Boca and Loyalton Railroad

The Boca and Loyalton Railroad was built to serve sawmills in the Sierra Nevada of northern California. It became the Loyalton branch of the Western Pacific Railroad.[1]

Boca and Loyalton Railroad
LocaleCalifornia
Dates of operation1898–1916
SuccessorWestern Pacific Railroad
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length56.49 miles (90.91 km)

HistoryEdit

The Lewis brothers built a standard gauge railway about 1897 from the Southern Pacific early transcontinental line at Boca, California, seventeen miles north to their sawmill in Sardine Valley. The sawmill was moved to Loyalton, California after the Sardine Valley forests were cut, and the rail line was extended to Loyalton as the Boca & Loyalton on 24 September 1900. Several other lumber companies built sawmills in the Loyalton area once rail service was available to ship lumber produced at their elevation of 4,950 feet (1,510 m) over a 6,300-foot (1,900 m) summit with grades of up to three percent and thence down to Boca at an elevation of 5,534 feet (1,687 m). The railroad was soon extended northwesterly from Loyalton to Beckwourth and Portola, California. The Western Pacific Railroad purchased the Boca & Loyalton line from Portola to Beckwourth as part of its main line constructed through the area in 1908. Much of the timber had been cut in the Loyalton area by 1916, and commodities formerly shipped through Loyalton to or from the Southern Pacific were being carried by the Western Pacific. Trackage over the summit between Loyalton and Boca was abandoned that year, and Western Pacific began operating the line north of Loyalton as their Loyalton branch.[1]

LocomotivesEdit

Number Builder Type Date Works number Notes[1]
1 Baldwin Locomotive Works 0-4-4 tank locomotive 1892 Vauclain compound purchased from South Side Elevated Railroad in 1898; used for construction of Western Pacific Railroad; sold to Natomas Gravel Company about 1913 and scrapped in 1937
2 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1875 purchased from Pennsylvania Railroad in 1898; used for construction of Western Pacific
3 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-6-0 1876 3889 purchased from Virginia and Truckee Railroad in 1901; scrapped by Western Pacific in 1916
4 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-6-0 1876 3891 built for Virginia & Truckee; purchased from Verdi Lumber Company in 1902; became Western Pacific #123; scrapped in June 1930
5 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-8-0 1882 6085 purchased from Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway in 1902; became Western Pacific #124; scrapped in November 1949
6 Rhode Island Locomotive Works 4-6-0 1875 purchased in 1902
7 Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works 4-6-0 1888 978 purchased from Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad in 1902; became Western Pacific #125; scrapped in December 1934

Clover Valley Lumber CompanyEdit

Clover Valley Lumber Company was organized in 1917 to take over the Loyalton area sawmills as local timber resources became scarce. It operated a number of forest railway branches in the area from 1921 until 1957.[2]

Number[1] Builder Type Date Works number Notes[3]
3 Lima Locomotive Works 3-truck Shay locomotive 1913 2672 purchased from Verdi Lumber Company in 1927; scrapped in 1955
4 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-6-6-2 tank locomotive 1924 57684 purchased new; preserved on the Niles Canyon Railway
8 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-6-2 1907 32160 purchased from Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber Company
11 Lima Locomotive Works 2-truck Shay locomotive 1903 788 built for Sierra Railroad; purchased from Verdi Lumber Company in July 1938; scrapped in August 1952
50 Lima Locomotive Works 2-truck Shay locomotive 1908 2093 purchased from Argentine Central Railway by Marsh Lumber Company in 1913
60 Lima Locomotive Works 2-truck Shay 1904 959 built for White Oak Coal Company of Kentucky; purchased from Western Pine Lumber Company of Washington in April 1920

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Myrick, David (1955). "The Boca & Loyalton Railroad". The Western Railroader. Francis A. Guido. 18 (192): 3–11.
  2. ^ Siegwarth, Alan. "Clover Valley Lumber Company Number 4". Niles Canyon Railway. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  3. ^ Koch, Michael (1971). The Shay Locomotive Titan of the Timber. The World Press. pp. 409, 414, 429&443.