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The Last Train to Leave Cimarron, New Mexico: Why the Trains Left Cimarron.

The Last Train to Leave Cimarron, New Mexico: Why the Trains Left Cimarron.

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The Last Train to Leave Cimarron, New Mexico: Why the Trains Left Cimarron.

Comprimento:
126 página
1 hora
Editora:
Lançado em:
Jan 14, 2013
ISBN:
9781481700023
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

The last train to leave Cimarron, New Mexico

The story of the last train to leave Cimarron endevors to answer two questions: Why did the railroad industry pull out of Cimarron, New Mexico and when did the last train leave?

To answer these questions the author summarizes the history of the Cimarron country, the various people who worked to develop its lands, natural resources and rail service. How did the tiny community of Ute Park develop and why did it not grow into the vacation and recreational community the railroad executives envisioned. Was a northern railroad through New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California , going to the Pacific possible and was it needed?

In many places history is driven by economics, so to understand the railroad history of Cimarron we also looked at the development of the automobile, truck transportation, air travel, bus transportation, one speed long hall railroads, development of the electric diesel locomotive and the decline of steam driven trains. All of these things are part of the complete Cimarron rail road saga. Then, there is the story of the last train.
Editora:
Lançado em:
Jan 14, 2013
ISBN:
9781481700023
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor

Ronald E. Bromley (Ron) has a Batchelor of Science degree in business administration. He is a veteran of the US. Navy and was a career executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Between 1996 and 2002 he served as Comptroller for Philmont Scout Ranch, near Cimarron, New Mexico. Now retired, he and his wife Dee live in Prescott, Arizona.

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Amostra do Livro

The Last Train to Leave Cimarron, New Mexico - Ronald E. Bromley

AuthorHouse™

1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403

www.authorhouse.com

Phone: 1-800-839-8640

© 2013 by Ronald E. Bromley. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.

Published by AuthorHouse 02/08/2013

ISBN: 978-1-4772-9990-6 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4772-9989-0 (hc)

ISBN: 978-1-4817-0002-3 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012923653

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Contents

Dedication

Prologue

The Country

Conquest of the Northern Lands

The Birth of Cimarron

Growth of Rail Service

Rails into New Mexico

Building the Dream

Boom Town

Shell Games and Snake Oil

Growing Pains and the High Cost of Operations

Rails West and Southwest

Transfer of Ownership

War and Rumors of War

The Best of Times and the Great Depression

The Passage of Time

The Last Train

Author’s Notes

List of References

Dedication

This book is dedicated to my wife, Damaris A. Bromley; who spent many hours correcting spelling errors, proof reading and making suggestions that improved the flow of the story.

Prologue

A t a point in Colorado where US Highways 50 and 25 cross is a shady, cool riverfront park with rolling hills, lawns, evergreen and dogwood trees. Just seventy yards from the handicapped parking spaces sits an Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe locomotive and tender, quiet and calm, with no whistle, no bell, no hissing of steam; just quiet. A large black engine sitting on tracks that go nowhere, not forward or back. The locomotive bears the number 899 and AT&SF under the cab window. You have seen something like this in hundreds of other city parks, but this one is different; it’s part of the last train and you remember.

Sitting on the bench only sixty feet from your Jeep Wagoneer with two small children, you look at the locomotive.

Your eldest grandchild asks, Grandpa, can we climb on it?

You say, Yes, if you are very careful not to slip or fall. Hold on with both hands as you climb up into the cab.

Grandpa, will you come with us and tell us about the train?

Yeah! Now start climbing, youngsters.

The city park was built not far from what was the main line of the Santa Fe railroad that connected central Colorado to New Mexico.

It’s 1992 and you start telling your grandchildren about the Last Train to Leave Cimarron.

How it might have looked.

The Country

T he southeastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico are being carved and shaped by many rivers and streams, all tributaries to the Canadian River. The Vermejo River runs south and east out of Colorado into New Mexico and joins the Canadian near the present town of Maxwell. Further south, the Cimarron River, also known as the Little Cimarron, flows from a pass above Eagle Nest, primarily easterly, to join the Canadian between the villages of Springer and Abbott. The Ocate creek cuts the mountains from the Angel Fire divide in the vicinity of Black Lake and flows southeast and then turns northeast to join the Canadian as it journeys across the flat grass lands of the high plains of New Mexico, on its way into the Texas panhandle and Oklahoma, where it joins the Arkansas River on its final journey to the Gulf of Mexico.

Each stream or river has its beginning in what is known as the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, referring to The Blood of Christ in the Spanish language, and each has a unique geology, ecology and history.

The Cimarron River begins high up in the Moreno Valley at an elevation of nearly 8,200 feet above sea level. The Moreno Valley is a natural collector of snow and water with drainage from Wheeler Peak (13,161 feet) on the west and Mount Baldy (12,441 feet) on the northeast.

Near the eastern side of the valley’s center, in an area known today for Eagle Nest Dam, was a small canyon through which the headwaters of the Cimarron River began flowing thousands of years before recorded history. As the river flows east, it is fed by a variety of tributaries, all of which increase its intensity and size.

From the west, Clear Creek is formed on the slopes of Clear Creek Mountain, which was renamed Mount Phillips in 1960, and is the first major tributary to join the Cimarron.

From the north, Ute Creek brings much of the Baldy Mountain drainage into the fast moving Cimarron. Turkey Creek parallels the Cimarron for 20 miles and then abruptly turns south and joins the widening river.

In the northeast, Ponil Canyon is carved by two major branches of Ponil Creek; they merge and bring additional water into the lower Cimarron canyon. As the Cimarron widens and moves out of the mountains, it is finally fed additional water from the Rayado River. The Rayado has its headwaters on the southeastern slopes of Clear Creek Mountain, or Mount Phillips as it is called today. All of these drainages collectively make up what is known as The Cimarron Country.

This part of New Mexico has a diverse landscape from the high mountain peaks, well above tree line to the flat, arid grasslands of the Great Plains; the Cimarron Country is sheer beauty. From the mountain tops down, the first vegetation one sees is the twisted, deformed foxtail and white pine. These trees seem to have been shaped by violent wind and freezing weather.

Eight hundred feet or more down, the mountains are covered with blue spruce and giant fir trees. Within some areas of this lush alpine mixture of fir and spruce, you will see the white bark of aspen or the golden yellow aspen leaves turning to put on their splendid fall show.

Aspen, also called quaking aspen, are a transitional tree for fir and spruce. Aspen groves are the first trees to cover canyons and ridges burned over by wild fire. As trees go, aspen are short lived compared to the big alpine spruce and fir they mother so well.

Still looking down the mountain, a totally different type of tree appears; the Western yellow pine, or ponderosa. These large and stately trees grow very tall with what appears to be layers of black, brown and yellow armor plated bark. The trunks grow to be three to seven feet at the butt and are normally straight and tapered with only high branches and a large green crown at the top. Much of the Cimarron country above 6,800 feet and below 8,300 feet is home to these massive trees. Ponderosa forests normally have little brush or undergrowth and the trees seem to naturally thin out over the years, thus allowing for the large trunks.

Below the ponderosa forest, the land is covered with oak, juniper and pinion. Live oak trees eventually give way to scrub oak and the pine shrink to sage brush and scrub oak. This cover finally gives way to the grass lands of the high plains of north eastern New Mexico.

The geology of the Cimarron drainage is as diverse as the things that grow there. Flat toped mesas, rugged mountain tops, massive granite outcroppings, older rounded mountains and lush mountain meadows all join in this place. A variety of rocks and minerals are found in various locations across this mountainous country.

Most important to the history of the Cimarron are copper and gold, two colorful and highly valued minerals. The gold and copper were originally found in the high elevations, while long exposed veins of coal were found far below.

The Cimarron drainage also has vast pockets of natural gas under its streams and valleys. Flint and other similar hard materials were important to the area’s earliest inhabitants and are found in abundance.

Much of the mountain area of north eastern New Mexico is known for its variety and quality of wildlife. The earliest documented records often tell of beaver, buffalo and elk.

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