Aug 22-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: Aug: Aug 22-04
Tram in time    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Chuck Voelker
Today's ride    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Chuck Voelker
Down the hill    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Jon Cadwell

Charlie Hopper at Pasty Central on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:13 pm:

Our Shoebox Memory today is from an old stereoscope, of which you can find several more at Chuck Voelker's Copper Country Reflections. I'm sure scenes like this inspired the present day ride at Quincy Mine, a chance to follow in the footsteps of those rugged copper miners during the century+ of production in the Copper Country.

Thanks also to Byron Freemon and Jon Cadwell for the current photos of the attraction. While you're on vacation this summer and fall, keep those Pasty Cams clicking!

By darrell oinas/Saint Johns Michigan on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:22 pm:

Would hate to be on it if the breaks failed.

By mine nut on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:58 pm:

Were there any recorded cable breaks? Didn't the weight on the full car going down, raise the lower empty cars back up for filling?

What an elegant use of gravity.

By Paul in Illinois on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 06:11 pm:

I don't recall reading about any cable breaks on the trams that went up and down Quincy Hill. The results surely would have been newsworthy.
There were people killed on the tramroad. OLD RELIABLE records one about a teenager who was killed while hitching a ride. Since it was a clear case of tresspassing, the Company was held blameless. Employees who rode the tram did so at their own risk since the Companies made it clear that the tram was for hauling copper rock and not people. Any injuries or deaths of employees riding the tram were found to be the employee's fault since they were told to be careful and assumed the risk voluntarily. Such would not be the case in this day, even with fences and warning signs, an "attactive" operation like that would be a huge liability.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 06:16 pm:

I love it. Is that last picture going across the Houghton Bridge? It just looks like it from here in Texas.

By Chuck, IL on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 07:04 pm:

No, Margaret. The tram doesn't cross the bridge. It is an optical illusion. The tracks actually go "over the edge" at that point and down a 19 degree grade to the entrance of the Quincy adit. The archive photo is the Tram from the old Franklin Mine which went down the hill (about Mt. Ripley ski hill)to their stamp mill, just east of the Quincy Smelter.

By Kim near Lansing on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 07:18 pm:

Wow! Scares me to just look at the picture!! Where is everyone today??

By Mistyinyoureyes on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 07:22 pm:

Alot of people at least 200 were at Dan Urbanski's Memorial Service today in Silver City. That might explain why it is so desolate today.

By Fran,Ga on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:07 pm:

I am pleased that so many were able to attend Dan's services. I am sure it made Patty feel good to know so many cared.

Regarding the tram-when we rode it a couple years ago the guide explained how it operated but I am not very mechanical minded.It had something to do with gears controlling it so it could just go so fast down the hill.Maybe some of you guys can give a good explanation.It was a beautiful ride down.

By Deb - Michigan on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:27 pm:

I love old photos, this one is awesome. I have tremendous respect for those men built items like this with their brains and brawn and not the high tech advantages and conveniences there is today. Makes my complaint about going to my job on Monday mornings absolutely petty.

By Ken and Mimi from da UP on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 09:50 pm:

Fran,GA, the tram car is operated by an electric hydraulic pump to make the gears go 'round. That's why it's so noisy. It's like a 'cog' railway. You can see the cogs between the rails. There are safety features that won't let the car go rolling down the hill on it's own, in case of some sort of mechanical trouble. The old ones were operated by a cable drum hoist, by an operater at the winch. Clear as mud? (When's the last time you heard that one?) :>) '57 wasn't really THAT long ago, was it?

By Fran,Ga on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 10:11 pm:

Thanks Ken,I remember now. When I heard their explanation on how it worked I felt much safer! Sometimes it seems like "57" was just yesterday and other times it seems like a loong time ago!!

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 10:29 pm:

I would love to ride that thing! Does it go over the bridge, or stop at the bottom?

Dan... Rest in Peace. I am glad so many showed up at his funeral... I will miss his pictures SO much.

As mentioned above, it is an optical illusion. The tracks go down the hill and end up quite a distance short of the bridge.

By Dr. Troll / Ann Arbor on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 03:14 pm:

I might be able to shed some light on the questions about the tram. Years ago, while at Tech, I was one of the first to operate the "new" tram when it opened for tours, and ran it for a few years. It is built over a new course to take the tours to the East Adit. The top picture above shows the tram that was in place more to the south and west. The current tram is diesel over hydraulic, with 4 hydraulic motors with cogs that meet the center cog rail. The guide wheels that ride on the rails have clamps which ride under the lip of the rail to keep it firmly in place on the grade, while the cog rail is the basis for the movement along the run. As for the braking system...all four cog motors have spring loaded locking devices which deploy to lock the cogs in place. There is also a spring loaded rail clamp brake that grabs the rails in all four corners. Both systems require hydraulic power to keep the brakes off, so in the event of failure, 2 sets of brakes deploy. Either system BY ITSELF can hold the vehicle in place on the steepest grade. Ride with confidence.

Incidently its a UP designed and built project.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:45 am:

I see that now... That is QUITE an illusion! :)

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