Little Trains That Do Big Work

Joseph l.CoxStarred Page By Joseph l.Cox, 1st Nov 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/317l115p/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Trains

Trains are one of the most useful mean of transporting people and goods there is, from point a to point b. they are fast and efficient and carry a big pay load. This is why they opted to put in a narrow gauge rail road in Nevada County

Just a little train

A little train is just exactly that, a little train, not normal size. The big trains that haul freight across country and over the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Rocky Mountains dwarf the little trains. These little trains were called narrow gauge, because their tracks were not wide like the track for the big trains, the little trains have a definite place in railroading. Take note of size and width of track.

Width of track is what makes the gauge

Virtually every country has a railroad and most are of the narrow gauge or less than standard gauge. Standard gauge is considered to be 4 feet 8 and ½ inches anything less is considered narrow gauge. The first known rail way use was in 1556 in a mine where the ore cars were pushed by hand out of the mine on narrow gauge tracks. The narrowest gauge we know of was one foot -11and1/2 inches. Most narrow gauges are from 2ft to3’6”.
In many instances the size of the narrow gauge makes it the more practical choice, for instance it will go through a smaller tunnel, also to cross a canyon the trestle can be smaller and cost less to build. The other thing is it can go across more unstable ground because it is not so heavy.

What it took to make a railroad

There is one narrow gauge that I will elaborate on because it is kind of unique and it fits in with my other articles about gold. This is the Nevada County Narrow Gage Railroad. Its run was from Colfax, California where it connected with the main Southern Pacific at that time the main line was still Central Pacific, line to Grass Valley, then onto Nevada City where it turned around and headed back to Colfax.

Then railroad was incorporated in 1874, and operated until 1943. The length of run was 22.15 miles, and at one time had the highest railroad bridge in all of California. It was a complete railroad with 2 bridges, 2 tunnels, and 5 trestles; the highest bridge was across the Bear River built in 1908. An act of congress enabled it to be built; they gave it free right of ways across public lands.
The estimated cost of construction was $411,000, but when it was all said and done it cost $500,000 to build. The rail road employed 600 men to build. The mining industry was all wrapped up in the Railroad too. The first president was John C. Colman, who at the time was also the president of the North Star Mines, a man named Kidder who was the contractor decided to settle down in Grass Valley.

The RR was a commercial link to the world

The train hauled gold out of Nevada county to the main line in Colfax for all the years it operated and never had an attempted robbery, the amount of gold they moved was big, $200,000 ,000 dollars worth. I think it was the terrain that discouraged the robbers, because the country the train goes through is hilly and steep in some places and not good footing for a horse.

One of the stops the train used to make was at a mining town of YOU BET, at You Bet the gold had played out so they were hauling gravel for road building, from there they went on to Chicago Park which was a fruit growing region to load fruit to take to the markets in the City of San Francisco and Sacramento, then they went on to Grass Valley and Nevada City.

The End of the Line

In 1942 the railroad was sold to Dulian Steel Products Company who then scrapped everything for the war effort and that was the end of the NCRR company. Except they saved Engine # 5 and that is the engine you see in all the old western movies, they say John Wayne shot a lot of Indians and outlaws from that train.
Engine #5 is still alive and well in the Nevada city railroad museum.

Photos from Wikipedia creative commons.
Text reference from wikipedia but not directly Quoted

Personal note:

On the way home from school my friends and i would climb the stairs leading to the East Bennet St terminal and rail yard of the NCRR , and just fool around then we would walk on down the right of way on our way home.. It was shorter than walking on the streets of town. we found all kinds of interesting things to do on the way home.

Tags

Mines, Narrow Gauge, Smaller Foot Print, Trestles, Tunnels, World

Meet the author

author avatar Joseph l.Cox
started writing 2 yr ago, to help afriend with some research. i enjoyed it and decided i would do thi on my own, i still enjoy. i write alot of personal stories and health articles.

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Comments

author avatar Tanushree S
1st Nov 2012 (#)

Excellent article. Thanks for the nice read!!

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author avatar Clarence Schreiber
1st Nov 2012 (#)

Awesome article. I love trains to begin with. Reading this was great. Thank you for writing this article.

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author avatar Joseph l.Cox
2nd Nov 2012 (#)

Thanks your comment, glad you enjoyed
joe

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author avatar Joseph l.Cox
2nd Nov 2012 (#)

I will be doing an article on teh big trains later on, have to do more research.
joe

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author avatar Mikey
2nd Nov 2012 (#)

The little train that could. Your article Joe re-enforces the reasons why model trains are so popular.
Good Stuff.

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author avatar Joseph l.Cox
2nd Nov 2012 (#)

thjanks mike. glad you enjoyed it
joie

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
2nd Nov 2012 (#)

An excellent account of the old trains that take us down the memory lane. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Joseph l.Cox
2nd Nov 2012 (#)

thaks for commenting
n

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
3rd Nov 2012 (#)

We had mostly metre gauge in India decades ago - that is 3 feet 3 3/8 inches. Now they are mostly on the way out. Thanks for an interesting article - siva

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author avatar Joseph l.Cox
4th Nov 2012 (#)

thjanks siva ,glad u enjoyed it
joe

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author avatar Ptrikha
13th Mar 2013 (#)

Great writeup, and I enjoy it very much!

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author avatar Retired
13th Apr 2013 (#)

great job. the little train was cute.

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