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Western Railroad Discussion > Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta


Date: 10/05/08 17:33
Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: graybeard1942

From today's Redding Searchlight

http://www.redding.com/news/2008/oct/05/relics-exposed-in-lake-shasta/

"Central Pacific Railroad's Tunnel No. 6 is easily viewed in the muddy river bottom below Lakeshore Drive, but it's about half-filled with silt.

Hornbeck said at least one other railroad tunnel, No. 5, can be seen further down the road. And another tunnel, No. 4, might emerge if the lake drops enough.

Hornbeck said that in 1977, a friend once piloted a boat through No. 4 when the lake dropped to its lowest-ever recorded level."



Date: 10/05/08 18:56
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: frnocom

I have never been, and will probably never go there, but thanks for the news.

Holy smokes, those photos are pretty cool......



Date: 10/05/08 20:11
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: spdaylight

Thanks for the posting . . . that is quite phenomenal . . . . driven over the existing bridge many times on the way to California from Canada. Now have an entire new appreciation of the area's history.



Date: 10/05/08 21:19
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: prr4828

The pictures are cool. Neat seeing the tunnel and r.r. bridge. Is the water level likely to drop further? Be neat to see more of that r.r. truss. The cutoff tower was interesting, too.

Looking at the tunnel portal, and the water marks on the bridge pier beyond, be strange to mountain bike at a spot that one previously needed scuba gear to visit.

Thanks for posting the link.

* JB *



Date: 10/05/08 21:48
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: graybeard1942

A trip off I-5 on Salt Creek Resort road will bring a lot of the low shore line into view. A number of TO posters have put up images this year from that area. Until there is a significant rainfall, the level won't rise very much.



Date: 10/05/08 23:04
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: Evan_Werkema

Completely coincidentally, I drove up to Lakehead today to see if Tunnel 6 was all the way out of the water, along with Tunnel 5 and the truss bridge (which is not "lying on its side" - there's a 1976 picture of it fully exposed in Signor's Shasta Route book - and some of the spans of the bridge were "scrapped out," or at least are now missing). Despite the blanket of overcast that lay over the lower Sacramento River Canyon almost all day Sunday, I spent most of the afternoon waiting for trains passing on the high trestle above Tunnel 6. There weren't many trains - I only saw or heard 5 while I was there, along with a gang of MoW equipment. However, I was seldom wanting for company, as pickup after 4WD pickup arrived with groups of adults and kids looking for the tunnel. I finally asked what was up and was directed to the article in the Searchlight.

Tunnel 6 isn't very long - maybe 150-200 feet at most. It is indeed about half-filled with silt - there's a thick blanket of the stuff across the whole floor of the valley, deposited over the years since the river was impounded. The now-liberated river in the area of Lakehead has already chewed down through about 3-4 feet of it, and I wonder how much further down the river's original, pre-lake channel was. Tunnel 6 appears have been only partially lined with concrete. Part of the ceiling of the unlined portion has collapsed, producing a "roof vent" as well as a barrier to walking through the tunnel (though some folks I saw apparently managed to do it - sooner them than me). Looks like Tunnel 6 gets "rediscovered" every time the lake level falls - the inside resembles Inscription Rock, with people carving their names in the concrete along with the date. There were quite a few new "2008" carvings, but if you look closely, there are also entries from 1991 and 1976. I mentioned this to one couple, and the lady said "Boy, I was in high school in 1976. Wish I had known about the tunnel then - we would have had FUN!" Symbolism left as an exercise for the student.

The article didn't mention it, but the low lake level has also exposed the entire, very handsome Lakeshore Dr. concrete arch bridge over Charlie Creek. In wetter years, the lake obscures much of the lower part of the bridge.



Date: 10/06/08 01:10
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: Evan_Werkema

1. SP Tunnel 5 and top of truss bridge, with blowups of dates.

2. UP 5438 east and SP Tunnel 6 west portal. The mud was just dry enough to walk on.

3. Some UP MoW equipment westbound and visitors to SP Tunnel 6 west portal.








Date: 10/06/08 01:23
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: Evan_Werkema

4. Collapse inside west portal of Tunnel 6. Nothing like 50+ years of soaking to remove those ground-in soot stains on your tunnel ceiling!

5. Graffiti inside the west portal of Tunnel 6. No spray paint in evidence - either the tunnel only attracts carvers, or the paint gets soaked/abraded off when the lake is up.

6. Tunnel 6 east portal. Note the roof collapse just inside. The trestle is right above me.








Date: 10/06/08 01:25
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: Evan_Werkema

7. Lakeshore Dr. concrete arch bridge over Charlie Creek near Tunnel 6.




Date: 10/06/08 07:16
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: traindude109

Evan_Werkema,

Great photos! My friend Tim and I were down there yesterday as well. Did we see you someplace?



Date: 10/06/08 09:37
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: spdaylight

Evan
Thanks for posting the follow up photos . . . absolutely fascinating . . . was the Lakeshore bridge ever part of Highway 99?



Date: 10/06/08 11:22
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: DNRY122

Taking a boat through a tunnel is an everyday occurrence in parts of England where canals that were once important routes of commerce have become places for leisurely boating and even organized tours. Not sure whethe it's still in service, but there used to be a bridge that carried a canal over a valley. It must have been quite a sight to see a boat cruising along "way up there".



Date: 10/06/08 11:22
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: TCnR

Good info, quite a few RF's have been asking about the tunnels and also tracing the old SP line before the Dam project.



Date: 10/06/08 12:28
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: BobP

prr4828 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is the water level likely to drop
> further? Be neat to see more of that r.r. truss.
> The cutoff tower was interesting, too.

Given a choice I am sure there are more than a few water rationed Californians that would like to see all that neat stuff under water (me included)except during a maintenance draw down.



Date: 10/06/08 12:53
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: truxtrax

DNRY122 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Taking a boat through a tunnel is an everyday
> occurrence in parts of England where canals that
> were once important routes of commerce have become
> places for leisurely boating and even organized
> tours. Not sure whether it's still in service, but
> there used to be a bridge that carried a canal
> over a valley. It must have been quite a sight to
> see a boat cruising along "way up there".

Pontcysylite Viaduct is very much in use on the Llangollen Canal in Northeast Wales and 1007 ft. long and 128 ft. high over the River Dee. When I go back to the UK for my next ride on the Blaneau Ffestiniog Railway I'm including a week long cruise which will include a ride across the viaduct.

Butch,,,,,here we go



Date: 10/06/08 14:04
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: NscaleMike

Great shots Evan, very fascinating, thanks for sharing.



Date: 10/06/08 15:32
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: Amtkrd4man

Here are a couple from the 1976 drought...






Date: 10/06/08 17:28
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: photobob

Heres the same location a couple of years ago.

Robert Morris Photography
http://www.snowcrest.net/photobob/index1.html





Date: 10/06/08 17:36
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: jdb

spdaylight Wrote:
------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for posting the follow up photos . . .
> absolutely fascinating . . . was the Lakeshore
> bridge ever part of Highway 99?

Evans Lakeshore Drive bridge was U.S. HY 99. They just put an extension on the deck to get the present Lakeshore Drive above water.

The Redding Searchlight photo of the bridge being used as a temporary dock is 99 across the Sacramento. The other side is looking up Salt Creek.

If you go over to I-5, take the Salt Creek exit, and follow it to where it goes under the railroad, that road going down the canyon was 99. 99 from Salt Creek went over to O'Brien Creek, over the next ridge, and then down to the McCloud River. It followed the west(north?) side of the McCloud, crossed Turntable Creek, and about a 1000 feet downstream from where the Pit and McCloud joined, it crossed the Pit on a nice looking, low, concrete arch bridge. (just to the east of the present Pit River bridge)

(Go to the historical society and you can find pics of that bridge. The visitors center at the dam has pics of that bridge with the present Pit River bridge under construction.)

I have maps that were drawn for the construction of the dam. The elevation of the bridge, in the Redding Searchlight photo, at this end, is 905 feet. The 99 bridge across the Pit is at about 700. If you can get that lake to drop a little more you will be seeing the 99 bridge across the Pit when you cross the present I-5 Pit River bridge. (NB <G>)

Looking at the topo, there should be some standing on end country downstream from tunnel #4.

If you know the length of tunnel #5, the river makes a loop to the west that is about nine times the length of #5. Tunnel #4 is three times as long as #5. The river loops to the west about seven times the length of #4. The railroad saved a lot of distance by not following the river.

jb



Date: 10/07/08 11:36
Re: Relics, tunnels exposed in Lake Shasta
Author: Evan_Werkema

traindude109 Wrote:

> Great photos! My friend Tim and I were down there
> yesterday as well. Did we see you someplace?

Could be. I spent most of the afternoon at the west portal of Tunnel 6 (blue jacket, broad-brim hat). Was this you?




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