Wednesday, November 16, 2011

News from Transcontinental Chautauqua

From: "Chris Graves"

Being the rail/historical fans you are, the following most likely will be of interest. As to the film, the historical challenges in the first draft have been corrected. I do think you will like it!

—GJ Chris Graves, NewCastle, MP32, AltaCal'a

Click to see Transcontinental Railroad Chautauqua News and Information about ... the documentary film, "The Hidden Wonder of the World; the Transcontinental Railroad Today from Sacramento to Donner Summit."

Artwork of John MacQuarrie courtesy of Chris Graves.
Artwork of John MacQuarrie courtesy of Chris Graves.

"On October 7, 1867, after Tunnel 6 was holed through and before the first locomotive went through, Federal Rail Inspectors reported the following:"
... The crest of the Sierra is pierced by a tunnel 1659 feet in length, 16 by 20 feet, through the hardest kind of blue granite, and the line opens on the slope facing the east upon the precipitous side of a high granite peak, ... and is a wonderful achievement in Railroad Engineering. ... The laborers on the tunnel have been principally Chinese. They worked in gangs of three shifts of eight hours each per day laboring steadily day and night during the storms of one of the severest winters ever known in California, upon the summit of the highest mountain range in the United States and at an elevation greater by several hundred feet than the top of Mount Washington. The drilling is done entirely by hand laborer. Drilling machines were tried, but proved a failure.