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Date: 04/06/21 16:43
The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: funnelfan

I had the chance late Monday to explore the 17.25 miles of grade built northeast from Connell by the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co. The railroad grade was built late in 1905 from a connection with the OWR&N in Connell northeast toward Spokane. The goal was to complete a railroad from Spokane to the Columbia River at Ringold, WA where riverboats could connect. They got as far as 1.25 miles east of the intersection of Hwy 26 and Foulkes Rd before they quit. I presume they quit because the ground froze in December of 1905. By the time things started to thaw out the following March, Robert Strahorn and his North Coast RR had bought out the company and no more grading was done on this portion of the railroad. About 2 miles of grade was completed by the North Coast RR just west of Connell, but it's been totally plowed under since and there is no trace of it today. No track was ever laid on these grades.

1. When heading north on Hwy 395 passing Connell, WA, look to your right to see the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade climbing the hillside.

2. From this point Lind Rd was built on the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade for 6 miles. This initial section has a grade of 2.2% for 1.18 miles as it twists it's way to high ground in the distance.

3. Shallow fill and cut in the distance. Since Lind Rd was built on the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade, it features a cut where most roads would have stayed on top of the landscape.


 

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA








Date: 04/06/21 16:44
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: funnelfan

4. Great view of the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade where it leaves Lind Rd and continues as Lauer Rd.

5. Lauer Rd ends at Hatton road, but the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade continues up the creek. This location was platted as Delight by a land company associated with the railroad.

6. Beyond Delight the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade can be seen running along the creek. This view is from Hatton Rd.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/21 16:46 by funnelfan.








Date: 04/06/21 16:44
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: funnelfan

7. More views of the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade running along the creek. Notice the cuts on the far bank.

8. The grade of the S&CRR&N crosses the creek many times, Much of the grade is heavily overgrown with sagebrush and not easy to see.

9. Pile of cans and bottles at what I believe was a construction camp along the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade. I didn't have time to explore it as I was trying to get all the photos I wanted before the sun would set.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/21 16:49 by funnelfan.








Date: 04/06/21 16:44
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: funnelfan

10. The Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade was heavily eroded at Hoefel Rd where it was slated to cross the creek. There was a small shot-up boiler here, but I don't think it was connected to the railroad.

11. This elevator was built right along the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade and appears to be about the same vintage (1905). Probably built in anticipation of a railroad that never came.

12. The railroad would have ran right through the middle of the intersection of Hwy 26 and Foulkes Rd and continued 1.25 miles east by northeast. But the grade beyond this point has been totally obliterated by the farmer's plow.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/21 16:51 by funnelfan.








Date: 04/06/21 16:44
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: funnelfan

13. The grade ended just a few hundred feet past this farm field road, but no trace of it today.

14. Map of the Spokane & Columbia River Railroad & Navigation Co RR Grade running 17.25 miles northeast of Connell. After the North Coast RR bought the company, they added a couple more miles of grade just west of Connell. The thin RR track lines are just what I project as the intended route, but that is not confirmed.   

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/21 16:53 by funnelfan.






Date: 04/06/21 19:02
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: rgzfan

I love stuff like this.



Date: 04/06/21 19:06
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: wjpyper

Great story and series of pictures. Thanks for posting.
Bill Pyper
Lacey, WA
 



Date: 04/06/21 19:09
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: Bob3985

Nice photo essay. South of Cheyenne the old Denver Pacific grade is still quite visible climbing out of the Cheyenne valley along US 85.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 04/06/21 19:11
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: CimaScrambler

I really like these histories you put together.  This one is the best yet!
- Kit
 

Kit Courter
Torrance, CA
LunarLight Photography



Date: 04/06/21 19:21
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: Gonut1

Super interesting post. I really enjoy this type of report and photo series. I grew up across a road from a pair of trolley line bridge abutments. The line was built around the same time and abandoned by 1910 or so. Short life but those abutments still stand today. As kids we dug into the ballast and found joint bars pounded into the ground vertically, that a mystery, and spikes. The spikes were smaller than those of a steam railroad. What was interesting was even though arural trolley line it was rather well ballasted. Most were on the ground with a sparse sprinkle of steel mill slag or cinders. At a nearby intersetion of a state and US highway amny years ago I saw in an excavation for drainage or whatever ties and rails buried when the roads became paved. Only a few photos exist of the operation.
Thanks!
Go



Date: 04/06/21 21:38
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: Ritzville

Very interesting series with a great narrative!

Larry



Date: 04/06/21 22:57
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: yarrow

exceptionally interesting and exceptionally well done.  thanks



Date: 04/06/21 23:10
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: nickatnight

Fascinating.   The pic of the old grain elevator is so unique. 

Nickatnight



Date: 04/07/21 01:30
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: rrpreservation

Thanks for the detective work!! And for sharing!!!



Date: 04/07/21 05:50
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: GNSDP45

Those are neat maps too! Thanks for sharing.

Dan



Date: 04/07/21 08:28
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: bmarti7

Neat stuff Ted.

Bismarck Bill



Date: 04/07/21 10:39
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: MP90

Fanatastic compilation of history!



Date: 04/07/21 12:13
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: funnelfan

rantoul Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Right of way land was incomplete too. 

As far as I can tell, the grading was complete from the connection in Connell to where it abruptly ended in a field 17.25 miles to the northeast. Much of it became roads. I was using some old aerial imagery to see much of the grade that has been obliterated since. The grade on the west side of Connell was still in evidence at that time, but gone by 1969. I'm curious where you found these ROW maps and if you could share some more. I'm keen on the east side of Connell where the 1955 aerial imagery clearly shows the east leg of the wye, but the west leg was already obscured by development. I'm also curious if you have anything that shows the intended route west of Connell. There is a ravine a few miles west that I would like to see how they intended to cross it.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 04/07/21 19:42
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: Pacific5th

Great stuff Ted. I have never heard of this line. Amazing to think that Connel could not have had two but three RR's. Now the only RR business in that town is main line trains and the interchange with the CBRW. No local business at all.



Date: 04/07/21 20:13
Re: The Railroad you may have seen, but Never Knew About
Author: funnelfan

Pacific5th Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>  No local business at all.

I noticed the Lamb Weston / Americold facility is no longer getting reefers there in Connell.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



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