Friday, July 15, 2005

Divisions, Crew & Engine Districts on the CPRR

From: pravoslavna@comcast.net

"Nelson's Pictorial Guide Book - The Central Pacific Railroad," publ. 1871 and reproduced on the Central Pacific RR website, indicates that the operating Divisions were set up as follows:  

SALT LAKE DIVISION
Ogden to Toano, 182 miles  

HUMBOLDT DIVISION
Toano to Winnemucca, 237 miles  

TRUCKEE DIVISION
Winnemucca to Truckee, 205 miles  

SACRAMENTO DIVISION
Truckee to Sacramento, 114 miles  

WESTERN DIVISION
Sacramento to Oakland, 112 miles  

The Humboldt and the Truckee Divisions look rather long to be single "crew districts" and "engine districts."  The Humboldt Division would split nicely at Elko (93 miles on the east end, and 144 miles on the west end.)  But I can't figure where the Truckee Division would have been split, for crew and engine purposes.  

Has anyone thought about this and come up with an answer?  

Also, I'm wondering where the Humboldt, Truckee and Western Divisions were dispatched from (i.e. where their administrative headquarters and train dispatching offices were located.)  Ideas?  Of course, if anyone knows the telegraph calls, that would be icing on the cake !  

... and the next question (logically) is, When were the various Divisions combined?  And the answer to that is probably wrapped up with the development of motive power and the increase in train speeds.

—Abram Burnett