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California \ Donner and Tahoe Railroad

Donner & Tahoe Railroad.

Pacific Lumber & Wood Company.

By Andrew Brandon

In 1893 the Pacific Lumber & Wood Company entered in an agreement with the Truckee Lumber Company to construct a railroad on land they owned. This railroad brought logs from the woods to the east down to the mill pond of the Truckee Lumber Co.

During June and July of that year, the Pacific Lumber & Wood Co. began disassembling their railroad from the bluff above Clinton to the southern end of the Martis Valley, near Murphy’s Meadow.

As the line was disassembled it was reconstructed as a temporary railroad westward to Klondike Meadows. From there the railroad was constructed west towards Truckee. On July 13, the work of dismantling the old railroad was complete.

Three locomotives, all owned by the Pacific Lumber & Wood Co., worked the line. Two came from the Pacific Wood & Lumber Co. operation in the Truckee river canyon at Clinton (Camp 24). A third locomotive acquired a Baldwin 0-6-0T from the Eureka & Palisade Railroad, it was formerly from the Ruby Hill Railroad. On the Donner & Tahoe it was named “Dewey”. Locomotive #1 put out of service and sold around 1899.

A second branch line was built west along the Truckee river to Donner Creek. Further branches were constructed to Dry Lake and Monte Carlo Meadow.

Though the railroad connected with the Truckee Lumber Company and Lake Tahoe Railway & Transportation Company tracks in Truckee, it operated separate engine facilities on the south side of the Truckee river adjacent Truckee near the current Foxmead Lane.

Traffic over the line slowed during 1899 and ceased in 1900. In 1901 the Truckee Lumber Co. purchased the Pacific Lumber & Wood Co., and dismantled the railroad. The remaining equipment was stored in Truckee and the locomotives were used switching around the mill. In 1911 the Truckee mill ceased operation and the equipment was moved to Oroville for operation on the Butte & Plumas Railway, and later the Swayne Lumber Company.

Revised:Aug 8, 2017
Beckstrom, Paul and Braun, David (1991). Swayne Lumber Company. Seattle: Pacific Fast Mail Company.
Myrick, David F. (1962). Railroads Of Nevada and Eastern California: Volume 1. Berkeley: Howell-North Books. ISBN 978-0-87417-193-8.Recently reprinted by University of Nevada
Farrell, Mallory Hope (2012). Rails Around Lake Tahoe. Berkeley: Signature Press.

Reference Material Available Online:

California \ Donner and Tahoe Railroad
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