Chuck Mack: Moffat railroad in 1906 – Part 2
Craig — When I found this article while searching through the old newspaper – the May 30, 1906 Steamboat Pilot – I decided it would be a great story for Craig and Moffat County, since it had mentioned David Moffat’s private coach, Marcia.
This is part 2 of the article. The first appeared in the Nov. 17, 2007, Daily Press.
As we all know, Marcia sits in Craig City Park, proudly portraying the symbol of the great David Moffat and his railroad dreams. David Moffat’s dreams and plans were to extend the line on into Salt Lake City. But sadly, David Moffat’s dreams ended when the lines reached Craig; so it is right that Marcia his private coach sits at the end of the line and the end of his dreams.
Coupled behind the machine proper, and forming a necessary part of its equipment, was a string of flatcars the first three or four loaded with steel rails, the next half dozen loaded with ties.
Behind these was a locomotive.
Firmly attached to the cars and running the length of the train on each side was a carrier frame. Passing over rolls within the frame a chain belt passed from rear to front. On the ground in front of the machine was a large force of workmen.
From the loaded cars in the rear men would roll steel rails into one carrier and ties into the other. As one carrier would thrust the rails into the faces of the men in front, the other would spew out a dozen ties to them on the opposite side of the machine.
It was wonderful to see with what speed the rails were laid. Hardly could a dozen ties be dropped across the roadbed before the rails would come down upon them. In an instant, a dozen men had swung their heavy hammers and the rails would be spiked to the ties, but not before expert hands had placed in position and adjusted the bolts to the iron straps which joined the newly laid rails with the ones already in position.
A signal whistle from the machine in front, an answering signal from the locomotive in the rear and the whole outfit was pushed ahead over the length of the newly laid rails.
Again, the spewing out of the ties and the thrusting of rails, the swinging of hammers and the spiking of rails to ties, with that combination of blood and iron, the latter constantly crowding the former, and the line went forward at the rate of a mile and a half and sometimes two miles per day.
T. S. Waltmeyer of Boulder was in the city yesterday in consultation with Moffat Road officials regarding the construction of a branch road to the vicinity of Grand Lakes.
Mr. Waltmeyer and associates have a mill and mines in that vicinity and it will only require about 18 miles of construction. This will make a line of railroad within 6 miles of Grand Lakes, one of the finest spots in the state for a great pleasure resort, and a country that is sure to be largely developed within a few years.
Mr. Waltmeyer gave general manager Deuel assurance that he has the capital and will start construction right away. The road will connect with the Moffat line at Granby.
Eight handsome new coaches reached the city this week for the Moffat Road and are now at Utah Junction shops being overhauled and put into shape for use. These are Pullman cars and as fine as anything that company has turned out.
They are 90 feet and double vestibuled, fitted with inlaid wood and heavy plush, and lighted by Pintsch gas. These coaches cost $11,000 each and when in commission will give the Moffat Road one of the finest trains in the West.
They will be shipped from the Schenectady works by the end of this week three new engines for the Moffat line. They are the largest engines ever used in the West, weighing 100 tons each and costing $20,000 each.
With this additional power and car equipment, the road will be in fine shape for the summer travel.
Within a few days, there will arrive in the city a handsome private car for president D.H. Moffat. It has been building all winter at the Pullman Shops under the direction of Sylvester T. Smith, who is an expert in designing cars of this class.
It has cost $37,000 to build and is absolutely complete in the details that go to make up modern palaces on wheels. Mr. Moffat has named the car “Marcia” after his daughter, Mrs. McClurg. It will be used by him in traveling about in the interest of the company, showing notables over the line, and will afford Mr. Moffat a comfortable living place when out on the road watching construction.
The operating department of the Moffat Road states that the shipments have been very heavy over the line recently. The stockmen are sending in feeders, and about 100 cars a day have been coming to Denver this week.
Despite a smaller field of competition and a practice schedule that’s been less than steady, Craig Sea Sharks’ season debut saw athletes at all levels dive right in for the summer.