Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Miles of railroad built in 1872?

From: "Braun, Amanda" Amanda.Braun@dss.sc.gov

How many total miles of railroad were built in the United States in 1872?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vinton Wight Steam Train Collection.

From: "Vince Paul" daddy@vincepaul.com

... I am trying to sell the following collection. Are you interested or know anyone who would be?

Link to photos and detailed description of the Vinton Wight Steam Train Collection.

—Vince Paul

Monday, October 22, 2007


From: "Marlene Hofstetter" kidron@pioneercable.net

My Great-Grandfather was Nathan Small, who married Edna Dyer (2nd marr.) of Bangor. They lived in Belfast, and he had something to do with the [Belfast and Moosehead Lake] Railroad, the Bank & the The Republican Journal. Thanks for your site.

—Richard Dyer

Friday, October 19, 2007

Edson Strobridge R.I.P.

From: "Chris Graves" caliron@att.net

Sorry to report that Edson Strobridge passed away today, October 19, 2007.  


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Two rail lines between the Roseville yard and Newcastle

From: "Tom Cluster" tcluster@pacbell.net

I'm a new resident of Lincoln, in Placer County, California. I've been interested in the two rail lines between the Roseville yard and Newcastle. One goes through Clark Tunnel and the other follows what appears to be a more direct route, along old US 40 through Loomis and Penryn. Were these built by competing companies? I'm curious why there would be two lines. I notice that both are in use these days.

—Tom Cluster, Lincoln, CA

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Weed, California Historic Snow Records

From: "Joe Rossi" eaglejk@sbcglobal.net

I would like to know if any historical snow records are on file for me to view. Location of interest is township 42 north range 4 west of the Mount Diablo Meridian where the train crosses the tressel over Whitney Creek, located about eleven miles east of Weed California. In January of 1896 the patent number given to the land was 33, given to the Central Pacific Railroad. Any information you could provide would be appreciated in reference to maximum snow depth.

—Joe Rossi

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Golden Spike Days poster from the Union Pacific movie

From: GINL103@aol.com wrote:

My husband has a print of Golden Spike Days from the Union Pacific movie. The same scene as on your web site. I was wondering if you may have of which we could find the value of the print. I would say that it is in fair condition. Has a small corner missing.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Question about Railroad spikes

From: "Claren Taylor Purser" clpurser@vt.edu

I was talking to a blacksmith that works on the historical site of John Deere's home in Illinois and he pointed out that there are lines on the top of railroad spikes. Some have several lines and some just have one. Is there anyone there that could tell me what these lines stand for? They are just raised lines on the part of the stake that is hit to drive it in the ground.

—Claren Taylor Purser, Meherrin, VA

1890s photo of surveyors on a handcar

From: "Terry Baker" bake740@bellsouth.net

I have a photo that was handed down in my family. According to names on the back, one of the men was Isaac Winston. He turns out to have been an inspector with the US Coast and Geodetic Survey. In the 1890s he was in Missouri and Kansas. My ancestors lived in MO at the time. The last digit of the date is cut off, but it's most likely 1895. The six man crew is seated on a handcar with two pumpers, and the car has the words "No. 1394" on a plate near the front. A man standing up is wearing a suit and has his arm on a theodolite. Winston was born in 1853, and this guy looks like he's over forty. The crew look to be in their 20s and 30s.

—Terry Baker, Nashville

1890s photo of surveyors on a handcar

Do any of you collect rail?

From: Wendell Huffman

I've just acquired 50-60 brand sections of 19th century iron and steel rail for the Nevada State Railroad Museum and am trying to identify a few of the rolling mills. I have some 35-pound (or so) iron rail branded MR, believed to be from the Nevada Central. And some CRMCo steel rail rolled in 1883. This was found close to the Central Pacific, but there is nothing identified on the CP in the 1887 report (which lists every foot of CP rail by maker and weight!) which can pass for C.R.M.Co. I wonder if it was UPRR, but have yet to find much about UP rail.

— Wendell

[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]

Friday, October 05, 2007

California State Archives Tour

"Taking a peek at history: Archivists will offer free behind-the-scenes tours of the state's vast collection of records" by Peter Hecht, © Sacramento Bee, October 5, 2007. (News Article)

The State of California's first law, the " ... Statute of 1850, Chapter One, ... mandated that 'all public records, registers, maps, books, papers, rolls, documents and other writings ... connected to the political, civil and military history' of California governance be preserved in perpetuity. ... On Saturday ... the public is invited to ... tours of the vast California State Archives. ... For the first time in more than 100 years ... archivists will display a 66-foot-long map that famed railroad engineer Theodore Judah sketched out in 1861 ... for the Central Pacific railroad ... It will take 14 tables to hold the four sections of the map. ... People seeking more information can call (916) 653-7715 or check online ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Word and Phrase Origins

From: Leonardcln@aol.com

More Railroad Word and Phrase Origins:

"picking up the slack"

"tell-tale sign"

"full head of steam"

"the real McCoy"

Cost of ticket

From: "Raymond James Crystal Lake" Judy.Kammer@Raymondjames.com

My daughter has a school project on the Transcontinental Railroad and needs to know what the cost of ticket was.

—Judy Kammer, Crystal Lake, IL

19th century Central Pacific Railroad Chinese Camp Pottery

From: abbjo

I have a question about 19th century Central Pacific Railroad Chinese Camp Pottery. I have 4 pieces of pottery that have been in my family for years. Looking on your web site I have seen pictures that closely resemble 3 out of the 4 that I have. Is there someplace I can find out more information on these? Maybe what each was used for, and possibly a value?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Continental Oil Car

From: "Don Ball" dlball1899@gmail.com

Can anyone direct me to a photograph of a Continental Oil Car? The cars in question were built between about 1879 to the mid-1880s and were a combination tank and box car. From the outside, it appeared to be a box car with roof hatches near the ends. I have no information on length or numbers.

—Don Ball

Monday, October 01, 2007

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