Monday, November 30, 2009

Town of Truckee

From: "Chaun Mortier"

Please let me introduce myself and to explain our Research Library's goals. I am Chaun Owens-Mortier, Research Historian for the Truckee Donner Historical Society. This summer we opened our Research Library for the first time. Myself, our Research Librarian; Katie Holley along with our Photo Archivist, Dennis Beegley are creating a complete archival database of our in-house resources.

... we have located a bit of information that contradicts the Town of Truckee information and that was the actual date for the naming of the town from Coburn's Station to Truckee. ... The Town refers us [to] the History of Truckee and we are dedicated to providing accurate information. The accepted date for the naming of Truckee is 1868. In referring to your article Iron Horse Along The Truckee we can see that it was actually named in late July 1867. That article references the following:

19) E.B. Crocker to Huntington, 1 August 1867; confirmed in Sacramento Bee (3 August 1867) and Gold Hill Daily News (6 August 1867). Subsequent use of the name Coburn's in the newspapers and by railroad officials, and the fact that the name change was announced again the following spring in the Sacramento Union (11 April 1868) and the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise (14 April 1868) indicate that the new name was not immediately adopted.

I am contacting the Virginia City Historical society in an attempt to gain a copy of the article from their area but I am requesting assistance from your organization to obtain copies of the other sources noted. Do you have copies of the correspondence between E.B. Crocker to Huntington and copies of the news articles from the Sacramento Bee, Gold Hill Daily News and the Sacramento Union? If you do can we obtain photocopies of those for our records? If not, can you direct me as to where I can obtain those copies.

I have located advertisements in the Truckee Republican from September/October of 1868 where business are still saying they are in Coburn's Station so the statement that the new name was not readily accepted is a very true fact but we would be grateful to have the correct information in file as to when the name was actually changed.

—Chaun Owens-Mortier, Research Historian, Truckee Donner Historical Society

Donner party


In my California History class, our instructor asked us to explain the importance of the Donner party in California history. Aside from it being a morbid and cautionary tale, I am guessing that the CPRR used the same route through the Sierras for the completion of their leg of the transcontinental Railroad. Can anyone comment on this?


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sierra Grade upgrade - Doublestacks on Donner Pass

From: Bruce Cooper

"Clearance project: 'designed to move customer products over a shorter, faster, and more efficient route,' Union Pacific’s Donner Pass route is open to doublestack intermodal traffic."


Friday, November 27, 2009

How long for trip NY to SF in 1928

From: "Terace Luchini"

In August of 1928 my grandmother landed at Ellis Island NY, and traveled to San Francisco by rail, could you tell me the route and how long it would have taken. And if you could maybe you would know what the fare for that journey would have been? I am doing a report for school on how my ancestors came to CA. ...

—Terace Luchini

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

To understand the history and significance of the first Thanksgiving in November, 1623 read the journal of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford. The Mayflower Compact set up a commune at the Plymouth Bay Colony with equal collective ownership, hence destroyed all incentive and half the Pilgrims starved to death. This disastrous socialist experiment was successfully replaced with capitalist individual farm plots on their plantation according to Bradford so that the Pilgrims would be incentivized by benefiting from their own individual efforts, and with farming knowledge learned from the local Indians, food became abundant leading to the first Thanksgiving celebration and subsequent success of the colony.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turntable plans

From: "Sierk Oudemans"

I am planning on scratch building a working scale (N scale) model of a wooden RR Turntable and I am looking for a plan or set of plans to help me design the model. I take it that [someone] has such a plan since [they] just finished rebuilding exactly what I am looking for. It is a beautiful piece of work indeed. Is there any way I might be able to obtain a copy of the ... plans? ...

—Sierk Oudemans

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Found an interesting Edison 1890's RR video on Youtube of the SP's Overland Mail

From: "Michael Van Tosh"

I was looking through Youtube the other day, and I was looking for a certain silent film. I thought I had seen most of [Thomas Alva] Edison's silent films of RR's recorded in the 1890's, but I came across the following one of the SP's "Overland Mail" (which I guess could be any train), capturing a double-headed train around a corner. The film details the number of each locomotive (although I didn't realize that until after), so I looked closely at the tenders and was able to write down the numbers. I remember being told that switching locomotive tenders around was a famous practice of the CP/SP, but I decided to look them up on the roster anyway:

No. 1360: 4-4-0, originally: ?

No. 1779: 4-6-0. originally: ?

Unfortuneately, when I tried to look them up on the rosters, I couldn't find either of them. I saw locomotives numbered 1362-1368, and locomotives numbered 1770-1776, but no engines with these numbers. Does anyone happen to know if they engines were even SP/CP, or were they from another RR, or did I miss something entirely?

The other question I had was about an SP locomotive I saw in a book once, numbered 1008.

However, it is very different from the one listed. The engine is a 4-4-0T, with no tender, a crane attached to the smokebox/pilot, and a small collection of tanks and cylinders under the cab. I own a copy of the book, so I can scan it if you'd like. The engine is simply described as a works pilot, but I have never seen any of pictures of it before. Does the museum have any other resources about it?


Location of Tamarack station; Spruce

From: "Kristine Swigart"

Where was the Tamarack station between Cisco and Summit stations? Was it before (west) of the current day Troy? Are there any survey and or maps (detailed) of that area with the railroad I have the survey prior to it with proposed railroad? Also where was Spruce? Is that Troy? ...


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Broken link


I just wanted to let you know that ... you have a link ... which seems to now be missing. ...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Iron and Steel Makers Marks on rails


I've just come across your very nice website – interested in the old rails in particular.

A month ago I set up a group on the flickr photographers' website for iron and steel rail makers marks. ...

There are quite a few old rail pictures in the flickr group, back to the late nineteenth century, but not as old as the historic iron rails you have in your collections. I had not realised until people started posting pictures to the flickr group that very old rails were still in place on track bed in Canada, USA and Australia. In Australia they seem to have been quite often reused as fenceposts.

In Britain I think almost all old rails were taken up c. 1963, when the rail network was reduced in size with the closure of a lot of supposedly less profitable railway lines. So in the flickr group for example we have a Dorman Long rail of 1922 which is in a museum piece in NE England, whereas there are much older British rolled rails still in their original locations overseas. In the flickr group we have an older British rail in Sweden for example, so the exports were not all transatlantic.

—Tom Swailes from Bollington, Cheshire, England

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Locomotive Jupiter's Wheels


Did the Central Pacific Jupiter 4-4-0 Locomotive have Hi-Rail Wheels or Scale Wheels?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Posters for sale

Where can I find railroad and other posters for sale?

See the Poster section of the CPRR Museum Exhibits, and the Train Poster section of the CPRR Museum bookshop.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Shaping the West - Stanford University Spatial History Project - A.A. Hart Visualizations

From: "Spatial History Project"

I wanted to let you know about a new project that the Spatial History Lab at Stanford is working on. They (we) are mapping the locations of Alfred Hart's photos along the CPRR and pairing each with a repeat photograph from the same spot. It's been fascinating thus far to see the changes in the landscape over the ensuing 150 years.

The project is still in progress (winter snows in the mountains will stall further photos during the winter) but we're excited about the contrasts we've seen already.

I wanted to let you all know about the project not only because it seems in line with your interests, but because we would love your input. I'm sure there are details we're missing and whole stories that we've forgotten. If you know anything more about the photos, please do let us know.

The link to the site is: Spatial History Project – A.A. Hart Visualizations.

You can navigate through the photos (we only have the first nine up now, with more to come in the very near future) both spatially and linearly.


Killeen Hanson
Project Manager, Shaping the West
Spatial History Project
Stanford University

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Indians at opening ceremony?

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