Re: [nvshortline] Goldfield-Ely Route
The T&T was involved in survey work on an alignment to Ely. I have
seen one or two roll prints from this project. These were among some
maps that a railfan named McFadden had obtained and later went to Orange
Empire Ry Museum. I recall plotting the location of alignment shown on
the print(s); it was across several government sections in Railroad
Valley. And I think Zabrinskie's name may have been on the prints. As
a board member of the Museum, I have to admit that OERM's paper
collection is not accessible at this time.
I was recently did some reading of the microfilm of the Mina, Nevada,
Western Nevada Miner. It reported several surveys from the Montgomery
Pass area to Austin and other points east. Some of these were
independent and then later the SP did one to Palisades. One proposal
included a tunnel under Montgomery Pass from Queen to Basalt. I make
copies of the articles, but I don't have them in front of me.
Also pre-WWI there were reports of surveys to connect the Mina or
Tonopah Jct with Mono Lake. The idea was to reach timber and supply the
central Nevada camps.
In 1915 the Owens Valley papers talked about standard gauging the Narrow
Gauge within the Valley. Seems they may have been fairly serious
about it at that time; but nothing much happened. Seems that Keeler was
producing major quantities of freight. One report was that the line
would be standard gauge to Laws and maybe all the way to Queens.
In the later twenties when the NCO was being converted the Mina paper
carried various reports of support (even from Los Angeles interests) for
standard gauging the NG over Montgomery Pass. The concept was a route
that would connect Oregon with Southern California. SP kept denying any
thought of converting the Mina to Owenyo line.
David A Wright wrote:
>In the past, I was asked for any knowledge or newspaper items pertaining
>to a proposed route between Goldfield and Ely. I don't recall the name
>of the individual, but recall he found me via this newsgroup. I was
>doing some research in the 1909 Inyo Register (Bishop, CA) and found
>Inyo Register, July 22, 1909
>"SHORT EASTERN ROUTE."
> "The newest variation of railroad stories comes to us as a statement
>reported to have been made by Superintendent Manson. He is quoted as
>saying that the standardized Nevada & California will swing easterly from
>Basalt through a low pass in the range and run to some eastern Nevada
>point, probably Ely. The copper center is connected with the main road
>by a 140 mile narrow gauge to Cobre, and standardizing that branch would
>be included in the plan. This would give the S.P. a route to Ogden
>almost as short as that of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles line. A survey
>has been underway for some time between Ely and Tonopah or vicinity,
>ostensibly as an independent proposition.
> The same source is credited with saying that Mina will be off the map as
>a railroad town. Between there and Basalt is a distance of about 33
>miles with no engineering difficulties to over come in standardizing the
>present narrow gauge. The talk quoted indicates an intention of
>abandoning that strip of line. This sounds more improbable than the rest
>of the story, because by maintaining it as a broad gauge track there is a
>north-and-south link in a Los Angeles and Portland line, with the
>prospective extensions in northeastern California.
> The head of the syndicate which has been having surveys made between Ely
>and Goldfield is C.B. Zabriskie. The backing of the enterprise gives no
>color to any supposition that the Southern Pacific is interested in it in
>any way. If that company has in view a road eastward to Ely its
>preliminaries have been kept very quiet."
>David A. Wright
>Great Basin Research - Big Pine, CA
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