Where can I find the Longest length of a railroad train in the USA that is recorded?
—Benny Ray, Retired Locomotive engineer, AT&SF Railroad
Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum
Where can I find the Longest length of a railroad train in the USA that is recorded?
—Benny Ray, Retired Locomotive engineer, AT&SF Railroad
For more than 20 years Nan Peng has been designing and manufacturing 3D stereo viewers and films. Our product range covers all kinds of slides, studio 3D images, 35mm movie bands and plastic optical glasses.
Address: No.12, Alley 2 Lingting Industrial Estate Chenghai District Shantou Guangdong China (mainland) 515800
Note: Here is the Official View-Master Website. (View-Master is a registered trademark of Fisher-Price, Inc.)
Please, please change the background color from red to something easier on the eyes. It is very hard to read. Lighten up the color.
Good information, but found myself squinting to read it (and I'm not an old geezer!)
The trip report for our trip to the 2006 R&LHS Convention in Colorado is now available on my website for your interest and enjoyment.
—Don Winter, Tehachapi, CA
This is a question that has bothered me for several years now and I'm hoping that someone on this listserve might help me with the answer.
In the forward to George Kraus' High Road to Promontory he writes: "Hart's stereos and captions are a significant contribution to this book, as are the detailed description of many of Hart's photographs provided by Central Pacific chief engineer Samuel S. Montague and his assistant, J. M. Graham."
My question is where the "detailed descriptions" might be located. I have visited the major repositories of the photos and transcontinental railroad archives, most recently the California State Railroad Museum, but no one seems to have descriptions from the nineteenth century nor has anyone been able to suggest where I might find descriptions of the Hart stereos by Montague or Graham.
If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very grateful to hear them.
The ideas and principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution brought into existence the greatest, freest, and most prosperous nation in history. It is to the restoration of those principles of liberty that The Future of Freedom Foundation is committed.
Our country is headed in a bad direction with respect to our rights and freedoms. Under the war on terrorism, the executive branch of the federal government, with the acquiescence of a submissive Congress, now wields the power:
- To send the entire nation into war without a congressional declaration of war.
- To arrest any American as a suspected terrorist and have the military incarcerate him, denying him fundamental rights that stretch back to Magna Carta, including due process of law and trial by jury. This is what the Jose Padilla case is all about.
- To monitor people's telephone conversations and email without judicially issued warrants.
- To issue secret summonses under the USA PATRIOT Act for people's personal and business records, with harsh punishment for those who disclose the issuance of such summonses.
- To detain people in jail for extended periods as "material witnesses."
- To ignore the right of habeas corpus for foreigners held at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.
This is not what America is supposed to be all about. It is what totalitarian countries are all about. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were supposed to prevent the exercise of these types of powers.
And things could get worse. Overseas, U.S. officials are kidnapping foreigners suspected of terrorism and sending them either into secret U.S.-run camps or into the clutches of brutal foreign regimes that engage in torture. Not only is such conduct morally reprehensible, there is no guarantee that it won't ultimately be extended to American citizens.
The Future of Freedom Foundation has never been silent on foreign policy. As long as the federal government wields omnipotent power in foreign affairs, there will be a gradual – and certain – erosion of freedom here at home. An interventionist foreign policy inevitably produces the "blowback" that is then used as the excuse for out-of-control federal spending, increased taxation, debasement of the currency, centralization of power, infringements on civil liberties, and even gun control.
For 16 years, FFF has been fighting to move our country in a better and freer direction. We have never been satisfied with simply trimming the branches of the federal leviathan. Asking such fundamental questions as "What should the role of government in a free society be?" our job is to raise people's vision to a much higher level – to a paradigm of genuine freedom rather than improved enslavement.
We never compromise the moral principles that undergird a free society and we never pull our punches.
Believing that people have the right to keep everything they earn and to decide for themselves how to dispose of it, we have always called for the repeal, not the reform, of the IRS and income tax along with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, and every other welfare-state program. The free society nurtures moral values and raises standards of living and educational excellence.
Believing that people have the fundamental right to ingest any substance they wish, we steadfastly call for an end to the war on drugs, arguably the most immoral and destructive domestic program in American history. The drug war has destroyed countless lives, both here and abroad, and has engendered much of the violence that now pervades American society.
Believing in the moral right of people to engage freely in economic activity, we have long maintained an uncompromising commitment to the free movement of goods and people. When people are free to engage in mutually beneficial transactions, such economic interdependencies not only produce natural harmonies, they also raise standards of living for those engaging in such trades.
Believing in the sanctity of private property, we have taken a firm stance against the infamous Kelo decision, where the Supreme Court authorized state and local governments to take people's homes and businesses and transfer them to private developers.
Can we change the course of our nation? Can we turn away from the socialist and interventionist direction our government has taken and toward the free-market principles that are our heritage? Absolutely! – through the power of ideas on liberty and the power of the pen! ...
Jacob G. Hornberger
The Future of Freedom Foundation
Sometime in the last 6 years we visited a city underground, where Chinese immigrants lived while building the Transcontinental railroad. It was somewhere in the Midwest I believe and I would like to locate it again. Does anyone know where I am referring to?
We are trying to find a retirement gift for someone who loves railroads. Do you have a gift shop that sells replicas of the Golden Spike that he could use as a paper weight on his desk? Or do you sell other memorabilia that a train buff might enjoy?
I work near a railroad that always has slow trains passing us. They are very old cargo trains on a very old railway and I'm very concerned about them since they are moving along a railway path that has been mapped and created right next to a stream. It must have been built a long time ago.
In the future we shouldn't build railroads next to water areas since trains work with electricity and water that is near that kind of system is not as safe as those that are far away from water. For safer trains we need less rails next to water streams. It's actually very nice to see trains quietly riding along stream paths though it's also risky.
This is one of those e-mails that seems very drawn out. Though, I just thought that I should mention it to you. The museum seems like a good place to share chatting ideas with on trains. I'd send this message to a modern train company though these trains are a bit ancient.
I'd like to retire from managing the RingSurf Stereo 3D web rings.
Prospective ring masters should have been members of the ring for at least one year and be able to host the ring homes' content (web pages with guidelines and membership info, ring graphics, etc.) on your own web space.
If you're interested, drop me a line – give me some background information about yourself and tell me why you're interested in being the next ring master.
"Indeed, some of the so-called robber barons of that age were little more than con men and crooks. They were what the economic historian Robert Higgs calls the 'political entrepreneurs,' men who demanded and received large subsidies from governments and ran inefficient, costly enterprises. For example, the famed transcontinental railway that still is portrayed as a great achievement in U.S. history with the driving of the 'golden spike' at Promontory Point, Utah, in 1869 actually was little more than an exercise in fraud. As Burton W. Folsom Jr. points out in his book The Myth of the Robber Barons, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads received lavish government subsidies to complete the link between Omaha, Nebraska, and Sacramento, California, which meant crossing the physically imposing territories of the Sierra Nevada, the Great Basin, and the Rocky Mountains when there was no economic reason to do so at that time. The vast subsidies given to the two railroad companies created the incentives for shoddy workmanship and inferior rails and crossties, and hurried construction techniques that emphasized length over efficiency. (The railroads were paid by the mile, and they bilked the taxpayers out of every penny they could.) The near-criminal exploits of the UP and CP ..."
Unfortunately, the above mischaracterization seriously detracts from the full article.
Professor Anderson unfairly dismisses the greatest engineering project of the 19th century that reduced cross country travel time from six months to six days, while also reducing the cost by about 90% as "little more than an exercise in fraud" and mistreats great entrepreneurs by calling them mere "crooks." As the Credit Mobilier scandal shows, undoubtedly some in the UPRR management were crooks, but why conclude that that shoddy construction and Congressional bribery was also the essence of the CPRR?
The CPRR's private construction was of first rate quality, as documented by the inspection of the line in 1869, the year that the railroad was completed, without subsidy, at no ultimate cost to federal taxpayers, on budget, and seven years ahead of schedule. This is all the more remarkable while the Civil War was ongoing in an era when manual labor, horses, mules, black powder, and nitroglycerine manufactured on site was all that was available, and every single rail, spike, and locomotive had to be shipped by sea to California. Even with respect to the shoddy ties on the Union Pacific, perhaps a nuanced analysis that takes into account the problem that there was no suitable wood available in that part of the country is in order, noting that the UPRR used the latest technology in an effort to make their inferior cottonwood ties last as long as possible, and that war made acquiring iron rail very difficult and expensive. Also "shoddy workmanship and inferior materials" can represent a sensible way to economize during underfunded construction in order to rapidly complete a project that will generate sufficient operating revenues to later allow improved construction during self-funded rebuilding.
The success of building the 1,659 ft. long summit tunnel through solid rock illustrates that the CPRR construction was more difficult and performed with greater precision than had ever been previously achieved. As Stephen Ambrose wrote, "Lewis Clement had achieved a triumph of the first magnitude in engineering. The Summit Tunnel was 7,042 feet above the sea. This was the highest point reached by the CP. The facings were off by only two inches, a feat that could hardly be equaled in the twenty-first century. Clement had done it with black powder, nitroglycerin, and muscle power."
In "A Great And Shining Road" Professor John Hoyt Williams wrote that
" ... The ... crews worked round the clock ... Then, at one in the morning on May 3, 1867, a great, noisy crumbling took place at the east facing, and light from torches in the west could be seen flickering through the dust. ... The Summit had been pierced. The Sierras had been bested. ... young Lewis Clement, the engineer in charge of Summit Tunnel, strode into the now widened bore a week after the breakthrough, surveyor's instruments in hand. With torchbearers stationed every few yards in the 1,659-foot bore, Clement began his first series of observations in the damp and eerie tunnel. During the preceding two years' work he and his assistants had been measuring under conditions never taught about in engineering schools. They had made their calculations under poor visibility on a wildly uneven tunnel floor, plotting a bore not only divided into four distinct parts, but one that had to gradually rise, descend, and curve as it penetrated from west to east. ... the expected margin of error was large, and if the various bores were seriously misaligned, many months of expensive remedial work would have to be done, delaying the Central Pacific Railroad's progress east. ... As Clement finished his measurements and worked out the geometric statistics at a rude desk near the tunnel mouth, he found his most fervent prayers answered. Summit Tunnel's four bores fitted together almost perfectly, with a total error in true line of less than two inches. The seemingly impossible had been achieved. The longest tunnel anyone had cut through natural granite, cut at a daunting altitude in an abominable climate, had been bored by a small army of Chinese thousands of miles from their ancestral home. The Sierras were truly breached and ... the great race across the continent was on. ... "
Professor Anderson appears to have fallen for the rhetoric of anti-capitalistic mentality when he denigrates the four Sacramento shopkeepers who with no railroad experience had the audacity to bet their entire personal fortunes to build a railroad across the Sierra Nevada mountains in an era when personal liability for business ventures was unlimited. This was an unimaginably difficult task that people at the time thought impossible to such an extent that they falsely accused these men of attempting to perpetrate a "Dutch Flat Swindle." The project was very real and they succeeded brilliantly at no taxpayer expense, and became fabulously wealthy in the process. What's wrong with that?
We say "at no taxpayer expense" because it is our understanding that the first transcontinental railroad involved no federal subsidies. What the U.S. gave the railroads consisted of bonds that had to be repaid with interest at 6%, and that were repaid in full. "Railroad Reorganization: Union Pacific" by Stuart Daggett, Ph.D., Harvard Economic Studies, 1908, states on page 256 that: " ... the government debt was paid off in cash ... both principal and interest were paid in full." Regarding the CPRR and Western Pacific RR, Tutorow, p. 1004 reports that final payment to the government was organized by a commission appointed by an 1898 act of congress, determined to be $58,812,715.48 on Feb. 1, 1899, and that the complex transaction was completed on February 1, 1909 when the last of the government debt was duly paid. As the U.S. Supreme Court decided, the government also provided land grants in a clever strategy of giving away half of almost worthless land (in alternating squares) which became valuable as a result of building the railroad, to the benefit of both the railroad and the government, so the land grants were not really subsidies either. Not only was the transcontinental railroad constructed without federal subsidies, but for providing financing, in addition to interest and repayment of principal, the U.S. government ultimately received both increased value of its western land holdings and more than a billion dollar windfall in the form of discounted freight rates for transcontinental mail and military transport, etc.
More significant than the details, however, is the problem of how to finance enormously difficult great enterprises that cannot be funded by existing markets because the speculative return on investment while anticipated to be astronomical will be too far in the future and/or will not accrue sufficiently to the original investors, and perhaps not even in the lifetimes of potential investors. The first transcontinental railroad and a space program for eventual extraterrestrial human settlement are such examples where most of the financial gain will accrue in the distant future to the settlers and businesses made possible, not to the transportation companies. Similarly how can you privately finance valuable long term basic research, for example, in science and mathematics when such ideas cannot be copyrighted or patented and the knowledge produced is immediately relegated to the public domain? If advocates of the free market for such projects are to be taken seriously, mechanisms to privately own the results, to return profits to the investors, and to successfully fund such enterprises are needed. Merely being against government financing is not sufficient, and people are likely to continue to conclude that the inherent inefficiency and corruption of government projects represent an acceptable tradeoff for the benefits gained. Activities that will vastly enrich future generations are not unworthy ("no economic reason to do so at that time") merely because nobody can figure out any way to achieve short term profitability sufficient to motivate private investment.
In the case of the transcontinental railroad, the goal was to create a transcontinental United States that could be defended militarily, which was impractical without rapid transportation. While investors indirectly benefit from achieving such non-business national goals, lacking the incentives, they certainly will not voluntarily fund them. From 1836 to 1860, a national consensus was reached that building a railroad to the pacific was imperative, as was documented by the platforms of both Democratic and Republican parties, but private market financing of such an enterprise failed. The alternate financing created by former railroad lawyer Abraham Lincoln's signature on the Pacific Railroad Act in 1862 was exactly what was needed, but increased incentives added by subsequent amendments to the Act (Lien of U.S. bonds made subordinate) were found to be needed in order to attract sufficient private capital so that the project could proceed. Thus it was private citizens buying bonds, not federal taxes that funded the Central and Union Pacific Railroads and the incentives were carefully calibrated over a quarter century to determine the minimum needed to get the construction funded, so it is incorrect to call the incentives "lavish." We wonder if the Northern Pacific Railroad could have been privately financed as claimed without first uniting the east and west coasts as a result of building the Central and Union Pacific Railroads, and the demonstration that such construction was possible? (Also note that the Northern Pacific Railroad did receive land grants.)
It seems quite wrong to criticize great men as "political entrepreneurs" and "robber barons" and their efforts as "near-criminal" when such skills apparently were exactly what was needed at the time to unite the country physically, politically, and economically by building the long sought Pacific Railroad. Perhaps it is no accident that the President of the CPRR had to be the Governor of California. Without disagreeing with the proposition that generally government doesn't work, to be critical of events that occurred over a century ago, when to this day no private mechanism has been invented to fund such great enterprises shows remarkable ingratitude, for example, to a man who by his personal efforts not only largely created the 19th century California economy while risking every cent he owned, but then used his enormous personal wealth resulting from the profits of successful unsubsidized railroad construction to create the 20th century California economy by personally founding and funding his Stanford University leading directly to today's "Silicon Valley." We are all the beneficiaries of such heroic entrepreneurs who made possible today's economy and the enormous progress of the past century and a half.
Press Release Source: BNSF Railway Company
BNSF Railway Asks Rail Fans for Cooperation to Keep America's Rail System Safe
Wednesday June 7, 10:34 am ET
FORT WORTH, TX—(MARKET WIRE)—Jun 7, 2006 — BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) is recruiting rail fans to help keep BNSF properties safe by reporting suspicious activities and to help prevent possible security breaches. "Keeping America's rail transportation network safe from crime and terrorist activity is a high priority for the railroad industry," says William Heileman, BNSF general director, Police and Protection Solutions. "Every day across the country, rail fans photograph and watch trains as they pass through communities. It seems natural to harness their interest to help keep America's rail system safe."
Rail fans can register for the program by going to the Citizens United for Rail Security (CRS) Web site. CRS participants will receive an official identification card along with access to news and information on the BNSF CRS Web site.
To report suspicious activity, CRS members and the public can call (800) 832-5452. The information will be taken by a BNSF representative and routed for appropriate response.
"Supporting homeland security in this manner is positive for everyone," says Carl Ice, BNSF's executive vice president and chief operations officer. "It supports the nation's security efforts, improves safety within our company and the community, and improves operations by helping to remove the impact of criminal acts and accidents."
The CRS program is an outgrowth of another BNSF grassroots program, called BNSF ON GUARD, which encourages employees to report suspicious activities, trespassers or individuals to BNSF's Resource Operations Call Center (ROCC). The BNSF ON GUARD program, which started in 2003, has been successful, with more than 200 employees reporting suspicious activities since its inception. Employees have reported theft, vandalism, arson, attempted suicide, and other criminal violations, threats to safety, or unusual events on or near railway properties.
"Security is everyone's business. Because of heightened security status, Americans are being asked to be the 'eyes and ears' for law enforcement, " says John Clark, BNSF assistant vice president, Resource Protection Solutions Team. "At BNSF, our police team continues to educate employees on work, personal and home security, as well as working to change employee behavior to increase awareness of security risks."
A subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (NYSE:BNI - News), BNSF Railway Company operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America, with about 32,000 route miles in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF is among the world's top transporters of intermodal traffic, moves more grain than any other American railroad, transports the components of many of the products we depend on daily, and hauls enough low-sulphur coal to generate about ten percent of the electricity produced in the United States. BNSF is an industry leader in Web-enabling a variety of customer transactions at www.bnsf.com.
[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]
Just a quick note to correct some information on your site concerning the foundry that made the last spike. It is refered to as "William T. Garret." The correct spelling should be GARRATT. It is referenced in a number of directories, including the Sacramento Directory of 1853-54, on page 148.
—D.L., Dimmitt Middle School
Thank You all for sharing our recent Nevada experience; your accompanying Chuck Sweet, Bob Chugg and I is sincerely appreciated!
For those that have an interest, here is a list of those [who travelled] just to get hot, dusty and dirty, chasing history:
Jack Bower, Auburn, Cal., retired electrical contractor
Chuck Clark, Auburn, Cal., retired electrical contractor
Peter Wade, Sacramento, Cal. P E, Calif. Dept. of Water Resources
Tony Carpenter, Sacramento, Cal. P E, Calif. Dept. of Water Resources
Bill Anderson, Folsom, Cal. retired CalTrans, now Pres't. Folsom, El Dorado, Sacramento Historical Railroad Ass'n
Shen-Chih Cheng (Sam), Cerritos, Cal. photographer, and OUR OFFICIAL PHOTO GUY!
Dave Turner, Las Vegas, Nev., printer
Rob't Chugg, Ogden, Utah retired Park Ranger, Golden Spike Nat'l Park Service
Chuck Sweet. Ogden, Utah
Gene Luevano, Los Angeles, US Dept. of Home Land Security, Railroad Protection Section
Lou Henkel, Okemos, Mich. retired (this is the wild man that drove non-stop from Nebraska to Wells, Nev., to join the fray)
... Again, THANK YOU for joining us, it was a grand tour, and a super grand group. ...
—G J Chris Graves, NewCastle, AltaCal'a
My name is Jerry Scott & I am looking for information on baseball teams of the UPRR in the 1920's -1930's, my father, Francis C. Scott, worked for the UPRR during those years & played for a baseball team that was known as "The Maccabees." I always thought it was the Cheyenne Maccabees, but have been unable to verify that. I still have his uniform and baseball glove and have been thinking about donating that along with some other items to a museum, but I wanted to donate it to the place where the team was located.
I have been in contact with Cathy Osterman in Cheyenne at, I think, The Old West Museum, and she has been searching there for history of the team, but so far nothing.
My Dad worked in the Maintenance of Way, as a weldor, section foreman, extra gang foreman, and eventually a Roadmaster. He was from Kansas, but was working in Nebraska and Wyoming in the 20's & 30's – I know he worked around Omaha, Grand Island, Davenport (where he met my mother) and Cheyenne – there were other places of course and after I was born in 1935, he worked in Kemmerer, Wyo. (but would be gone with gangs at times) then Salt Lake City (during the war) then Milford, Utah and last Roadmaster at La Grande, Oregon.
If you can furnish me any information ... I'd certainly appreciate it. ...
—Jerry D. Scott
P.S. I am interested in finding out about UPRR Baseball teams of the 1920's - 1930's – especially those in Nebraska and Wyoming – where can I find this information? Would this also include "town teams" and semi-pro teams of that area and era?
A few days ago a piece of 56 lb. pear rail was found near the old CPRR grade in Eastern Nevada, this rail branded A. B. It is wrought iron, but NOT DATED.
Does anyone have any idea as to the rolling mill that branded rail A. B. ?
—G J Chris Graves
"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile ... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."I suspect that the immigrants may have shared the President's view, as my grandmothers, who came to America from Eastern Europe during the first decade of the 20th century, spoke only English in my presence, their children only learned English, they were intensely proud to be Americans, and (surprising to me in retrospect) my grandmothers never once even mentioned their childhoods in the old country.
I am working on a project in the vicinity of the wind farms on Altamont Pass (CA) and I am looking for some assistance in tracing the Central Pacific rail lines back to 1875. In researching the encumbrances for our property, the title company turned up a deed that references the following:
A right of way 400 feet in width for railroad purposes lying equally on each side of the railroad, or any branch thereof, then or thereafter constructed across that portion of premises lying within the lines of Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4, in Section 7, Township 2 South, Range 3 East, MDBM, as reserved in the deed by Central Pacific Railroad Company, a corporation, to Charles McLaughlin, dated September 3, 1875 and recorded September 11, 1875 in book 114 of deeds, page 456. The document is ... mostly illegible.
There is currently no evidence of a railroad or the remnants of a railroad within section 7. The closest rail lines I can find are the mainlines going over Altamont Pass about three miles to the south of our property. My client is not only concerned about the legal encumbrance, but also the potential historical significance of any railroads on the property. Any help you give would be greatly appreciated. If you need additional information, please let me know.
Robert Boehm, PLS
Geospatial Data Solutions
" ... Before the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, it took months to get from coast to coast, and more than $1,000. After these two lines met at Promontory Summit in northern Utah, a New Yorker could travel to California in a week for as little as $70. Freight and mail costs also plummeted, and deliveries became quick and predictable. ... " [More]
[Courtesy Google Alerts.]
" ... June 4, 1876: On this day an express train called the 'Transcontinental Express' arrived in San Francisco, having traveled the First Transcontinental Railroad in only 83 hours and 39 minutes after it left New York City. This was only seven years after the railroad had been completed . ... " [More]
[Courtesy Google Alerts.]
What is the proper pronunciation of WEITFLE?
Collector, Stereo View Cards
What were the dimensions of the Central Pacific's box cars and flatcars during the construction days? ...
Are there standard pitches for air horns? If so, what are they? If not, what pitches are generally used? Do most horns have two pitches? At what intervals? ...
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CPRR Museum Category Tags:
Central Pacific Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad
Railroads, Trains, Locomotives
History of the American West, Chinese railroad workers
Photography, Photographs, Stereoviews, Stereographs
Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum
Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum
Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.