Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Railway maintenance crews uncover rail spur

Backhoe operator Bob McCormack skillfully scooped the six- to eight-inch layer of soil that had covered the spur track for the past 20 years. Bob pulled the bucket over the layer of soil without disturbing the rails or ties. Once he exposed the long buried ties, the maintenance-of-way crew removed the loosened dirt with hand tools.

Completed in 1888, the historic Placerville Branch rail line became an "important feeder branch line after the turn of the (twentieth) century for the Southern Pacific, producing hundreds of carloads annually, mostly lumber and refrigerated loads of deciduous fruits," said Doug Noble today in the Mountain Democrat newspaper.

For the first time since the Southern Pacific ceased rail operations in El Dorado County in 1987, the El Dorado Western Railway has started the process of rehabilitating the rail line for railroad operations. Volunteers are working three to four days each week on the El Dorado County Historical Railroad Park.

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