Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Historic Central Pacific Railbed October 16, 2011

Directions: From West Wendover take I-80 west over Silver Zone Pass. Take Exit 378 (NV-233) toward Montello, Nevada. Approximately 34 miles later Nevada 233 becomes Utah 30 on the border. Six miles later turn right onto Grouse Creek Road. Follow road toward the ghost town of Lucin until you cross the historic Central Pacific grade. If you drive the grade be sure to have a four wheel drive car with adequate clearance. THIS IS REMOTE DESERT COUNTRY. Have a full tank of gas, food and three or four gallons of water. It is 90 miles of dirt road driving to Golden Spike National Monument. Respect our past and do not vandalize old buildings or cemeteries. Enjoy the history of this area. This is truly the route that built and colonized the west.

History: The original Transcontinental Railroad was completed in May of 1869 with the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Point which linked the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific. This line was the primary mainline for the Overland Route until 1904 when the Lucin Cutoff was completed across the Great Salt Lake cutting distance and grades. Local passenger traffic used the line until it was abandoned in 1942. Towns that sprang up along the tracks included Rozel, Kosomel, Monument, Kelton, Ombey and Terrace. The ghost towns of Kelton and Terrace will be the subject of following posts because of their interesting graveyards. (Information from www.abandonedrails.com)

Old bridge on the Central Pacific

Abandoned trestle on route

Looking east down the abandoned Central Pacific grade

Abandoned bridge with desert surroundings

Cool trestle

Informative sign for the town of Bovine. Nothing is left.

The route that built America. The original Transcontinental

Plaque at Golden Spike