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elna

 
Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Railroad

southern pacific lines

Decommissioning  
carson n colorado

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All material courtesy of Rich McCutchan unless otherwise noted.
See USE NOTICE on Home Page.
train and tower


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The End of a Most Remarkable Era


last run

Engine No. 9 sporting a phony smoke stack and headlamp with a group of narrow gauge rail aficionados in the late 1950s.


fan run

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last run
The "Slim Princess" making a final run from Laws to Owenyo loaded with SPNG fans.
[Photo from Greg Brown]

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Exploring a Ghost Railroad
by Gary Speck

GPS Locations
by Gary Speck

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carson and colorado route
Carson & Colorado Railroad Route from
Moundhouse, NV to Keeler, CA

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Closing Days of the Carson & Colorado in Owens Valley

 
last run

These final words echoed the end of the Keeler Branch of the narrow gauge railroad in Owens Valley.


number 9 in tow
The "Grand Old Lady," engine No. 9, rides a free pass on her last trip. Having failed to pass an I.C.C. boiler inspection earlier, No. 9 was deprived of making her last run by her own power.

 
removing ties

Spike puller requiring a bit of help from the spikes fused to the ties.


pulling up rails
 
The track gang keeps a steady pace as the scrap train nears Kearsarge.

 pulling up rails
The first portion of the Keeler Branch rail that was removed is loaded at Zurich in September, 1960.


pulling up rails

South of Laws. Premature removal of a section of track at Zurich prevented the customary removal of the rails.


slim rails

Last crew of the "Slim Princess" on April 29, 1960.
L/R: Bob Cartt (Agent), Bob Olson (Brakeman), Jerry Jones (Brakeman), G. C. McGhee (Conductor), W.C. "Furgie" Furguson (Engineer), Mr. Graves (Fireman)

wheel parts
Rolling Stock wheels collection.


pulling first spike at Laws Station
Ceremonial "Pulling of the First Spike" at Laws Station
hobo on the tracks
The last of the Carson & Colorado RR hobos.

last run to keeler

Last run to Keeler departing on April 29, 1960. Bringing to a close 80 years of Carson & Colorado Railroad history.
laws oil and water tower
Laws oil and water tower.
lamp



 "Ghost Rails to Oblivion"
by George Turner




laws railroad station
Abandoned Laws Railroad Station - Laws, CA

laws station

Laws Station with Diesel #1 - April 1960


box cars for sale

Thursday, September 22, 1960 classified advertisement.

taking on water
No. 18 taking on water in Owens Valley.

gallow turntable
Gallows turntable originally at Owenyo was originally used at Keeler.

keeler dry dock
A former Carson & Colorado baggage-mail car provides storage for tools along with a boxcar and several sheds.


fan run

No. 18 near Mt. Whitney with a bunch of fans getting a ride - 1954

end of the line

Engine No. 18 makes a caboose-hop during this twilight run on the narrow gauge in Owens Valley.

 
reclaimed by time

Reclaimed by time.

  
forgotten rails

Lonesome and deserted ties in the sand.

new 08/22
abandoned line
Looking south of Owenyo - Spring 1971, 7 years after the rails were pulled up
(Photo courtesy of Rick Donaldson)

new 08/22
keeler
Abandoned maintenance shop at Keeler - 1971
(Photo courtesy of Rick Donaldson)

new 08/22
keeler depot
SP Keeler depot, 8 years after service ended - April 1968
(Photo courtesy of Rick Donaldson)

new 08/22
sierra talc
Remains of the Sierra Talc processing plant - 2011
(Photo courtesy of Rick Donaldson)

new 08/22
river crossing
Looking north at the remains of a railroad trestle on the SP narrow gauge.
Five miles south of Big Pine near Fish Springs hatchery. - July 1970
(Photo courtesy of Rick Donaldson)
 


Ghost Boxcars

Did you ever wonder where all of those C&C boxcars used on the narrow gauge railway in Owens Valley ended up? Would it surprise you if I mentioned names like Henry Olivis, Dr. Bill Smart, Bob White and Ben Baker, to name a few, were proud owners of some of those cars. If you're interested who else in Owens Valley, at least as of 1982, ended up with those boxcars then click on the link below and enjoy.



"Carson and Colorado Railroad Boxcar Locations"
by Mallory Ferrell


 
Ghosts of the Carson & Colorado


C & C Police Badge courtesy of Rich McCutchan

NOTE: According to Dennis Burke, President of the Carson & Colorado./ Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Historical Society

"This Carson & Colorado Police Badge is a FRAUD. There was never a C&C Police. You can also confirm this with the Railroad Historians at both the Nevada and California State RR Museums. This badge was made by a person in Texas who has made several others that are frauds and sold them on e-bay. We watched this a few years back while it was on e-bay a observed how much the buyer paid. (it was a shame). We actually contacted the seller and was told by him that he purchased it at a flea market and was going by what he was told. This is what he tells us every time we contact him about his badges.




 Below is a picture of a lock and key from the famed Carson & Colorado Railroad which recently (Dec. 2002) sold on E-Bay.
[photo by Jason Lubra]

lock

lock



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Carson & Colorado RR Photos Courtesy of Rich McCutchan
carson and colorado railroad

carson and colorado railroad

Ceremonial "Last Run" (April 29, 1960) of the famed Southern Pacific
Carson & Colorado narrow gauge railway - Engine #9, the "Slim Princess".
Engine #9 is currently in the Laws Railroad Museum in Laws, CA.

last run

Final run of Carson & Colorado RR Engine No. 9 with a load of railroad fans - 1954
[Photo courtesy of Eastern California Museum]


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dave rowan
Southern Pacific Standard Gauge Trestles crossing the Owens River
[Photo courtesy of Dave Rowan]


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Remnants of a romantic bygone era of the Carson & Colorado Railway

zurich station

Remains of the Carson & Colorado roadbed at Zurich Station
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

zurich station

Remains of the Carson & Colorado roadbed at Zurich Station
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]


zurich station
Remains Carson & Colorado Railroad at Zurich Station
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]


kearsarge station
Remains of the Carson & Colorado Railroad at Kearsarge Station
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]


owenyo road
Remains of the Carson & Colorado roadbed along Owenyo Road
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]
kearsarge station
Remains Carson & Colorado Railroad at Kearsarge Station
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

owenyo road

Remains of the Carson & Colorado roadbed along Owenyo Road
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

owenyo
Remains of Owenyo Transfer Trestle at Owenyo, CA - 2017
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

owenyo
Remains of Owenyo Transfer Trestle at Owenyo, CA - 2017
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

owenyo
Remains of Owenyo Transfer Trestle at Owenyo, CA - 2017
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

owenyo
Remains of Owenyo Transfer Trestle at Owenyo, CA - 2017
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

owenyo

Remains of Owenyo Transfer Trestle at Owenyo, CA - 2017
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

little lake

Remains of the Southern Pacific roadbed at Little Lake, CA - 2017
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

lone pine station

Remains of Lone Pine Depot, Lone Pine, CA - 2016
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

slim princess

Slim Princess No. 9 at Laws Railroad Museum, Laws, CA - 2013
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

keeler station

Keeler Depot, Keeler, CA - 2016
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

owenyo

Remains of the Southern Pacific Standard Gauge roadbed at Owenyo, CA
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

owenyo

Remains of the Southern Pacific Standard Gauge roadbed at Owenyo, CA
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

kearsarge

C&C remnants at Kearsarge site
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]
keeler depot
Remains of the Carson & Colorado RR Depot in Keeler, CA
[Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea]

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Photographs courtesy of Rich McCutchan
southern pacific
Southern Pacific Engine #9 making a last run in Owens Valley

southern pacific

Southern Pacific Enginer #8 with a load of railroad fans.

southern pacific

Southern Pacific Enginer #8 with a load of railroad fans.

southern pacific

Southern Pacific Enginer #8 with a load of railroad fans.

southern pacifica

Southern Pacific Engine #9 making a last run in Owens Valley
southern pacific
Southern Pacific Engine #8 with a load of railroad fans.

fan train
Southern Pacific with a load of railroad fans on a run from Laws to Keeler

keeler
The glory of Keeler's narrow gauge raiload a ghost of the past.
taking up the rails
Removing rails on the the Southern Pacific narrow gauge line near Monola Siding - 1960.
(Eastern California Museum - Virtual Transportation Museum photo)


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fan train
SPNG #18 making a last run with a bunch of railroad fans onboard.
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke).

giveing railway fans a ride

Railway fans on the Slim Princess in 1948
(Photo courtesy Rich McCutchan)

fan train

October 1954 - The last official run of the Slim Princess at Owenyo
(Photo courtesy Eastern California Virtual Transportation Museum)
last days
The "Last Days" of the Carson & Colorado Narrow Gauge RR
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

daton

Bucket bulk elevator for loading talc into train cars at Owenyo.

slim rails

Removed railroad ties from the abandonment of the Tonopah Junction to Benton section in 1943.


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decomission
Tearing up the rails along the Owens Valley SPNG at Kearsarge - Looking south
above kearsarge
Tearing up the rails along the Owens Valley SPNG north of Kearsarge - 1960

owenyo
Tearing up the rails along the Owens Valley SPNG at Owenyo, CA

owenyo
Tearing up the rails along the Owens Valley SPNG at Owenyo, CA

owenyo
Owenyo being dismanteled - 1960
owenyo hotel
Owenyo Hotel and SPNG yard being dismanteled - 1960

owenyo
Owenyo being dismanteled - 1960

owenyo

Owenyo being dismanteled - 1960

owenyo

Owenyo being dismanteled - 1960
This is an image of Owenyo where the Narrow and Standard gauge met. Photo taken in 1960 looking NE across the standard gauge track. The tall metal structure was the Perlite loader where the very fine material perlite was transferred from the NG cars to the SG cars. The building in the background was the Owenyo Hotel. Much of the walls of the hotel were constructed from old SG box car bodies. The depot would have been just the othere side of the perlite loader. It still stands today in Keeler as the Volunteer Fire Department. It too was constructed of old box cars..
(text courtesy of Dennis Burke)
 

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new 08/22

Photographs courtesy of Garth Groff
garth
SP Baggage Postal Car C.P.4, Keeler, CA - 1967
garth
SP Baggage Postal Car EX C.P.4, Keeler, CA - 1967

garth
SP Baggage Postal Car EX C.P.4, Keeler, CA - 1967

garth
SP Crossing Sign, Keeler, CA - 1967

garth
SP Depot, Keeler, CA - 1967

garth
SP Depot, Keeler, CA - 1967

garth
SP Ice House, Keeler, CA - 1967

garth
SPPaint Locker, Keeler, CA - 1967

garth
SP Pump House, Keeler, CA - 1967



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new 10/21

keeler
Keeler Depot - circa 2020
(Photo courtesy of Willie Jardine)
keeler
Keeler Depot
(Photo courtesy of Willie Jardine)

keeler
Keeler
(Photo courtesy of Willie Jardine)

keeler
Keeler circa late 1970s
(Photo courtesy of Willie Jardine)

keeler
keeler

Keeler - Open Air repair shops
Taken in November (photo on the left), 1964 on our way back from the Death Valley Encampment. First saw these in November 1959 when tracks were still present. Unfortunately I do not have a picture. Later, in 1970 I camped out here and if I can find them, I have the picture to prove it! These are the outdoor shops of the Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge, Keeler, California. I think they post date the Carson and Colorado RR.
(Photo and text courtesy of Sean Donovan)

The image Sean posted is the Keeler service facilities after the rails were pulled as Sean mentioned. This image is looking north from about where the locomotive water tank was. The engine house would have been just about where the tall bushes are in the photo......Starting from the furthest structure on the right coming towards us.....This is the original Carson & Colorado RR baggage car #4 which still exists in Keeler at another location. This car was detrucked and used as a tool house for many years...Next coming our way in the image is a standard gauge box car that was also used as a tool shed and shop. Next is another tool and storage building. Next and closest is a structure that has been described in several writings as being a washing and shower facility. In some images you can see a ground level pipe running from the water tank to this structure.....Being an outside work facility I would image this so called shower structure was used often just to cool down during the hot summer months........On the left of this image you can see the pipe and tin covered lean to type structure. In photos you can see the welding tanks and other related equipment would be stored here...Hope this helps....Thank you for sharing this photo Sean...Oh, I should mention that the main line would have been behind the facility structures on the right of the photo. Depot behind photographer some ways back....I will search for a matching image when the rails were in place.
(Text courtesy of Dennis Burke)


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Early Bishop Residents  

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More, Owens Valley - Carson & Colorado Railroad
 

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This page was last updated on 13 August 2022