Monday, July 10, 2006

Locomotive at Cape Horn, 1886

From: "Chris Graves"

This photograph of a locomotive at Cape Horn during construction of the 1886 trestle from the Placer County Archives, is printed in Images of America, ROCKLIN". The author, Carmel Barry-Schweyer, works at the archives. The cut face of Cape Horn sure doesn't look too high, does it? And the drop off, into Burnt Flat, isn't too steep, either, in 1886.

—Chris Graves

Locomotive at Cape Horn, 1886. Courtesy Placer County Department of Museums, Carmel Barry-Schweyer and Alycia S. Alvarez.
This photograph of Cape Horn is labelled on the reverse "locomotive #75." The locomotive is travelling East to West. The bridge, 120 feet long, was built in 1886 and was removed in 1895 according to Southern Pacific Transportation Co. records.
Image courtesy Placer County Department of Museums, Carmel Barry-Schweyer and Alycia S. Alvarez.


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


I seem to recall there was some association between the Phoenix iron bridge now displayed in CSRM and the bridge at Cape Horn. The CSRM bridge came from the Danville Branch in the late 1970s, but I seem to recall hearing that it had formerly been at Cape Horn, and that it had been shortened when moved to the Danville Branch.

Anyone have any info one way or the other?


7/11/2006 1:06 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Chris Graves">

The odd thing about this photo is where it has been the past 110 years. Because the engineer and/or the conductor on this train were from Rocklin, and because it was their families that took the picture, the picture was classified "ROCKLIN" and tucked away. One wonders just how many other whizzers are stuck away, mis-filed.

—Chris Graves

7/11/2006 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Whizzer" as in the sound a fast train makes as it whizzes by.

7/11/2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


I did some further checking, and the CSRM Phoenix bridge did NOT come form Cape Horn. It was originally across Santa Clarita Creek, near Saugus, then moved to Tehachapi Creek, then finally to near Danville. Oh well, my mistake.


7/11/2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


There never was a stream called "Santa Clarita Creek" near Saugus. This no doubt is referring to the Santa Clara River.

"Santa Clarita" is a relatively new name. For info on its origin, see "Why Santa Clarita?" by Ruth Newhall, Old Town Newhall Gazette, February-March 1997.

—John Sweetser

7/12/2006 8:45 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


That's what I get for going from memory.


7/12/2006 8:46 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


The following is a writeup on the bridge at the California State Railroad Museum, which I believe is based on information we received from Lynn Farrar.

Phoenix Iron Bridge
Builder: Phoenix Bridge Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (successor to Clarke, Reeves & Company, 1869-1885)
Span: 72.6 feet (originally a 90-foot span?)
Type: Phoenix column span, through truss (Pratt truss)
Weight: 65,000 pounds (iron structure only)

1884 Bought by Southern Pacific RR. Installed as a second crossing on the Santa Clara River near Action, between Palmdale and Saugus in Los Angeles County.
1890 Washed out.
1892 Moved to Tehachapi Creek and installed as a sixth crossing.
1904 Installed on Southern Pacific's San Ramon Branch Line over San Ramon Creek as a second crossing to replace a wooden bridge. Location: South of Greenbrook Drive in Danville. Called the Greenbrook Bridge.
1980 Utah-based contractor sells bridge to the California State Railroad Museum for $6,500.


7/12/2006 1:15 PM  

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