Monday, June 30, 2008

"Scenic Grandeur of the West" - SPRR, c. 1942

From: "John Kellum"

I have a cover with 16 views from Southern Pacific Lines ... written in 1943 ... called Scenic Grandeur of the West. It has a price tag of 75 cents. Do you know who I could talk to about this? I would like to sell this as well.

—John Kellum, Seaside, Oregon

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Carterfone Day

Forty years later: The FCC's Carterfone Decision, freeing telecommunications.

CP Summit Map, 1868


An interesting item on eBay.

CP Summit Map – 1868.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pullman Car Lighting Maintenance Manual

From: "Mark Burgess"

I have an Instructions for Car Lighting Maintenance Manual For Pullman Cars with a revised dated of October 1942. Does it hold any value or is it just for collection?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Interesting New York Times Article, April 28, 1887


Check this out:

[C.P. Huntington testimony to the Pacific Railroad Commission.]




New York Times, April 28, 1887, Wednesday, Page 9

Mr. C.P. Huntington told a long story to the Pacific Railroad Commissioners yesterday. It was a history of his connection with the Central Pacific, and it took the witness and his examiners nearly four hours to work down from 1861 to 1885. ...

Frank Vanderbilt Smith

From: "Mark & Donna Smith"

My great-grandfather, Frank Vanderbilt Smith b. 1854 was supposed to have been an employee with CPRR in Carlin, Nevada circa 1880. He may have been an engineer. In 1900, his wife, Lily Virginia Fowler Smith Peters, shows up on the census in Oakland, California married to a Ferdinand Peters, also a RR engineer. We can find a marriage record in Carlin of Frank and Lily – 1880, but nothing else. Do you have any information on these three people?

—Mark B. Smith, Oakley, CA

Sunday, June 15, 2008

C&F Records at Stanford

From: "Larry Mullaly"

There is one good selection of Contract & Finance Records that I have found at Stanford University Special Collections. I have attached my copy of notes taken from this material. I encourage other researchers to visit Stanford and work with these references.

—Larry Mullaly

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Online topographic maps

From: "Chubb Chris"

I saw your map resources ... page.

I noticed that you have a link to Topozone. is now part of and you now have to pay to use it.

Many sites are now changing to Acme Mapper for free topo overlays [contour maps].

—Chris Chubb

Folsom Prison Locomotives

From: "Charlie Hopkins"

I am looking for information on the locomotives that at one were used in the prison to spot rail cars. Found one photo of ex. CP - SPCo. 4-6-0 Folsom Prison No. 1, an old SP oil burner, with lettering on cab and big 1 on the tender ... would very much like to know history of this Prison rail operation. ...


Friday, June 13, 2008

Lifespan of ties

From: "SK Jagasia"

Request you to help in getting these answers please:

1.0 How the calculate life of Wooden ties laid under rail with respect to Gross Million ton pass?

2.0 What is expected Life of a steel channel ties / composite ties life?

3.0 Life of steel channel ties with respect to Pre stress concrete ties over same Gross Million ton pass?

S K Jagasia
Vice President - Composite Sleeper
Patil Rail Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.
Secunderabad, India

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Stack by Graves of CPRR


Attached is the patent #95,794 for a stack by Isaac H. Graves, the Central Pacific Superintendent of Motive Power before AJ Stevens. Sure looks like a Central Pacific stack of the period.


Monday, June 09, 2008

CPRR Books [Financial Records]

From: "Chris Graves"

I am told there is some question recently surfaced regarding the "lost" books of the CPRR Contract and Finance Company.

Perhaps this will assist resolve that question. On August 1, 1887, Daniel Z. Yost testified as follows, I will trim out the testimony that is not relevant:

"I was private secretary (to Leland Stanford)...from 1870 to 1877 ... "

Q. "Did you ever see the books of the company?"

A. "Yes, sir"

Q. "When did you see them?"

A. "I saw them last in Sacramento, in 1873, in charge of Mr. Mark Hopkins ... "

Q. "Did you hear they were lost?"

A. "I heard so, yes sir."

Q. "What was the condition of the books when you last saw them in 1873?"

A. "They were being packed in large cases."

Q. "Who was packing them?"

A. "Mark Hopkins."

The rest of the testimony revolves around the moving of the CPRR from Sacramento to San Francisco.

Hoping this will help.

—Chris Graves

Short run trains

From: "Malcolm Easton"

There is much known about transcontinental travel, but what about short-run trains for passengers on CPRR around 1880's? What arrangement of cars did they have? What kind of schedules? Did they make meal stops? ...

—Malcolm Easton

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Southern Pacific Caboose #1353


My husband and I recently purchased Southern Pacific Caboose #1353 and I am trying to find a photo of our caboose in service. Do you know anyone I could contact?


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Construction cost of the transcontinental railroad?

I was wondering how much the transcontinental railroad cost.