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 Post subject: John Birmingham and the Boulder Scientific Co.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 921
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies / PNW
John Birmingham had a significant impact on railroad preservation, and the name of Boulder Scientific appears on many subjects discussed on RYPN. It does not appear there is a concise summary of his work and accomplishments on this forum, or elsewhere. John Birmingham of Boulder Scientific passed away in the spring of 2017. This is from his obituary:
Quote:
His father was Union Pacific locomotive engineer which sparked John's life-long interest in steam locomotives and historical railcars. In 1961 he purchased a 1906 Baldwin steam locomotive from the Great Western Railroad in Loveland, and in 1967 he founded the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad with his wife Miriam. In 2007, he founded Hudson Terminal Rail Services of Hudson, Colorado. John received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD from Harvard, also in chemistry. In October of 1952, John was the first person to prepare an organic compound of zirconium which later led to this discovery of ways to produce advanced polyethylene films, other polymers and complex natural products. At Harvard John studied under Dr. Geoffrey Wilkinson who in 1973 received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work stemming from this period. John and Miriam in 1961 founded Boulder Scientific Company which today is major supplier of specialty chemicals based in large part on John's early work at Harvard.

I am certain much more could be added to this based on what we know here. He had amassed quite a large collection of heavyweight railroad coaches. His Great Western #51 sits in a shop in Hudson, Colorado, ready to run (or pretty close to it). There is a family legacy of railroad employment and interest in railroads, so presumably his descendants would like to continue with railroad projects. Yet, I wonder if there are plans or intentions to do something with all this equipment and history?

I have not extracted all that is posted in 38 threads that include the names on the title line, to get a total view of the picture. There also was discussion within the last year on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum:
http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php?1,347376,347519#msg-347519
I am hoping others may be able to efficiently summarize them with some familiarity on the subject, and perhaps add new content to fill in the gaps.


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 Post subject: Re: John Birmingham and the Boulder Scientific Co.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:02 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 921
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies / PNW
I tried to extract what equipment may be owned by this company and located in Mead or Hudson CO. It appears there are 19 pieces of equipment. Here is what I summarized, based on this website and a couple photo sites:


Attachments:
BoulderSci2-26-19resize.JPG
BoulderSci2-26-19resize.JPG [ 102.58 KiB | Viewed 2383 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: John Birmingham and the Boulder Scientific Co.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 532
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Greetings:
He also owns former J&L Steel No.62, a 2' gauge 0-4-0T, a sister to Rick Rollands locomotive.
J.David


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 Post subject: Re: John Birmingham and the Boulder Scientific Co.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:44 am
Posts: 119
Four of the cars are pictured here:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/locThu ... x?id=19281

One of the "lightweight cars" is a former CNW 56-Seat Pullman built car. It's difficult to see the car number. I'd like to be able to trace it's history. Is there any additional information on this car?

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=5139675


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 Post subject: Re: John Birmingham and the Boulder Scientific Co.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:30 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1321
Erich Russ wrote:
Four of the cars are pictured here:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/locThu ... x?id=19281

One of the "lightweight cars" is a former CNW 56-Seat Pullman built car. It's difficult to see the car number. I'd like to be able to trace it's history. Is there any additional information on this car?

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=5139675

The photographer of the Mead CO cars you link here, Ted Brumberg, is Ranier Rails on RyPN, a heavyweight Pullman expert, and has more than 1,800 posts here. He mentions the Mead cars in a thread but not the C&NW lightweight car, but he may know more if you PM him: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30187&p=221718&hilit=+mead#p221718


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 Post subject: Re: John Birmingham and the Boulder Scientific Co.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:58 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 421
John Birmingham owned the Queen Anne's Railroad dinner train, which consisted of four ex-New Haven Osgood Bradley cars converted to dinner train cars, and an ex-Army baggage car converted to a tool / power generator / steam loco water tender car.

Two of the dinner train cars are now at Ocean View, DE with the QARR #3 steam loco. I don't know what happened to the rest of the equipment. It may have been scrapped.

On the DCLR/QARR property were a couple of other pieces he owned, including a second Army baggage and an ex-PRR / ex-Amtrak dining/bar/lounge two car set which was awaiting a restoration that did not happen while on that property. Again, I don't know what happened to that equipment.


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 Post subject: Re: John Birmingham and the Boulder Scientific Co.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:44 am
Posts: 119
PMC wrote:
The photographer of the Mead CO cars you link here, Ted Brumberg, is Ranier Rails on RyPN, a heavyweight Pullman expert, and has more than 1,800 posts here. He mentions the Mead cars in a thread but not the C&NW lightweight car, but he may know more if you PM him: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30187&p=221718&hilit=+mead#p221718

Thank you! I have sent the PM.


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