Showing posts from April, 2020

The Sumpter Valley Railway

The Sumpter Valley Railway ran between Baker City, OR and Prairie City, OR. Part of the line used an earlier, unbuilt Union Pacific Railroad right of way for a Denver to the Pacific Coast line. Construction first began in 1890, the same year the first trains began running. ( Right of way ) It was primarily an operation for hauling logs to a sawmill at Baker City, but in addition to logging, the line also carried passengers and other revenue service. By 1910, it reached its full extent south to Prairie City. It wouldn't be long before automobile and trucking competition would prove too much for the line. Just 23 years after reaching Prairie City, the line abandoned the road south of Sumpter. By 1947, all but an industrial operation in Baker City remained of the line. Sumpter Valley Railway Company Number 16 Today,  a heritage line  uses the original right of way between  Sumpter and McEwen , with the rest of the line abandoned. A small part of the former road is now underwater at 

Visiting Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu (By Jet Lagged Jaff)

My Visit to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Modern Day Machu Picchu. Image: Chelsea Cook, Pexels One of history's most famous archaeological sites is that of Machu Picchu , an ancient Incan city built on the side of Huayna Picchu Mountain, located in present day Peru. In January, our friend JetLaggedJaff was able to visit this amazing world heritage site, and share his thoughts on visiting. Take it away! Before I discuss my visit to this magnificent civilization, I want to give a little basic history behind it. As some of you may know, Machu Picchu was built back in the 15th century and eventually abandoned in the 16th century. Machu Picchu was used as a royal estate built by the Incan Emperor Pachacuti. Construction of Machu Picchu began in the 14th century, after the Incans defeated the Chanca people in the territory. It was built as a refuge for the Incan aristocrats.  Located nearly 8000' above sea level, mountainous weather and fog are common climac

The Eureka & Palisade Railroad

The Eureka & Palisade Railroad connected its namesake towns in Nevada, beginning in 1873. A narrow-gauge operation, it was built to connect the central Nevada town of Eureka with the rest of the US Railroad Network at Palisade, reaching its full extent of 84 miles by 1875. ( Right of way ) Like many of Nevada's abandoned railroads, it was instrumental in silver mining. And, like many of those lines, it had many setbacks throughout its life. Floods, fires, derailments, and the decline of the silver ore industry would hamper the line throughout its existence. Nonetheless, it lasted over 60 years, making it longer lasting than many other examples of short-line railroads. Although the line was abandoned in 1938, a couple pieces of rolling stock remain in existence, including the Eureka Locomotive , which is still in operation, and has been used in several railroad museums, despite being privately owned. Image: Eureka Locomotive via the Nevada State Railroad Museum , Carson City. F

A St. Louis Heritage Line: The St. Louis Chain-of-Rocks Railroad

The St. Louis Chain of Rocks Railroad was a tourist operation in the City of St. Louis, running from a junction with the Burlington Northern Railroad, north three miles on industrial track that was also used to transport materials to St. Louis' Water Treatment Plant. ( Right of way ) Before the SLCR, the line was part of the St. Louis City Railroad. SLCR 406. Image: Paul Hunnell, 1994. FRRandP photo collection. According to the 1974 timetable , "passenger trains of this railroad will operate between the hours of 1:00 and 5:00 P.M. on the second Sunday of each month from April through October. The St. L. and C. R. Railroad operates 3 miles of track in north St. Louis, from the Burlington Northern Jct. to Mississippi River Dam #27. All passengers must board trains at the Briscoe Station, located at the intersection of Riverview and Lookaway Drives. Free parking. Passengers of all ages may ride these trains free of any charge. Donations are welcome and will be used to maintain an

The Havana Rantoul & Eastern Railroad

The Havana Rantoul & Eastern Railroad was one of the very few narrow-gauge railways in the State of Illinois. Construction began in 1875, and eventually the line ran from LeRoy, IL to West Lebanon, IN. A Havana-LeRoy segment of the road was proposed, but never constructed. ( Right of way ) Image: "A westbound Illinois Central train passes the Sabina station en route to LeRoy. This was the first grain elevator east of LeRoy on the colorful “Punkin’ Vine.” ( Jack Keefe ) It was built in response to the Illinois Central Railroad , whom financier Benjamin F. Gifford believed was charging exorbitant freight rates. Locals referred to the operation as the Punkin’ Vine, alluding to its narrow trackage. Havana Rantoul & Eastern RR Stock Certificate. ( Amazon ) Like many short lines , it ran on a shoestring budget, and had little in the way of rolling stock. Less than five years into its life, it was purchased by the Wabash Railroad. Havana Rantoul & Eastern

From Railyard to National Icon: Toronto's CN Tower

As the North American railway network contracts in size (while improving efficiencies and moving more tonnage overall), there are many examples of former railroad property that has been converted into prime real estate, as many railyards were once built in and around major cities in the United States and Canada. Chinatown Square in Chicago, and Heinz Stadium in Pittsburgh are two of the many examples of this, and something we've discussed before .  In Canada, the Canadian National Railway turned a redundant railyard into Toronto's Entertainment District, which houses, among other venues, the Toronto Railway Museum , and the CN Tower, the subject of today's blog. JetLaggedJaff visited the Tower in 2015, and shared his thoughts on the visit. CN Tower Stock Image The CN Tower, also known as The Canadian National Tower, was constructed from 1973 to 1976. It was built over the former Railway Lands. The Railway Lands is a neighborhood in Toronto near the waterfr