[PW] Coal Bunker: Cheyenne, WY

Bradley Scott bradley.a.scott at gmail.com
Fri Jul 9 14:47:15 PDT 2010

It appears that that particular coaling facility has been the subject
of some attention from railroad modelers over the years.  The Union
Pacific's line through Cheyenne was (and is) one of the busiest
railroads in the country.  It used a lot of very large and impressive
locomotives, including some of the largest steam engines ever built,
and received a lot of attention from railfans.

The Atlas Model Railroad forum has at least one public discussion
thread about a scale-model kit based on this coaling tower which was
at one time offered by IHC, a now-defunct model manufacturer.


Within the discussion are links to several photos of the original
structure which are available online, one through the UP Railroad's
corporate site (
http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/photos/steam_freight.shtml , second from
left ) and a few more which can be found by doing a location search
for Cheyenne WY on a digital photo database hosted at the Museum of
the Rockies  (http://muse.museum.montana.edu/rvndb/).  It is likely
that there are other photographs of this structure in railfan-oriented
books about the Union Pacific's mainline steam operations in this part
of the country between the 1920s and the 1950s.

Several discussion threads in the online Trains Magazine forums refer
to the same kit and its prototype.  See, for example,


Some of these threads include links to photographs.  This discussion,
in particular, may be of interest because it identifies two articles
from Model Railroader magazine which discuss this kit and its


The online Model Railroad Magazine Index verifies that the June 1986
issue of MR included an article entitled "Modeling a 650-ton coaling
station", but does not explicitly identify the prototype of the


This article is also reportedly available in a book, "HO Trackside
Structures You Can Build", by George Drury and Bob Hayden.  Table of


The second article mentioned in the discussion thread linked above is
apparently a review of the IHC kit, with some suggestions for
assembling it.

Since the MRMI does not explicitly identify the prototype of the June
1986 MR article, I would suggest using interlibrary loan to view the
article or the book chapter derived from it and see if it describes
the particular facility the querent is interested in.

If the querent needs more detailed prototype diagrams or photographs
than these sources can provide, I would next try contacting the Union
Pacific Historical Society (www.uphs.org).  Their organizational
magazine, the Streamliner, has published articles about the Cheyenne
engine service facilities, and articles about coaling facilities
elsewhere on the UP system.   Although I did not see an article
specifically about the Cheyenne coaling structure when I searched the
online index of back issues, it's possible that they may have company
diagrams, photos, or other original material relating to it.  If not,
they probably know who does.

The Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs would be another option:


Hope this helps --

Bradley A. Scott

> Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2010 12:47:46 -0700
> From: "Mann, Richard" <richard.mann at sjvls.org>
> To: "'list at project-wombat.org'" <list at project-wombat.org>
> Subject: [PW] Coal Bunker: Cheyenne, WY
> Message-ID:
>        <4776C0994867E5439EE1E0974D1183A408C603410B at sjvemail2.sjvls.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> Hello all, here's a tough question.
> The patron is doing research on railroads. He wants technical drawings and/or side-view photos of the 650 ton coaling bunker on the Union Pacific Railroad at Cheyenne, Wyoming.
> Does anyone have access to such a photograph or diagram or know where I can locate one?
> Richard Mann, Librarian
> San Joaquin Valley Information Service
> 2420 Mariposa St.
> Fresno, CA 93721
> phone: 559-488-3229
> fax: 559-488-2965

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