G.E. Nordell's Nevada & California Railroads Pages

Carson & Colorado Railway [1880-1905]
Nevada & California Railroad [1905-1912]
Southern Pacific Narrow-Gauge Railroad [1912-1960]

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       Southern Pacific Narrow-Gauge Railroad locomotive #9 pulling a 'whaleback' tender, an oil tank car, baggage car, and a combine passenger car        short history

route & stations

equipment rosters

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image gallery

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letterhead logo used by the early Carson & Colorado Railway, circa 1892
The 300-mile-long narrow-gauge Carson & Colorado Railway was built in 1880 from Mound House, Nevada southward and over Montgomery Pass to serve
the farms and mines of Eastern California, and ended at Keeler on the Owens Dry Lake. Parent Virginia & Truckee Railroad sold the C&C to the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1900; it was reorganized and partly standard-gauged as the Nevada & California Railroad in 1905, then in 1912 was absorbed by the Southern Pacific and operated as its Keeler Branch.


Short History of The Virginia & Truckee Railroad
The standard-gauge Virginia & Truckee Railroad was constructed from Reno to Carson City in Nevada in 1869 to haul ore and supplies for the silver mines of the 'Comstock Lode' in Virginia City, Nevada. The branch to Minden, Nevada was added in 1909. Trains from Mound House to Virginia City ceased in the 1920s; the track was torn up in 1941. The Virginia & Truckee shut down in 1950, but restoration as a heritage railroad began in 1972, with several expansions since then.
official modern V&T RR website V&T RR entry at Wikipedia


Short History of The Carson & Colorado Railroad [1880-1905]
The Virginia & Truckee Railroad incorporated the Carson & Colorado Railroad in May 1880 (renamed ..Railway in 1892) as a 3-foot narrow-gauge line over Montgomery Pass to serve communities and mining operations in Eastern California. The 300-mile route southward to Keeler, California was completed in August 1883. The V&T RR sold the C&C RR to the Southern Pacific Company in 1900, just months before silver and gold discoveries at Tonopah and Goldfield in Nevada. SP converted the 140 miles of track from Mound House to Mina from narrow- to standard-gauge in 1905. S.P. bought the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway (it ran northward from Reno) in 1925, converted the track to standard-gauge by 1928, and sold off the narrow-gauge equipment, much of it going to the surviving southern portion of the Carson & Colorado RR, renamed Nevada & California Railway, and later known simply as the Southern Pacific Narrow-Gauge. The standard-gauge Southern Pacific RR 'Keeler Branch' from Los Angeles was shut down in 1960.
there is no official website Carson & Colorado Railway entry at Wikipedia

Carson & Colorado Railroad [1880-1960] history site
Carson & Colorado history pages at Narrow Gauge on the Net


Short History of The Nevada and California Railroad [1905-1912]
The Nevada and California Railroad was basically a temporary renaming of the old Carson & Colorado; the N&C RR lasted only seven years.


Short History of The Southern Pacific RR and its Narrow-Gauge Division [1912-1960]
The Central Pacific Railroad built the western portion of the Transcontinental Railroad, from California thru Reno, Nevada to Utah and joined up with the
Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory Point on 10 May 1869. The Central Pacific was taken over by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1885 on a lease basis,
but not formally merged with the S.P. until 1959.

The Southern Pacific Railroad began as a land holding company in 1865 and by 1900 owned or operated 8,300 miles of mainline track from New Orleans to El Paso to Tucson to Los Angeles, then north to San Francisco and Sacramento, including the leased Central Pacific route from Sacramento to Utah. In 1900, The Virginia & Truckee Railroad sold its narrow-gauge Carson & Colorado Railway to Southern Pacific. In 1905, S.P. renamed the line Nevada & California Railroad and standard-gauged the track from Mina to Mound House in Nevada. The Southern Pacific standard gauge line from Mojave to Lone Pine was built between May 1908 and October 1910. In 1912, the Southern Pacific absorbed the Nevada & California. The narrow gauge line from Mina to Benton was abandoned in 1938, and from Benton to Laws in 1942. The last revenue run on the S.P. Narrow-Gauge was in 1959 and the rails were pulled up in 1960.

The Southern Pacific standard gauge line from Lone Pine southward to Searles was abandoned in 1982. The Southern Pacific parent corporation was purchased in 1988 by the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad; the Southern Pacific logo and name began to disappear. When Union Pacific purchased the combined S.P./D&RGW in 1998, Union Pacific replaced the names and logos of both railroads.
Central Pacific Railroad entry at Wikipedia Southern Pacific Railroad entry at Wikipedia
bare Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Railroad entry at Wikipedia

C&C - N&C - SPNG RR fansite
RB's C&C - SPNG RR fansite
Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Historical Society [est. 1981]
excerpt from "Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge" [1982] by Mallory Hope Ferrell

Spirit of America Bookstore's American Railroads Pages

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad [est. 1970] in New Mexico & Colorado Page
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad [1870-1988] Page
Florida East Coast Railway [est. 1885] Page
Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad [1876-1942] in California Page
Sierra Railway in California [est. 1897] Page
Virginia & Truckee Railroad [1869-1950, rebuilt 1972 & 2006] in Nevada Page

C&C RR / N&C RR / SPNG RR Route and Stations
picture     Selected stations or water stops of the Carson & Colorado Railroad were (moving southward): junction & interchange with the Virginia & Truckee Railroad at Mound House, Nevada; Dayton [elev. 4,396]; Fort Churchill [elev. 4,200]; Wabuska (junction with 41-mile-long Nevada Copper Belt Railway, 1909-1947); Yerington [elev. 4,295]; Rio Vista; Schurz [elev. 4,127]; Hawthorne, Nevada [elev. 4,331] (7.3-mile branch to Cottonwood, 1890-1902); Luning, Nevada [MP130, elev. 4,480]; Mina, Nevada [MP140, elev. 4,560]; Tonopah Junction, Nevada (junction with Tonopah & Goldfield RR, 1905-1947); Belleville; Filben (spur to Candelaria); Summit, Nevada; Montgomery Pass; Montgomery Tunnel (247 feet long; blocked by cave-in) [MP 461, elev. around 7,000]; Queen, Nevada [MP 466.7, elev. 6,172]; Benton, California; Hammill; Laws, California (now a museum) [elev. 4,117]; Zurich; Monola/Alvord; Aberdeen/Tibbets; Kearsarge [MP 550]; Manzanar, California; Owenyo (junction with Southern Pacific RR to Lone Pine, Ridgecrest, and Los Angeles); and ending at Keeler, California (below the Cerro Gordo Mines).
                 

Mound House, Nevada junction with V&TRR

Dayton, Nevada [elev. 4,396]

Fort Churchill, Nevada [elev. 4,200]

Wabuska, Nevada junction with 41-mile-long Nevada Copper Belt Railway, 1909-1947
first Wabuska station built by C&CRR in 1881; second Wabuska station built by S.P. in 1906; moved to Carson City & restored 1983
click here for photograph of Wabuska, Nevada Depot in 1967 (in a new window)   click here for photograph of Wabuska Depot after move to Carson City, Nevada (in a new window)

Yerington, Nevada [elev. 4,295]

Hawthorne, Nevada [elev. 4,331] 7.3-mile branch to Cottonwood, 1890-1902

Luning, Nevada [MP130, elev. 4,480]
Luning Depot still standing  click here for 1968 photograph (in a new window) - notice rails still in place

Mina, Nevada [MP140, elev. 4,560]

Tonopah Junction, Nevada junction with Tonopah & Goldfield RR, 1905-1947

Summit, Nevada

Montgomery Pass, Nevada [MP 461, elev. around 7,000]
Montgomery Tunnel 247 feet long; blocked by cave-in

Benton, California

Hammill, California

Laws, California [elev. 4,117]
Laws Railroad Museum & Historic Site [est. 1964]
original 1883 Laws Depot houses the museum
original 1883 agent's house
original 1883 A-frame 'armstrong' turntable
original 1883 water tanks

Zurich, California station for Bishop, California

Kearsarge, California  click here for color photograph of Kearsarge Station in 1950s (in a new window)

Manzanar, California

Owenyo, California junction with Southern Pacific RR to Lone Pine, Ridgecrest, and Los Angeles

Keeler, California  click here for b&w photograph of Keeler Station in 1955 (in a new window)

Carson & Colorado Locomotive Roster

yearwhytename/numberhistorydisposition/status
1880ng Baldwin 4-4-0(first) #1 'Candelaria'purchased newsold to Eureka & Palisade RR in 1907; to Sumpter Valley #10 in 1912; to Oregon Lumber Company #103; scrapped at Bates, Oregon circa 1936
1914ng Baldwin 2-8-0(2nd) #1ex-Nevada California Oregon Rwy #14; acquired in 1928sold to Nevada County Narrow Gauge RR as #9 in 1933; used by U.S. Navy in Hawaii 1942-1945; fate unknown
1953ng diesel B+B(3rd) #1General Electric 'Little Giant'click here for photograph (in a new window)  purchased 10/1953; sold in 1961; still in use in Mexico
1881ng Baldwin 4-4-0#2 'Bodie'purchased newclick here for photograph (in a new window)  scrapped in 1907
1881ng Baldwin 4-4-0(first) #3 'Colorado'purchased newscrapped in 1908
1887ng 4-4-0(2nd) #3ex-Nevada California Oregon Rwy #3; acquired in 1928scrapped in 1934
1881ng Baldwin 4-4-0(first) #4 'Churchill'purchased newsold to Nevada County Narrow Gauge RR as #7 in 1929; retired 1934, scrapped in 1937
1899ng 4-6-0(2nd) #4 'Comyn'ex-Nevada California Oregon Rwy #4; acquired in 1928not used; scrapped in 1934
1882ng Baldwin 4-4-0(first) #5 'Belleville'purchased newclick here for photograph (in a new window)  wrecked in 1923; scrapped in 1932
1899ng 4-6-0(2nd) #5ex-Nevada California Oregon Rwy #5; acquired in 1928scrapped in 1934
1882ng Baldwin 4-4-0(first) #6 'Hawthorne'purchased newclick here for photograph (in a new window)  scrapped in 1907
1877ng 4-4-0(2nd) #6ex-South Pacific Coast RR #6; acquired in 1905scrapped in 1926
1903ng 4-6-0(3rd) #6ex-Nevada California Oregon Rwy #6; acquired in 1928not used?; scrapped in 1934
1883ng Baldwin 4-4-0(first) #7 'Benton'purchased newscrapped in 1932
1903ng 4-6-0(2nd) #7ex-Nevada California Oregon Rwy #7; acquired in 1928not used; scrapped in 1935
1883ng Baldwin 4-4-0(first) #8 'Darwin'purchased newwrecked in 1923; scrapped in 1932  click here for photograph (in a new window)
1907ng 4-6-0(2nd) #8ex-Nevada California Oregon Rwy #8; acquired in 1928click here for 1948 photograph (in a new window)  click here for color photograph (in a new window)  donated to State of Nevada in 1955; moved to Sparks, Nevada; on display at city park  click here for 1995 photograph (in a new window)
1885ng 4-4-0(first) #9ex-South Pacific Coast RR #16; acquired in 1905scrapped in 1911
1909ng 4-6-0(2nd) #9ex-Nevada California Oregon Rwy #9; acquired in 1928donated by S.P. to Laws, California in 1960;
on outdoor display at Laws RR Museum [est. 1964]
1885ng 4-4-0#10ex-South Pacific Coast RR #17; acquired in 1905scrapped in 1933
1881ng 2-6-0#11ex-South Pacific Coast RR #11; acquired in 1905; rebuilt as 4-6-0 in 1924scrapped in 1934
1881ng 2-6-0#12ex-South Pacific Coast RR #12; acquired in 1905; rebuilt as 4-6-0 in 1924scrapped in 1934
1882ng 2-8-0#13ex-South Pacific Coast RR #13; acquired in 1905scrapped in 1927
1886ng 4-6-0#14ex-South Pacific Coast RR #18; acquired in 1905boiler service in 1945, scrapped in 1951
1889ng 4-6-0#15ex-South Pacific Coast RR #22; acquired in 1905scrapped in 1935
1886ng 4-6-0#16ex-South Pacific Coast RR #19; acquired in 1905scrapped in 1935
1887ng 4-6-0#17ex-South Pacific Coast RR #21; acquired in 1905click here for photograph (in a new window)
boiler service in 1945, scrapped in 1952
1911ng 4-6-0#18ex-Nevada California Oregon Rwy #12; acquired in 1928donated to Independence, California in 1955;
being restored in city park  click here for photograph (in a new window)
[5/2012 video #1 2:39] [8/2012 video #2 2:31]
1899ng 4-6-0 'Vindicator'#22built at Schenectady for Florence & Cripple Creek RR; then to N.C.O. Rwy #22 in 1915; acquired in 1929scrapped in 1949

DB's Carson & Colorado restoration site
Eastern California Museum proposal info {updated 5/2014}
restoration of S.P.N.G. steam locomotive #18
locomotive restoration promos: [5/2012 video #1 2:39] [8/2012 video #2 2:31]

photo gallery of S.P.N.G. freight cars at S.P.N.G. Historical Society
1881 B&S-built C&C first class coach #5 was sold in 1938 to Ward Kimball for his backyard Grizzly Flats Railroad,
which was donated in 2006 to Orange Empire Railway Museum.
1882 Carter Bros. C&C second class coach #39 (body only) is at Orange Empire Railway Museum.
1896 V&T-built C&C business car #10 'Esmeralda' (body only) is at Orange Empire Railway Museum.
S.P.N.G. red wooden combine #401 is at the Laws Museum in California

photo gallery of S.P.N.G. cabeese at S.P.N.G. Historical Society
1883 V&T-built C&C yellow baggage-caboose #1 is at the Laws Museum in California

photo gallery of S.P.N.G. freight cars at S.P.N.G. Historical Society
1891 CB-built S.P.N.G. wooden box car #449 is at O.E.R.M.
1892 S.P.N.G. wooden gondola #216 is at O.E.R.M.
1912 N-C-O / S.P.N.G. wooden stock car # 156 is at O.E.R.M.
1915 S.P.-built S.P.N.G. wooden stock car #157 is at O.E.R.M.
1917 S.P.N.G. wooden gondola #223 is at O.E.R.M.
C&C red wooden box car #7 is at the Laws Museum in California
S.P.N.G. red wooden boxcar #17 is at the Laws Museum in California
S.P.N.G. red wooden box car #132 is at the Laws Museum in California
S.P.N.G. red wooden stock car #168 is at the Laws Museum in California

Reading Material

Steamcars To The Comstock book by Lucius Beebe & Charles Clegg  "Steamcars To The Comstock: The Virginia & Truckee Railroad and The
Carson & Colorado Railroad" [1957] by Lucius Beebe & Charles Clegg

Darwin Publns 1st edition pb [1957] out of print/used
Howell-North Books 3rd edition 11¼x8¼ hardcover [6/70] out of print/many used
Howell-North Books 3rd edition 11¼x8 hardcover [1963] out of print/used
Howell-North Books 1st edition hardcover [1957] out of print/used
Slim Rails Through The Sand book by George B. Turner  Slim Rails through the Sand book on SPNG by George Turner  "Slim Rails Through The Sand: A Graphic Presentation of The Carson &
Colorado - Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Railroad" [1963]
by George Turner

Trans-Anglo Books pb [6/89] out of print/used
Trans-Anglo Books hardcover [1964] out of print/used
Johnston & Howe Publns hardcover [1963] out of print/used
Narrow Gauge Nostalgia book by George Turner  "Narrow Gauge Nostalgia: A Compendium of California Short Lines" [1965]
by George Turner

Trans-Anglo Books hardcover [1971] out of print/used
Johnston & Howe hardcover [1965] out of print/used
Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge book by Mallory Hope Ferrell  "Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge" [1982] by Mallory Hope Ferrell
Pacific Fast Mail 9x6½ hardcover [1982] out of print/used
Laws Railroad Museum pamphlet  "Laws Railroad Museum" pamphlet [1983]
Laws Railroad Museum pamphlet [1983] out of print/rare
Jawbone Sunset On The Lone Pine book by Phil Serpico  "Jawbone: Sunset On The Lone Pine" [2006] by Phil Serpico
Omni Publns 11x8¼ hardcover [2006] out of print/used
Omni Publns 11x8¼ hardcover [2006] out of print/used
Slim Princess In The Sunset book by Joe Dale Morris  "Southern Pacific's Slim Princess In The Sunset, 1940-1960" [2008]
by Joe Dale Morris

Southern Pacific Historical Technical Society hardcover [2008] out of print/scarce
Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Locomotives & Freight Equipment book by Robert A. Bader  "Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Locomotives & Freight Equipment - also including Carson & Colorado Railroad and Nevada & California Railroad, 1880-1960" [2010] by Robert A. Bader
S.P. Historical & Technical Society 11x8½x2" {3.4 pounds!} hardcover [2010] out of print/scarce


Films & TV,  Other Media

Narrow Gauge East of the Sierra on DVD  "Narrow Gauge East of The Sierra" [2007]
31 minutes of color archival footage
Sunday River Prodns color DVD [2007] for $28.95
Sunday River Prodns color DVD [undated] for $29.95 + s/h via third party vendors
Sunday River Prodns color VHS [undated] for $39.99 + s/h via third party vendor
Desert Princess Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Railroad on DVD  "The Desert Princess: Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge" [undated]
A&R Prodns DVD [undated] for $29.95

Image Gallery

Southern Pacific Narrow-Gauge Railroad locomotive #18 leaving Dolomite (notice the quarry explosion above the first boxcar)            old letterhead logo for the Carson & Colorado Railroad, circa 1890            1909 S.P.N.G. steam locomotive #9 on outdoor display with several freight cars at Laws Museum, California (engine is pointed NNW; shadows & trees suggest late afternoon in Autumn)

Carson & Colorado narrow-gauge / Southern Pacific standard-gauge hopper cars transfer trestle at Owenyo, California

Railroad Links
Carson & Colorado Railway entry at Wikipedia
Central Pacific Railroad entry at Wikipedia
Southern Pacific Railroad entry at Wikipedia
bare Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Railroad entry at Wikipedia

Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Historical Society [est. 1981]
Carson & Colorado Railroad [1880-1960] history site
Carson & Colorado history pages at Narrow Gauge on the Net
C&C - N&C - SPNG RR fansite
RB's C&C - SPNG RR fansite
Laws Railroad Museum & Historic Site [est. 1964] near Bishop, California
C&CRR / SPNGRR history & photographs page at the Owens Valley History Site

American Railroads Pages at Spirit of America Bookstore
Railroad Film Festival Pages at Spirit of America Bookstore
'Railroads in Fiction' Pages at Spirit of America Bookstore
'Non-Fiction Books About Railroads' Page at Spirit of America Bookstore


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Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad [est. 1970] in New Mexico & Colorado Page
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad [1870-1988] Page
Florida East Coast Railway [est. 1885]
Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad [1876-1942] in California Page
Sierra Railway [est. 1897] in California Page
Virginia & Truckee Railroad [1869-1950, rebuilt 1972 & 2006] in Nevada Page

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