Monday, April 7, 2014

The Impossible Railroad

After reading this book about The Impossible Railroad I now understand a bit better some of the things I have seen in Carrizo Gorge and on the railway tracks.

This was one of many telephone booths placed along the tracks in the 1940's, it helped communications between the long distances of the railway
I have no idea what this thing is

About a mile and a half north of the De Anza Resort there are some wheel and axle debris on the side of the Gorge and down in the bottom. I always thought this was from the railway efforts, turns out to be from a 1928 movie called Beggars of Life (the train wrecks at the end but watch the whole movie anyway)

Here are some photos of the debris in 2011-2013
This looked a small ore cart or something, it was halfway down the hill. The wheels are dated 1909

This looked a small ore cart or something, it was halfway down the hill. The wheels are dated 1909

More train wheels

More train debris

Workers along the route made camps as needed and many were just below or above the current tunnel or trestle project
Here are a few remains Scotty C and I found
This looked like either a foundation for a structure or possible reinforcement for a road that wraped around to the left and up into the canyon going up to the train tracks.

I believe this to be the air compressor plant remains
Not really sure what this camp was. It had several cement foundations and lots of debris

An old gear up on the cement foundations

This is at the air compressor plant area but shows an east view. You can see foundations and remnants of a tram/trail going up the canyon
You can see the rock wall to the upper right and the cement foundations on the left and some old wooden barrel debris in th lower middle

Some of the incredibly tough cholla landscape they had to deal with, even with modern REI gear this is tough terrain
Cholla and Cactus field, looking south

Cholla field in Carrizo Gorge

Rattlesnakes were always a problem as well, here is one Scotty C and I saw at the bottom of Goat Canyon Trestle on one was gorgeous but huge!!

Scotty C whacking his way thru the thick Carrizo brush in the Gorge
Scot wacking some carrizo down

Part of the seven sisters trestle cluster, view from down in the Gorge
Nice curves on the trestles. You can see the train cars on the side of the hill

The Coors Beer car you see in the distance was an accident from a junior engineer that over throttled the train on his first run. Two Coors Beer trailers derailed.