T he Quartette Mining Company railroad connected their gold mine near Searchlight Nevada, with its 20 stamp mill on the Colorado River, 16 miles away where there was water available for milling operations. Passengers were reportedly carried from Searchlight to a steamboat landing on the Colorado River.
Soon after the railroad was completed, the mines hit water, eventually providing sufficient water to allow milling to take place at a new 20 stamp mill, built at the mine site, This lead the company to first abandon the riverside mill (and likely with it the railroad), then the old mill to the mine site as well. By 1906 the railroad was no longer in use.
In 1907 the American Prospecting and Development Company proposed a new project including a riverside smelter, and reactivation and extension of the Quartette railroad, but nothing came to pass. Other proposals included using the rails to build a railroad north to El Dorado Canyon, and over Railroad Pass to Las Vegas after 1905.
The railroad (or possibly only the rails) were sold to J. F. Kent in 1910, and removed for use on Kent’s Yellow Pine Mining Co. railroad. The railroad is also listed among assets sold with the mine and mill by the Mining & Scientific Press in 1913. Rumors suggest at least one locomotive and some cars may have been sold to Arden Plaster Co.
Collected Quartette Company Photographs.
Images collected from private collections, libraries and historical societies.
No 1, 0-6-2t Porter 2423 Oct. 1901, class 2-C-S, 10x14.
This locomotive may have been sold to Yellow Pine Mining along with the rails in 1910.
No 2(?) 0-8-0t Porter 2685 March 1903 class D-S, 11x14, disposition unknown.
Sold to Arden Plaster, 1907.
Photos show 4 wheel square bodied cars. Some were reportedly found in the area as late as 1963.