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Steam & Excursion > The Sad End To Such A Popular Steam Railroad Caught On Film!


Date: 04/04/21 03:57
The Sad End To Such A Popular Steam Railroad Caught On Film!
Author: LoggerHogger

All good things eventually come to an end.  Such was the case in March, 1966 when Jim Wren went back to Tuolumne, California to check in on his beloved West Side Lumber Co. 

In the mill yards in town, there were still a number of the West Side Shays parked and waiting for new homes.  Later that year Shay #10 would be sold to Rudy Stauffer for his new Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.  However, out of town on the way up to River Bridge, a scrapper was hard at work tearing up the narrow gauge track that had once seen six log trains each day during the cutting season on the West Side.

In the first view we see the scrappers Caterpillar tractor running through what is left of Baker Siding just out of Tuolumne.  On the left are some log cars loaded with the rails torn up from this once busy yard.

The next 2 views are closer to River Bridge in the Tuolumne River Canyon.  The scrapper is loading rails onto a pair of former Swayne Lumber skeleton log cars that came to the West Side in 1939 after Swayne shut down for good.

It is interesting to not the in just 2 short years (1968) Frank Cottle would revive part of the West Side with his newly formed Westside & Cherry Valley Railway.  Then in 1970, Pickering Lumber would take over the WS&CV and would go to the effort to relay the track the mainline track up to River Bridge that we see being ripped up here.

Steam trains up to River Bridge would last for less than 2 years and then the last operations were simply by railcar until that closed down for good as well in the late 1970's.  Since then the rails to River Bridge have been covered by grass, rock slides and are barely visable in many places.  Such is the end of the West Side.

Martin



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/21 04:11 by LoggerHogger.








Date: 04/04/21 17:37
Re: The Sad End To Such A Popular Steam Railroad Caught On Film!
Author: lynnpowell

< < < closed down for good as well in the late 1970's.  Since then the rails to River Bridge have been covered by grass, rock slides and are barely visable in many places > > >
Actually, the rails and ties were removed between just west of "Flume" to "River Bridge" sometime in the mid-80s, after which the old ROW became a public trail.  The mainline remains in place from the mill site to just west of "Flume".



Date: 04/05/21 04:26
Re: The Sad End To Such A Popular Steam Railroad Caught On Film!
Author: LoggerHogger

Actually the track was not removed past Flume.  It still is intact.  There is a trail next to it.  These photos are from 2019.  The first one shows the track still in Rock Cut.

Martin








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