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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 792
Heavenrich wrote:
I wonder how accurate this article is as -- after all it says:

"During mid-summer, the railway runs eight daily departures of up to 12 trains on round-trips to Pikes Peak."

Sounds like the reporter flunked fact checking !!!!

Bob H


And math!


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:23 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Posts: 74
8 Departures with some trains running in 2 sections.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:28 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Posts: 74
Jason Midyette wrote:
Dave wrote:
Rails are rails, readily available. The rack sections can be cut from stock automatically using commercial CAD / CAM technology, left and right sides joined by fabrication. There's no reason to complicate what's a fairly straightforward job using today's available technology.


Not only that, every time that I took a behind the scenes tour of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, they always said that they did not really ever put much wear on the rails themselves, all of the braking and driving forces are on the cog section. Much of the rail remains original for that reason. As I recall, they wore out and replaced the cog section fairly regularly.

Also, the cars they use are Swiss and Diesel already, not to mention relatively new.

There simply has to be way more to this story, the "worn out rails" seems to me to be a smoke and mirrors bit to obscure the real reason for closing the line.

Jason Midyette


Those "New" diesels have a lifespan, if I recall, they were designed with 25 years in mind, that was almost 35 years ago. Their single car diesel electrics are nearing 50 years on a 25 year build lifespan. Do also remember during they summer, every piece of operable equipment is going up and down the hill, all day. The miles add up, its a demanding railroad, it takes a toll on the equipment. Things are not made to last forever, they do actually wear out in time. Even the rails you think will last forever, they take the full weight of the train, how is it you think they are invincible?

Also the rail at the cog is 40 pound rail. Not something any manufacturers make today. If you were to say upgrade to 90 pound rail, you automatically have to replace all the rack with with a taller rack to make up for the height gained in the larger rail, the cog gears are mounted to the axles, alignment is pretty important. Its really not as simple as "just replace the rail"


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:29 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
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Quote:
Also the rail at the cog is 40 pound rail. Not something any manufacturers make today.


Really?
https://www.ez2rail.com/new-rail/new-asce

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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:58 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Pikes Peak may also be the home of the only operational Vauclain Compound in the world, certainly the only one in North America.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHKWqOztqH8


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:24 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
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Location: Youngstown, OH
So it appears that the Cog has been neglecting regular maintenance then. Usually you buy new locomotives and cars on a staggered basis and change out cog sections a little at a time to spread the cost over years.

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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Minneapolis, MN
If Xanterra is involved.....well we know how much they know about railroads. They EVENTUALLY figured out that the Grand Canyon Railroad his not such a bad deal. But they do not like to invest in things that are not part of their core business, hotels. Maybe cooler heads will prevail.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2528
It's all about the money, no warm fuzzy feelings. I suspect this may be either a ploy to get funding or a way to sell it off. But I suspect they did the math and said "We can't afford to fix this thing".
As you mentioned, they kept the GCRY running, but got rid of steam. I wonder what kind of changes they could make here to keep costs in line?
I didn't realize it was owned by the hotel I guess I never really thought about who owned it. It's such a landmark, it almost seemed like it was just simply "there" and I never considered the ownership and funding.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Bobharbison wrote:
It's all about the money, no warm fuzzy feelings. I suspect this may be either a ploy to get funding or a way to sell it off. But I suspect they did the math and said "We can't afford to fix this thing".
As you mentioned, they kept the GCRY running, but got rid of steam. I wonder what kind of changes they could make here to keep costs in line?
I didn't realize it was owned by the hotel I guess I never really thought about who owned it. It's such a landmark, it almost seemed like it was just simply "there" and I never considered the ownership and funding.

Xanterra figured out that steam DID matter at the GCRY. They are running steam again, with at least 6 events scheduled throughout the 2018 season. We can only hope that once the costs are determined at "The Cog" they will fund the neccessary repairs to such an iconic attraction.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 534
Location: Byers, Colorado
In my infinite wisdom, please let me point out that P Anschutz has closed lots of railroads and laid off lots of railroaders. This is typical, there is some kind of crookedness involved...

The Abt system rack railroads are fairly common in Europe. I've ridden the Achenseebahn and the Schaffbergbahn in Austria. Neither one seems to have any trouble keeping their equipment or track in repair. For that matter, I've ridden the M&PP and toured their shops, and they didn't seem to be having any trouble, either.

Phuck Phil

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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2528
hamster wrote:
Xanterra figured out that steam DID matter at the GCRY. They are running steam again, with at least 6 events scheduled throughout the 2018 season.


Yes, you are correct that they do still run steam on rare occasions. But I consider going from an era when steam ran most operating days to running it a few times a year as "getting rid of steam" for the most part anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 90
I've been watching this thread, and hate to see mis-information propagated due to rumors and speculation. This is often how 'Fake News' gets started. Since no one with an official contact with Pike's Peak has jumped in yet, I will add my 2 cents.

The Manitou and Pike's Peak Cog Railway (M&PP) is NOT owned by Xanterra. It is owned by the Broadmoor Hotel, which falls under the umbrella, I believe, of the Anshutz Entertainment Group. Xanterra is also owned by Anshutz, so that makes Grand Canyon Railway and the Pike's Peak Cog Railway distant cousins. Even so, there has been a sharing of information and tools between both properties. I myself have been to Manitou Springs on multiple occasions to assist with the repair, operation, and training of the Cog steamer #4.

As previous posters have noted, the rail at the Cog is of a smaller size (40 pound seems about right). I don't know if it is fully original to 125+ years, but it's old. The profile is worn down to almost flat. For standard rail operations, this would not be a major issue. However, with a Rack railway, the vertical spacing between the top of the railhead and the teeth on the rack is crucial. Too much space and the gears teeth slip out of the rack. Too little and the gears slam into the rack and damage the drive systems. Mechanical staff have been saying for a while that the rail was shot and was causing excessive wear on the equipment, and that it was only a matter of time until the entire railroad would need to be rebuilt. Based upon the website previously linked in another post, 9 miles of 40lb rail would be $1.5 million, plus installation.

As for the rack itself, these can be made easily by cutting plate steel on a waterjet. The railroad has been replacing these periodically as needed.

M&PP uses 3 types of locomotives. The oldest were built by GE, perhaps back in the 1950's? They were designed to replace the steamers, and push separate passenger cars up the mountain. I believe 4 of them were built, and one was turned into the snowplow. Therefore, 3 of them are still in use, mostly by the Section crew to get to their work site each day. One of them was recently sent to a locomotive shop to be rebuilt, and as a prototype, I understand it is having teething problems.

The single unit powered passenger cars hold about 80 people each and were built in the 1960's in Switzerland. If you think about an expected life span of 25 years, they are well past their prime.

The most modern cars are articulated and seat around 120 people each. Also Swiss built, they date back to the 1980's. Although well maintained by the shop forces in Manitou Springs, they are showing their age. Parts are getting hard to come by, as Rack railways in Switzerland and elsewhere have transitioned into a more modern design.

I know that management from the M&PP have been over in Switzerland recently evaluating new equipment options. My vote was for some of those modern Swiss built steamers, but I really don't have any influence in the matter. I do know that the shop forces are still working for now, and any future decisions will be based on best business practices. Stay tuned.

Eric Hadder


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Thanks for the "defoaming", Eric! Your post does help to clear the air.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:59 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:21 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Columbus, OH
hadder wrote:
I've been watching this thread, and hate to see mis-information propagated due to rumors and speculation. This is often how 'Fake News' gets started. Since no one with an official contact with Pike's Peak has jumped in yet, I will add my 2 cents.

...

Eric Hadder


Thank you for your informative post. However, this information only seems to reinforce the appearance of a lack of long term investment in the M&PP. You cite new equipment coming onsite in the 50s, 60's and 80's. Logically the next batch of "new blood" should have been brought in during the 2000s, but that obviously did not happen. The fact that new equipment has not been purchased since the time the trust sold the property to for-profit owners seems to give us a clue.

The rail did not wear out overnight. It had to be apparent decades ago that it was becoming an issue. The proactive action at that time would be to begin an incremental replacement program to spread the cost and work out over time yet keep the line operating and income coming in.

Best Business practices? It does not seem like it so far. Indications so far are of a lack of capital reinvestment, instead relying on maintenance to keep existing infrastructure going as long as possible. Now it's time to pay the piper.

Does Union Pacific shut down a busy and profitable rail line for two to three years to "study its fate"? Would Walmart do so for one if its stores? Well, it does not make any more sense at the M&PP.

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 Post subject: Re: End of Pike's Peak Cog Railway?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1093
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Having ridden the meter gauge Berner Oberland Bahn rack railway nine years ago to Kleine Schiedegg and down the other side, I can attest that the Swiss make first class cog railway equipment, and modernizing and upgrading the train would certainly attract many non-fan tourists to take the ride up the mountain. It also was really a neat experience to ride a train to places that are only accessible by train, an experience not available in this country.


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