Saturday, July 12, 2008

History of the California Door Company and its logging railroads #3

This history was prepared by Robert Niles for the Eldorado National Forest in 1979. The El Dorado Western Railway blog will reprint serialized portions of Mr. Nile’s report in the coming months.

The railroad was to be a three-foot, narrow gauge and would be 34.69 miles long. Construction progressed rapidly as the D&C was financed by a sound and prosperous company. Ties and bridge timbers were sawn out at the Caldor Mill and the track work advanced westward from Caldor to Diamond Springs.

A total of 63 trestles with a combined length of 10,992 feet were required to traverse the difficult terrain. A steel bridge structure 97 feet long was built to cross the North Fork of the Comsumnes River and was one of the longest ever built for a logging railroad up to the time.

Ties and trestle timbers were delivered to the work crews with the steam tractor and the work progressed rapidly. The Diamond and Caldor Railway line was completed in October 1904 after 18 months of construction and a cost of $388,788.00.

The first locomotive to see service was a Baldwin saddle tank 2-4-2T built in 1887 and purchased used from the Ferries and Cliff House Railway (their #3). At the same time locomotive #2, a Lima two-truck Shay #863 was purchased new and put into service.

Rolling stock was equipped with link and pin couplings standard for the times and which would eventually be the deciding factor in the termination of the railroad some 50 years later.

I'll post the next installment in two weeks ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am researching the life history of George Osborne Wilson from East Machias, ME. Can you tell me anything about "Nat" Wilson? Was he related to George and if so how?

Thank you so much for your help.

C.J. Grady