C & H Railroad Virtual Tour -
Come along on a virtual tour of our little railroad. Come along on a virtual tour of our little railroad. Come along on a virtual tour of our little railroad. Come along on a virtual tour of our little railroad. Come along on a virtual tour of our little railroad. Come along on a virtual tour of our little railroad. Come along on a virtual tour of our little railroad.
After departing the point of no return at Hawkins Gap, we enter the gateway to the high country at Helper You could say that the town of Helper has not been blessed with much in the way of civilized amenities, but word on the street is that there is a new hotel coming to town.
Deep mountain cuts and twisting switchbacks await us as we add another locomotive to double up on motive power.
And youse bums hangin on the side of da train...forgiddaboutit! You won't stand a chance with the tight side clearances on these narrow passages.
We will need all of the expansive energy of live steam we can muster to make an assault on the steep grades to come.
Our construction crews find it rough going as they push further into the heavily wooded interior of the upper reaches to extend the C & H line.
Cregut Depot -
After many a mile travelled and a sucessful Ivy Creek crossing, we begin to feel right at home again as we enter the beautiful town of Cregut. As the central hub for passenger service on the C & H line, Cregut Depot is bustling with activity. This flagship station offers full time Railway Express Agency and Western Union Cable service.
Our spacious waiting room welcomes road weary travelers with modern amenities such as state-of-the-art coal fired central air conditioning. Experienced ticket agents are on hand to facilitate connections between all passenger routes served by C & H and other feeder lines.
Well over a hundred years ago, a system of high speed electronic data transmission traveling near the speed of light operating 24/7 came into being. No, not the internet...telegraphy! We are fortunate to have on staff more experienced practicioners of this lost art than you can shake a stick at. We're talkin' pure-dee railroad code here, the mother tongue, not that international thing.
Among those that don the green eye shades and sleeve garters at the C & H are Ken Bauman of Union Pacific Railroad and Dick Smith of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, Missouri Pacific, Western Pacific, and Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroads (whew!). Recognised masters of the Vibroflex Don Reser and Richard Spain both from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway also pound brass at the C & H.
East Yard -
Breaking up trains, swapping cars, locomotive repair...this is where the real work of railroading all gets done!
Hawkins Gap -
Far from the hustle and bustle of the Cregut depot along the remote northern reaches of the C & H line lies Hawkins Gap .
Railroads have traditionally retraced the steps of pioneers on their trek westward and the C & H is no exception. Hawkins Gap lies at the nexus of the Oregon, California, and the Santa Fe trails. If you look real hard you can still make out the ruts made by rumbling prairie schooners as they rolled through.
It's a tad colder up in these parts with long harsh winters, but the peace and serenity of the open country make it all worth while. The pace is a little slower here, but we like it that way. You can be snowed in for days at a time with little but the clicking of the telegraph sounder and the occasional passing train to break the silence.
But make no mistake, there is important work to be done. We constantly monitor line conditions to alert trains of possible danger and trains in trouble depend on us for emergency supplies and a vital telegraph link to the outside world.
Visitors in these parts are few and far between, but it is traditional for those intrepid few that make it, to sign the depot wall as a lasting reminder of friends and strangers that may not pass this way again.
Ivy Creek -
Descending from the high country on the way to Cregut, we encounter the trestle over Ivy Creek.
Heavy summer rains or melting snows in the highlands can turn this innocent little stream into a raging torrent with little notice.
Up to date weather conditions are telegraphed to Hawkins Gap where they can be relayed to approaching trains warning of possible trestle washout conditions.