stretch of C&S narrow gauge roadbed on the Morrison Branch. We braved the hot sun and walked up to about a 1/2-mile-stretch of right-of-way that hasn't yet succumbed to development. When we descended into Morrison, Todd Hackett pointed out the former locations of the depot and roundhouse, both of which have long been paved over.
Saturday was perfect for a school bus ride to South Platte and points beyond. Our first stop was at Foxton, where 91-year-old Dave Rainey joined the group. Dave has lived in the Buffalo area since 1930 and worked for the C&S and Union Depot for 41 years; he was a fine tour guide for this area.
We visited Dome Rock and the Westall Monument, site of a wreck in which engineer Billy Westall died, and moved on to South Platte. As we gathered at the old hotel, a sound was heard in the canyon for the first time in many, many years - a C&S steam whistle! What a welcome surprise! Joe Moore brought his working steam whistle mounted on compressed air tanks to give us a thrill.
We later drove the old roadbed to the turnoff for the Nighthawk Branch, then moved on to the Silica Branch, site of Silicated Brick and Clay Co.
Sunday morning included a visit the Byers-Evans House or a walking tour of downtown Denver. The opportunity to visit the railroad layout at Union Station was - literally - washed out by heavy thunderstorms and flooding earlier in the summer.
All in all, this was quite an eventful and enjoyable trip. We already look forward to 2012, when we'll meet in Bailey, Aug. 3-5.