Friday, October 31, 2008

"Night Owl: An intrepid reporter gets a history lesson, but spirits stay away"

"Night Owl: An intrepid reporter gets a history lesson, but spirits stay away" by Angela Woodall, © Oakland Tribune, 10/30/2008. (News Article)

"Writing something original about Halloween is like banging a head against a wall: It's painful. ... In the case of the Mountain View Cemetery, built in 1863, some of the Bay Area's most illustrious families chose the 220 acres designed by Frederick Law Olmsted — the architect of New York's Central Park, the Capitol Grounds in Washington, D.C., Stanford University and Yosemite park. Mostly, they chose 'Millionaire's Row,' a hillside from where downtown Oakland can be seen. Regular folks are buried further down. ... The ornate crypt the size of a small cottage where Central Pacific Railroad magnate Charles Crocker is interred would cost a cool $2.5 million today ... What irony that California muckraker Frank Norris, whose novel The Octopus portrayed the 'Big Four' railroad barons as rapacious tyrants, is buried in the shadow of Crocker's death monument designed by the same architect that brought us the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Norris' granite tombstone is far simpler, reflecting his career and perhaps the fact that graveyards also go through trends. ..." [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Inherited train memorabilia

From: "Jen Gardner"

My father passed away leaving me with a plethora of train memorabilia.
From Official Guides Starting in the 1910's to A "J" plate that evidently came from a train wreck, to Hand written logs from the 40's, to lanterns and locks stamped with official logos. I also have a book from "The Master Car Builders' Association" which is full of blueprints.

I am looking to get rid of this memorabilia but have no idea where to start. I looked on eBay but there are really no comps out there.

Just wondering if you had any advice at all.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Rail Tracks in the U.S.

From: "Fabian Haunerland"

I am a German University Student in Transportation Economics at Dresden University of Technology, and I would like to ask a question which none of my German lecturers could answer:

Are there any railroads in the U.S. built within the last 10 years?

I don't refer to modernization or reconstruction of existing or formerly existing routes, but to newly constructed railroad connections in addition to the last century's network. My question includes any new rail track except for local and regional passenger/commuter transportation systems. ...

—Fabian Haunerland

Monday, October 27, 2008

Travel on transcontinental railroad

How many miles did the train travel per day?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The website has been a work in progress for over a year now with the simple goal of sharing and teaching the history and current operations of the American railroad industry, including museums like yours. ... I would sincerely appreciate a mention of in some way on the museum’s official website. ...

—Adam Burns Resource guide to American railroading. A family-friendly online community bringing railfans together from across the Internet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Passing siding

From: "Ronald Bowdry"

If the trains were facing towards each other how did they get past each other? Did they go backwards?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Edward Henry Harriman

Number of trains running through Auburn, California


How many trains run through Auburn, CA on a Saturday night from 5pm-11pm? We are looking at a wedding site off Bell Road in Auburn that is right along the train tracks and are wondering what are chances are of having a train go through during the ceremony and reception.

—Robin Grenfell


From: "David Hall"

I would like to volunteer to work on the railroad next spring or whenever [they] will be needing the next crew. Could you advise me how I would become a volunteer [at the California State Railroad Museum]? Thank you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Carleton Watkins on the frontier of U.S. photography"

"ART: Carleton Watkins on the frontier of U.S. photography" by Christopher Knight, Times Art Critic, © Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2008. (News Article)

"California's first great artist was a photographer – Carleton Watkins, who worked throughout the West in the mid-19th century. His work blossomed into maturity in the 1860s, with big images that evoked not just paintings but also the immensity of the Western landscape. ... Watkins used a mammoth-plate camera whose glass negatives are nearly 18 by 22 inches, resulting in startlingly large black-and-white images.

... an exhibit at the Getty Museum, Dialogue Among Giants: Carelton Watkins and the Rise of Photography in California. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tools and equipment used to build the Transcontinental Railroad

From: "Michelle Davis"

Where can I find pictures and information on what kinds of tools and equipment were used and how they were used to build the Transcontinental Railroad?

Were there any tools invented and used to help build the Transcontinental Railroad? Who were the inventors of the tools?

Thank you for any assistance you can give me to point me in the right direction.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Charles Crocker and George Gray

From: "Larry Mullaly"

I believe that sometime in 1867 or 1868 Gray and Crocker went out to do horseback reconnaissance along the surveyed route of the Central Pacific in Nevada.

Looking through the usual published sources, I find no mention of this. I would appreciate it if someone could provide information on this.

—Larry Mullaly

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Save the Delta Queen Video, Please Participate


Save the Delta Queen Video, Please Participate

The Delta Queen is certainly worthy of saving.

Kyle K. Wyatt
California State Railroad Museum

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

CPRR Discussion Group

Welcome to the CPRR Discussion Group at the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.

See HOW TO POST to the CPRR Discussion Group.

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