Sunday, April 17, 2005

Central Pacific Railroad Rail

From: "Robert Stout"

I have a section of C.P. rail marked CAMMELL SHEFFIELD TOUGHENED STEEL P.I.C. 61 1/2 1887 S. Like G.J. Graves who does not know what the P following 1887 on his rail stands for, I do not know what the S. following 1887 on my rail stands for.

I have had this piece of rail for some 24 years. I was an employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad at the time and a friend sent it to me from Sacramento where he found it among some of the rail removed from the yard near the Sacramento Locomotive Works. Like most rail found in yards, it undoubtedly was cascaded from the mainline to yard service as the wear pattern is unlikely for rail used only in the yard. The wear pattern indicates that it was in tangent track, not curved. Except for rust pitting on the base of the rail, it is in remarkably good condition.

Robert B. Stout
Vice President and Chief Mechanical Officer
Alaska Railroad Corporation


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


Hi Mr. Stout - I read your message about the 61 1/2 rail with great interest. As Valuation Engineer I was in charge of an historical cost program that developed the actual cost as best we could recreate it of the building of all lines in the SP system from 1852 through 1921. We found many interesting things! We spent 11 years on the work. The rail you have was the finest steel rail CP Huntington said he ever bought. And he bought a lot of rails, both iron and steel. Because your rail says "PIC" it means it was first used in new line construction built by the contractor Pacific Improvement Co which took over from the Western Development Co in 1878. Rails that replaced existing iron or steel rails were marked CPR meaning they were placed in the track by Central Pacific crews doing maintenance work. Because the date is 1887 it is highly possible that it was first laid in the Oregon line built from Redding, CA to a connection with the Oregon & Cal RR, also built by PI Co, south (railroad west) from Ashland, Or. If I can be of further help just holler. Lynn Farrar

4/26/2005 5:13 PM  

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