Carson and Colorado Railway

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Carson and Colorado Railway
LocaleCalifornia and Nevada
Dates of operation1880–1960
SuccessorSouthern Pacific Company
Track gauge3 ft (914 mm)
Lengthc. 300 miles (480 km)
 
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Carson and Colorado Railway
LocaleCalifornia and Nevada
Dates of operation1880–1960
SuccessorSouthern Pacific Company
Track gauge3 ft (914 mm)
Lengthc. 300 miles (480 km)

The Carson and Colorado Railway was a U.S. narrow gauge railroad that ran from Mound House, Nevada, to Keeler, California below the Cerro Gordo Mines. It was incorporated on May 10, 1880 as the Carson and Colorado Railroad, and construction on the railroad began on May 31, 1880. A track gauge of 3 ft (914 mm) was chosen to reduce cost. Much of the route parallels U.S. Route 95 Alternate, U.S. Route 95, Nevada State Route 360 or U.S. Route 6

The Carson & Colorado began operations with a single Baldwin 4-4-0, the Candelaria. The first train arrived at Keeler on August 1, 1883. The 300-mile route reached an altitude of 7100 feet in Montgomery Pass.[1] The railroad served an arid area heavily dependent on mineral resources for economic activity. The line was reorganized as the Carson and Colorado Railway in 1892 to reduce accumulated debt.[2]

Contents

Sale to the Southern Pacific

The Virginia and Truckee Railroad, the parent company of the C&C, sold the line to the Southern Pacific Company in 1900. Silver and gold discoveries at Tonopah, Nevada and Goldfield, Nevada provided a major boost of revenues shortly after the Southern Pacific purchase.[2] The northern 140 miles from Mound House to Mina, Nevada was standard-gauged in 1905; and the C&C was merged into the Southern Pacific's narrow-gauge subsidiary, the Nevada and California Railroad.[3] The Nevada and California Railroad was reorganized into the Central Pacific Railroad in 1912.[3] In the early 20th century, it operated under the name "Southern Pacific Keeler Branch". Portions of the line were abandoned in the 1930s and the 1940s, and the last narrow gauge common carrier made its final run on April 29, 1960.[4] The rails were removed in January, 1961. The former parent company, the V&T, is currently being reconstructed.

Locomotives

NumberBuilderTypeDateWorks numberNotes
1st #1Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018805285sold to Eureka and Palisade Railroad 1907
2nd #1Baldwin Locomotive Works2-8-0191941300ex-Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #14 acquired 1928 sold to Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad #9 1933
3rd #1General ElectricDiesel195432226sold 1961
2Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018815428scrapped 1907
1st #3Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018815430scrapped 1908
2nd #3Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018878791ex-Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #3 acquired 1928 scrapped 1934
1st #4Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-0188155782sold to Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad #7 1929
2nd #4Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-0189917124ex-Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #4 acquired 1928 scrapped 1934
1st #5Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018826089scrapped 1932
2nd #5Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-0189917123ex-Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #5 acquired 1928 scrapped 1934
1st #6Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018826090scrapped 1907
2nd #6Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018774223ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #6 merged 1905 scrapped 1926
3rd #6Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-0190322020ex-Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #6 acquired 1928 scrapped 1934
1st #7Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018836687scrapped 1932
2nd #7Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-0190322012ex-Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #7 acquired 1928 scrapped 1935
1st #8Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018836689scrapped 1932
2nd #8Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-0190731445ex-Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #8 acquired 1928 donated to Sparks, Nevada 1955
1st #9Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018857604ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #16 merged 1905 scrapped 1911
2nd #9Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-0190934035ex-Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #9 acquired 1928 donated to Laws, California 1960
10Baldwin Locomotive Works4-4-018857605ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #17 merged 1905 scrapped 1933
11Baldwin Locomotive Works2-6-018815649ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #11 merged 1905 rebuilt to 4-6-0 1924 scrapped 1934
12Baldwin Locomotive Works2-6-018815650ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #12 merged 1905 rebuilt to 4-6-0 1924 scrapped 1934
13Baldwin Locomotive Works2-8-018826157ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #13 merged 1905 scrapped 1927
14Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-018867939ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #18 merged 1905 retired 1945
15Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-018899929ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #22 merged 1905 scrapped 1935
16Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-018867941ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #19 merged 1905 scrapped 1935
17Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-018878487ex-South Pacific Coast Railroad #21 merged 1905 retired 1945
18Baldwin Locomotive Works4-6-0191137395ex-Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #12 acquired 1928 donated to Independence, California 1955
22Schenectady Locomotive Works4-6-018995399ex- Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad then Nevada-California-Oregon Railway #22 acquired 1929 scrapped 1949

Towns served by the C&C

Restoration Effort

In Independence, California, a non-profit group re-incorporated the Carson and Colorado Railway, with an eye to restore the Narrow-gauge line from Independence to Owenyo, outside of Lone Pine. They are currently restoring locomotive #18, which was left in Independence in excellent condition, considering it sat in the park from 1960 onward to today. They have been acquiring land, buildings, ties, rails, and cars to go along with this locomotive, and they have a plan in place to being laying rail soon.[7]

Gallery of C&C equipment

Sources

References

Research resources