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OT: Sacramento Placer & Nevada Railroad located

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  • Harry Marnell
    From: http://www.auburnjournal.com/articles/2005/02/01/news/top_stories/01railway01.txt or http://tinyurl.com/5x3fu Long lost railroad found By: Gus Thomson,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2005
      Long lost railroad found

      By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer

      Satellite tracking has given history detectives the opportunity to plot out
      the route of the fabled but short-lived Sacramento Placer & Nevada Railroad.

      The line lasted only from 1862 to 1864, running out of steam and financing
      after reaching Loomis from Folsom. Plans to link Auburn to Folsom never
      reached fruition and the Central Pacific Railroad - which did reach Auburn -
      became the preferred route.

      Railroad history buff Chris Graves of Newcastle said the recent re-discovery
      of a copy of the original Sacramento Placer & Nevada Railroad maps from
      1861, with surveyor information on grades and turns, allowed a modern-day
      survey with a global positioning system.

      With the information from the 1861 map locating the old railbed's twists and
      turns, historians and surveyors were able to overlay the old railway onto a
      modern-day map. Not surprisingly, much of the route traveled along or near
      what is now Auburn Folsom Road. Part is also underwater, inundated by the
      Folsom Reservoir.

      "The railroad ran 11 miles and except for a 750-foot gap in what is now
      Hidden Lake Estates, we now know where every single foot of it is," Graves

      Graves said he will be donating copies of the map to the California State
      Archives, as well as local historical societies and archives to ensure a
      long-buried portion of the area's railroading past continues to be

      The actual plotting of the rail route took four days, using photocopies of
      maps that Graves said are, at best, temporarily inaccessible. The state
      archives were the original source of the copies. Graves said the man who
      copied the map from the archives died six years ago and he was able to
      locate them in his estate, with the help of the man's daughter.

      "But the archives no longer has a record of them," Graves said.

      The rail route ends near King Road and the now-buried site of a quarry used
      by Griffith Griffith before he located his operation in Penryn. Rail
      historian Lloyd Johnson said the routing effort provides a modern-day link
      with a rail route that served agricultural as well as mining endeavors. The
      train also provided passenger service.

      Graves has written a history of the Folsom-Loomis railroad. The effort began
      in earnest in 1859 when engineer Theodore Judah - who would later map out
      the difficult Sierra Nevada crossing for the Central Pacific Railway -
      bought 550 tons of rail and shipped it from the East Coasts. But Judah was
      unable to find financing for a Lincoln to Auburn route. The rail sat in San
      Francisco until purchased by entrepreneur Lester Robinson, who brought it to
      the area to be used for the Auburn-Folsom route - a distance of 19 miles.

      When construction funding ran out, the line had reached Loomis at the
      current intersection of Auburn Folsom Road and King Road.

      After the Central Pacific Railroad reached Newcastle, the Auburn-Folsom line
      was abandoned and the rail route dismantled, starting in June 1864.

      Many of the sections of railbed still provide flat pathways for a walk
      through history. The rails were dug up in the mid-1860s, with most going to
      a railroad-building effort to Placerville.

      "As you walk down these alignments, you get a feeling for an era now
      long-gone," Johnson said.

      With no photos that Graves knows of showing the Sacramento, Placer & Nevada
      Railroad, there is little now to link what was there then to the

      The new map helps draw past and present together, Graves said.

      "It's been lost since 1864 but the grade is still there," he said.
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