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The Manitou & Pike's Peak Railway. Engineering News, December 7, 1889

The Manitou & Pike's Peak Ry., in Colorado, which is to be built up the mountain of Pike's Peak, and the grading of which was commenced two months ago, will be built on the Abt rackrail system, and will be the first application of this -system in America. The first surveys for the road were made in November and December of 1888 by Mr. F.E. Baxter, C.E., of Colorado Springs, Col., who located the line which will be very closely followed in the present construction. Mr. R.E. Briggs, of Denver, then Chief Engineer of the Denver & Rio Grande R. R., was afterwards appointed Chief Engineer, with Mr. T.F. Richardson in charge of the final surveys and of the construction of the road. Major John Hulbert, of Manitou Springs, is President of the company; among the directors are Mr. Cable, President of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R. R., Mr. Z.G. Simmons, of Kenosha, Wis., and others. Mr. Simmons has also taken the entire contract for the construction and equipment of the road. Mr. W. Hildenbrand, C.E., of New York, who is the representative of the Abt system, is Consulting Engineer ; he will furnish the rackrail and be in charge of the laying of the same. The order for the rack-rail has been placed with the, Johnson Co., of Johnstown, Pa.; the Baldwin Locomotive Works, of Philadelphia, Pa., have an order for three locomotives, and the Wason Mfg. Co., of Springfield, Mass., has the order for six passenger cars. Lantry & Sons, of Denver, are the contractors for the grading and road-bed, and they had four miles graded when the recent heavy snowfall prevented further work on the upper part of the mountain. It is intended to open the road for traffic on July 1, 1890.

The length of the road is 8¾ miles, but the track, including switches and side tracks, will be 9.4 miles long; the total rise is 7,600 ft., giving an average grade of 16.3 per cent. The maximum grade is 25 per cent. and the minimum grade 7.6 per cent. The lower station is 6,600 ft. and the summit 14,200 ft. above sea level.

The locomotives will weigh about 25 tons in working order, and the specifications require that each engine shall have sufficient power to push two loaded passenger cars, weighing from 20 to 21 tons, up the 25 per cent. grade at a speed of three miles per hour, up the average grade at five miles, and up the, minimum grade at eight miles per hour. Each locomotive will be provided with three driving pinions or spur wheels working in the rack rail, and will have ample brake power to stop and hold the train on the down trip. In addition to this each car will have separate brakes, enabling it to be stopped independently of the locomotive. No expense will be spared to make the equipment first-class in every respect. The cars are to be arranged for 50 seats, will be handsomely finished and comfortable to ride in. They will be carried on four wheels, which will be loose on the axles; the object of this is to make the cars as light as possible, which is an important item in the construction as well as in the operating expenses of a rack railway.


The rack-rail will consist of two bars, 4½ ins. deep and varying in thickness from seven-eighths in. to 1¼ in. according to the grade. It will be of mild steel of the highest quality as to strength and ductility. The chairs carrying the bats will be of annealed cast steel. The splice bars and bolts will be of best quality iron. To prevent creeping down hill, the track will be anchored to about 200 stone or rock anchorages.

The work is to be pushed with vigor, so as to have the road opened at the appointed time, and to obtain the revenues of the next season. It is estimated that the road will carry an average of 300 passengers per day, which will give very good returns on the outlay of the capital for the construction of the road.


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