WP Oroville Dam Construction Railroad???

Discussion in 'Fallen Flags' started by JDLX, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. JDLX

    JDLX TrainBoard Member


    I've been trying to run down some information on the Oroville Dam Construction Railroad that I've been unable to locate so far today. Specifically, when was this railroad scrapped, and how did that relate to the sale of the U25C's to the Louisville & Nashville? So far I've run into dam completion dates running from 1967 to 1971, with 1968 apparently being the end of the major construction effort. I've also encountered a resource saying that the GE's were on their way east four days after the railroad shut down, but the source fails to mention any specific dates.

    The reason I'm asking is that I've recently been told that one of the McCloud River Baldwin diesels may have been used on the Oroville Dam railroad, most likely in the summer of 1969. I'm trying to run down any more information on this, i.e. did they need to lease a diesel to do some work on the railroad after the GE's left? The Oroville Dam railroad leased all of its track maintenance equipment from the McCloud, which would make one of the Baldwins running around down there very conceivable.

    Thank you in advance, and Happy Easter everyone!

    Jeff Moore
    Elko, NV
  2. John Barnhill

    John Barnhill TrainBoard Member

    The only date of completion I've seen is 1967. I have nothing else except a roster with no specific move dates.
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    WPRRHS had an article concerning the dam in a magazine some years ago. Late 1990's.

    Boxcab E50
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    According to their web site: Issue #13- Oro Dam Constructors Railroad, Kent Stephens

    Boxcab E50
  5. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

    Most major dam construction in the U.S. was completed between 1960 and 1969, especially out west. You may be able to find records at the local court house, or with the Bureau of Reclammation, or the Army Corps of Engineers...both were likely involved in the construction program.
  6. SSW9389

    SSW9389 TrainBoard Member

    There is a great magazine article about the Oro Dam Railroad and construction in Issue #114 of Extra 2200 South. The article written by Kent Stephens was published by that magazine in 1997. The article states the dam topped out at 770 feet on October 5, 1967. The last construction train ran on October 6th. The eight remaining U25Cs left Oroville east bound on October 10, 1967 bound for the L&N.

    There is no mention of any McCloud River units. Some WP units were used after the 1965 wreck and for a work trains both before and after to move equipment and build the line. Three Espee DRS6-6-1500s were put on standby by GE in case the U25Cs were not built in time for construction start up, but were rejected by Oro Dam Constructors. WP ALCO switchers were used on the construction trains.

    Govenor Ronald Reagan dedicated Oro Dam on May 4, 1968.
  7. SSW9389

    SSW9389 TrainBoard Member

    The three ex-Espee DRS6-6-1500s that were loaned by GE to Oro Dam Constructors in 1963 were the 5203-5204, and 5207. According to the Stephens article in X2200 they were rejected by Oro Dam Constructors and never used. The 5204 became McCloud River #35 and the 5207 was bought by McCloud River for parts.
  8. Helitac

    Helitac TrainBoard Member

    I don't recall seeing McCloud River units at the dam, They may have been at the Borrow Pits to dismantle the rotary "digger" that they used. (It was huge). The locomtives were fitted with special couplers (as were the cars) to permit the rotary dumping. Kind of like a coal mine. Oro-Dam Constructors used the "abandoned" WP right of way to access the site. It's possible a maintenance train went up the canyon, but not material,due to the coupler issue. The crews were very specific as to which company they worked for.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2012

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