Tuesday, March 08, 2005

RE: CP/SP Coal History

It's also important to remember that CP was burning coal in furnaces other than locomotive fireboxes...there would be foundry hearths, ferry boats' boilers, stoves galore in coaches, dining car galleys, depots, offices, cabooses...this surely would affect the total report on such a large railroad and industry. Were they also including subsidiaries in that report, or were those separately recorded?

There are two reasons for believing that the figures represent locomotive fuel only: 1) The table is titled "Statement exhibiting fuel for locomotive fuel . . ." and 2) there are railroads listed which list no coal, which–as you point out–must have used coal in non locomotive applications.

It is not clear just what is included under any railroad's name; however, I take it to mean system wide. In many other of the tables Central Pacific's own line is distinguished from leased lines (Amador Brnch, Berkeley Branch, California Pacific, LA and Independence, La and San Diego, Northern Ry, Stockton & Copperopolis, San Pablo and Tulare, and Southern Pacific of Arizona) and controlled line (Sacramento & Placerville). Southern Pacific RR Co is given its own entry. So, whoever was putting this together certainly knew there were a number of parts that went into the CP. Now under fuel, there is a different entry for SP of Arizona, but I don't have an entry for SP itself. These tables are divided geographically and at the time I was making copies I was interested primarily in the Sacramento & Placerville so simply did not copy everything.

This document–often called the 1880 Railroad census–is readily available in federal publican libraries. It tells you what material they used for ties and fences, rail, etc, mileage, number of employees; in short just about everything you might want to know (no rosters, just totals) except for the color of their equipment!

Wendell