Friday, August 03, 2007

Central Pacific Railway - State of CA Engineer Station 2382+75

From: "Manya Waggoner"

I have a document referencing engineer station 2382+75 in Merced County, CA on the Central Pacific Railway–
I am trying to locate the engineer station – do you have any historical maps showing this information? Do you have any additonal information regarding how the engineer station system works?


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


For the original Central Pacific line through Merced County, engineer stations started at Lathrop. The stations marked every 100 feet along the track on engineering department maps and were numbered in sequence. To convert to miles, add two zeros and then divide by 5280. Thus, engineer station 2382 was 238,200 feet from Lathrop or 45.11 miles.

Next step is to convert to railroad mileposts. In looking at a 1906 Southern Pacific Western Division employee timetable which I have, Lathrop was at MP 94.34. Adding 45.11 to 94.34 gets MP 139. 45, which was 1.96 miles south of the station point of Livingston (station points were the precise locations on railroad engineering department maps where railroad names were applied. They did not necessarily coincide with where depots were located but were often close).

The California State Railroad Museum Library in Sacramento has a Southern Pacific station plan for Livingston that might have engineer station 2382 on it. The plan is listed as "Livingston (formerly Cressey): [station plan]" with a filing location of Cabinet 12 ID 23898. Copies of station plans in the library's collection can be ordered but before doing this, it would be a good idea to verify that engineer station 2382 is on it (I don't know if the staff there know what engineer stations are, though).

Another possible source of railroad engineering department maps would be the map room of the county surveyor's office for Merced County.

As for the "75" part of the number, that means something is 75 feet beyond engineer station 2382. Everything along the right of way, including switches, signals, road crossings, culverts, speed limit signs, milepost signs, boundaries, buildings, etc. were noted in a similar fashion on maps.

If engineer station 2382 is on another SP line rail that passed through Merced County, such as the line that formerly went through Oakdale and Waterford, much of the above info would not apply since that line probably had a different starting location for the engineer station numbers.

—John Sweetser

8/04/2007 9:58 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: Lynn Farrar

... John Sweetser's answer was mostly correct about engineer stations but not really complete because he does not mention engineering equations which can occur with various frequencies in almost every surveyed railroad line. ...

I looked up ES 2382 + 75 in my "SP Co Mileage book 1912" and found it to be some 9,668.9 feet south (railroad east) of the Livingston station point. I then checked the other SP line running through Merced County from Stockton through Oakdale to Merced and found no engineer station of 2382 so Livingston is where Manya wants to look. The station point for Livingston is 2886 + 06.1 = M(ile) P(ost) 137.4 although the "List of OFFICERS, AGENCIES, STATIONS, etc." dated January 1, 1912 shows Livingston in Mile Post 136 on the Stockton Division. The difference between Sweetser's mile post for Livingston from the employees time table and the mileage book is due to equations as noted above which total plus 565.7 feet. Thus, the 2382 + 75 plus 565.7 = 2388 + 40.7 divided by 5280 = 45.235 miles from Lathrop MP 94.0 or MP 139.235. Hope this helps.


8/14/2007 1:34 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Manya Waggoner"

Thank you for the information – I believe that there is a county map showing it also – so I will verify this – I appreciate your assistance.

8/15/2007 3:08 PM  

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