Friday, April 14, 2006

More CP Railroad books online

From: "Dan Anderson"

I saw your page on online books about the transcontinental railroad.

I have three 19th century books online related to this subject that you may want to add to your list:

Lester, John Erastus. The Atlantic to the Pacific: What to See, and How to See It. Shepard and Gill, Boston, Mass., 1873.

Jackson, Helen Hunt. Bits of Travel at Home. Roberts Brothers, Boston, Mass., 1878.

Greeley, Horace. An Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco in the Summer of 1859 by Horace Greeley. C. M. Saxton, Barker & Co., New York, 1860. Strongly advocates for a transcontinental railroad and travels the proposed route.

—Dan Anderson, San Diego, CA

Blind drivers

From: "Wendell Huffman"

... One thing I ran across when reading the correspondence between C.P. Huntington and Mark Hopkins was the issue of blind drivers and concern that they would fall off the rails on sharp curves. The problem was their 2-6-0s from Danforth. The first ones were shipped with flanges all around. Hopkins complained that they broke rails. At this stage, these fellows really didn't know much about railroads, so Huntington (in New York) asked around and wrote Hopkins back to have the flanges turned off the middle set of drivers. Hopkins responded with the concern that those wheels would fall off the rail and said they needed tires 8" wide if they were going to be blind.

About a year later Huntington wrote that another batch of Danforth locomotives were heading to California and that they had the 8" blind tires that had been requested. Apparently in the meantime the fellows in Sacramento discovered that regular blind tires would ot fall off the rail after all. Hopkins asked Huntington (and I paraphrase): where'd you come up with that crazy idea!? Huntington knew (and I know) exactly where the idea came from, but he was pretty nice about it. He did say that it had been a lot of trouble to get a manufacturer to roll those extra wide tires.


[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]

Southern Pacific Railroad headlights

From: "Steve Mccann"

Why did the Southern Pacific Railroad have two sets of headlights plus a red light in both front and rear of most all diesel-electric loco's. What was the reason and why were they removed in the early 1990's?