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Re: C&C rail

March 25, 2020 08:44PM avatar
C&C had a least two other sources for its rails. But the southern portion in the Owens Valley was from Britain.

One of the earliest sources was a trade with the Oregon Railway & Navigation. Apparently it was D.O. Mills who arranged for new 60# rail to be delivered to the Oregon road in trade for used 30# rail. The rail that the C&C obtained was transported from Portland(?) to San Francisco Bay by ship. There is an existing record book showing ship names, quantity of rail shipped (by count of rail by length).

Then there was rail provided by Pacific Rolling Mill Company of San Francisco. This company is said to have a number of significant California and Nevada investors which included D.O. Mills. When this rail arrived at Mound House for transport to the end-of-track construction a significant number of rails were found to be twisted and unusable. H. M. Yerrington complained about this and in time Pacific Rolling Mill sent a crew to straighten the rails using a unrelated method.

The rail from Britain was carried by sailing ship around Cape Horn. It seems that the ships used was whatever was available. One name that has survived -- because of the problems of getting the rail unloaded and shipped to Mound House -- was a Russian flagged owned ship. It may be that this ship was looking to carry some of the annual wheat harvest back to Europe.

This information from my reading of record books and Yerrington's letter copy books. It has been written without reference to my notes.

Brian Norden

P.S. As the railroad construction was reaching Candelaria it appeared they would be short of the necessary rail. Just in time, a sailing ship arrived from Britain but this was in the mist of a bountiful wheat harvest in California. The SP was hard pressed to carry the crop to Oakland and in Oakland the wharves were full and this ship was directed to unload at Martinez. And then the SP could not supply the flat cars (they were being used to carry sacked grain) and so it was arranged for V&T flat cars to be used by the SP for this singular transport of rails.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2020 08:45PM by Brian Norden.
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