Donner Pass, over which we hauled on sleds track material for 40 miles of railroad, 3 locomotives, and 40 cars from Cisco to Donner Lake, where all was reloaded on wagons and hauled overy miry roads to Truckee, a total distance of 28 miles, at enormous cost. In this way the road was forced to the east slope of the Sierra Nevadas. In crossing the deserts eastward from the Truckee River, water for men and animals was hauled at times 40 miles. It was necessary to have the heavy work in Palisade Canon done in advance of the main force, and 3,000 men with 400 horses and carts were sent to that point, a distance of 300 miles, in advance of the track. Hay, Grain, and all supplies for the men and horses had to be hauled by teams over the deserts for that great distance, there being no supplies to be obtained on the entire route. The winter of 1868 and 1869 was one of severe cold. The construction was in progress in the upper Humboldt Valley, where the ground was often frozen to a depth of 2 and 3 feet, and material required blasting and treatment like rock, which could have been cheaply moved in a more favorable time. The entire cost of the railroad, had it been built with less speed and as such railroads are usually constructed, would have been fully 70 per cent. less than its actual cost, as it was built with rapidity of construction, and without regard to any outlay that could hasten its completion. The railroad from Newcastle on the west slope of the Sierras to Wadsworth at the beginning of



Courtesy of the Lynn D. Farrar Collection.

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