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Thread: Carson & Colorado Railroad stops in California and Nevada

  1. #1
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    Question Carson & Colorado Railroad stops in California and Nevada

    I've noticed photos and information on the California stops along the old Carson & Colorado Railroad, but very little on the Nevada sites.

    Does anyone know if there is anything left to see at the sites of the Queen, Summit, Basalt, Filben, Belleville, and other stations?

    I'm thinking of taking a trip up to Benton on the California side, and I'd like to know if it's worth it to mosey on over to the Nevada side and see what is left (first I'd need to figure out how to get there).

  2. #2
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    Most are within hobblin (I walk with a cane nowadays) distance of pavement but a bit of research will reveal much more than todays scant remains. Sorry - I'm at work on a five minute break and the first time I would have time to dig out my research notes would be next weekend (August 28-29) as I am working the Vegas to Reno off road race this weekend and out of here Thursday till Sunday evening. I'm sure others will join in - there are track plans - photos - etc. in a companion book to the Slim Princess which itself is a good start (Just Goggle Slim Princess and have a ball) If you don't get half a dozen replies by next Monday I'll chase down some of my research notes - I probably have a couple pages on each of those sites.
    Yet Another Bob

  3. #3
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    QUEEN - Nothing.

    MT. MONTGOMERY - Obliterated by modern and semi-modern stuff - numerous re-alignments of US6, Soper's Montgomery Lodge casino (which, passing through yesterday I noticed that the casino section is now burned down).

    BASALT - Difficult to ascertain the exact course through the site as there are several paved sections of old US6 and whatever NV360 was numbered in former times. Standing about where the photographer took his photo of Basalt shown in several publications reveals the general area and I've found the old station master's house but found little debris and stumps and remains of long dead trees.

    CANDELARIA - The stone lined pit of the turntable is still there.

    BELLEVILLE - The railroad grade is for the most part long gone. The site is marked mostly by a large red tailings field devoid of vegetation due to the cyanide filled soils.

    SODAVILLE - Graffitti littered concrete walls.

    An interesting factoid - I'm sure you've seen the historic photo of the first train to cross the state line, the one with the train's crew and passengers standing around the locomotive and the ornate state line marker. When the photo was taken, the von Schmidt state line was still in use (still shown on all current topographic maps). You can go to that exact spot, a third of a mile inside Nevada now, and find the cement foundation of that marker.
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

  4. #4
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    Further north, the rails that run to the ammunition base at Hawthorne follow the alignment of the original Carson & Colorado south of Weeks. This portion of the line was standard gauged in 1905-1906 after the Southern Pacific purchase of the line. The cutoff from Hazen (where the Hawthorne branch still originates at) was built to eliminate the need to utilize the Virginia & Truckee Railroad and to eliminate the bottleneck caused by having to transfer everything from standard gauge to narrow gauge; and then back to standard gauge after the Tonopah & Goldfield standard gauged their line.

    WEEKS - Shady and idylic. The original C&C line continued westward past Fort Churchill, whereas the current line continues east then north to Hazen.

    WABUSKA - Up until around 1984 or so, the original station stood across the highway from the bar that is still there at the US95 crossing. It was moved to Carson City and is part of the railroad museum complex there.

    SCHURZ - No actual historic railroad related buildings that I am aware of.

    LUNING / MINA - Since the standard gauge line ran to Mina up until around 1992 or 1993, there are some artifacts left from railroad days; primarily transfer items for bulk mining commodities. The former station has long been removed, the round house torn down sometime in the late 1980s, if memory serves me correctly.
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

  5. #5
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    Forgot the mention that the original Hawthorne depot is still standing, across from El Capitan casino and is part of the I.O.O.F. lodge (or Elks or Masonic - anyway, a fraternal orginazation house). The original line came into Hawthorne, but Southern Pacific bypassed Hawthorne in 1905.
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

  6. #6
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    If you're interested, it's still possible to drive to the tunnel at Montgomery Pass. The south portal is still open. A comparison of a photo taken a few months ago with that of the first train to pass through is very interesting as many of the very same trees are still there after a century and a quarter. The northern portal is caved in but a small space large enough to crawl through is still there. I walked through the tunnel in 1981. Spooky and thrilling at the same time; as I hate being in old mines but walking through history was thrilling.
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

  7. #7
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    On both sides of Montgomery Pass, it's easy to see the old railroad line. East of Montgomery Pass, there is quite a bit of stone work still in place supporting the railroad bed. The line loops a fair distance out from US6, but you can follow an old alignment of US6 which heads that way and will access the northern end of the loop.

    Along NV360, the grade is easily seen immediately alongside the highway in spots, at a couple of summits it runs a third of a mile or more off to the east. In the canyons, the road has obliterated the grade.

    If you take the road into Candelaria, you can see the grade working its way up the cliffs to the north a ways off from the current road. Where the railroad re-crosses the current road at the summit, the station and end of the line is on the south side of the current road. You can determine the level area and the turntable pit is near its end. The main Candelaria townsite is still a ways off down the road, about a third to half mile.
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Wright View Post
    If you're interested, it's still possible to drive to the tunnel at Montgomery Pass. The south portal is still open. A comparison of a photo taken a few months ago with that of the first train to pass through is very interesting as many of the very same trees are still there after a century and a quarter. The northern portal is caved in but a small space large enough to crawl through is still there. I walked through the tunnel in 1981. Spooky and thrilling at the same time; as I hate being in old mines but walking through history was thrilling.
    Can you give me some pointers to help me find the southern portal from US 6?

  9. #9
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    The area has changed in the past few decades since I did that route. Looking at the topo map there are a number of roads and 4x4 trails that tend to be confusing and I haven't a clue as to their worth. There's also an occupied home or two now that is accessed via the old railroad grade. However, as far as I am aware, it is permissable to drive the old grade. A friend from Bishop and his 4x4 club did that earlier this year.

    The best advise I can give is to spot the railroad grade south of US6 and locate the best road coming in from below to access it. Then drive up onto the grade and travel upwards. You'll know when you get to the tunnel.

    I attached two images - the historic first train through the tunnel; another taken from near the same persective (by accident as the friend who took the photo had never seen the historical one). It is interesting to compare land features and see how little the area has changed.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

  10. #10
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    The attached map might be of aid. The yellow line is over the railroad gradient. I don't exactly recall where the tunnel is located, though do have a hunch. As stated before, you'll know when you've reached it.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

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