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Nevada \ Eureka and Palisade.
Reference Data.

Corporate Ownership.
Eureka & Palisade Railroad
1873 - 1900
Eureka & Palisade Railway
1901 - 1911
Eureka-Nevada Railway
1912 - 1938

Rail Weights.
35lb 1873

Tie Dimensions.
5" x 6" x 5'4"

Last Updated: November 11, 2014

Eureka and Palisade Railroad.

By Randy Hees

O rganized in 1873 by the Glimer and Salsbury, owners of two stage companies and J. P. Withington, a Hamilton hotel owner, to serve the mines in the Eureka Mining District in central Nevada. By November work commenced on the line from a connection with the Central Pacific railroad at Palisade. In July 1874, with roughly 1/3 of the line built, with one locomotive, 11 flat cars and 2 box cars on hand. The project was taken over by Isaac Requa, D. O. Mills, William Sharon, Thomas Bell, and Edgar Mills, all associated with the Bank of California, and Comstock mining interests.

Under the new ownership track was completed to Alpha, the half way point in 1874, when construction ceased until June 1875. That summer saw the railroad pushed over Garden Pass and into Eureka, the first train reaching town on October 22, 1875. Also in 1875, the owners purchased the Eureka and Ruby Hill Railroad, a short narrow gauge railroad connecting the mines at Ruby Hill with the smelters at Eureka.

In 1876 the railroad reported that it had 4 locomotives, 3 passenger cars and 58 freight cars. By 1878 the roster had grown to 7 locomotives, 3 passenger cars, 2 baggage cars, 21 box cars, 3 stock cars, 55 flat cars and 40 ore cars.

The completed railroads were quite successful, producing substantial profits for the owners. The operation did well until about 1885 when mining in the district subsided, by 1888 service was reduced to a tri-weekly mixed train. The largest smelters closed in 1890 and 1891. The Ruby Hill Railroad was abandoned in place in 1893, while the Eureka and Palisade recorded it's first annual deficit.

Starting in 1897, Mark Requa, son of Isacc Requa took over management (but not ownership) of the line. He had some success by solicitating (wagon) freight traffic from off line. They also benefited from a upswing in mining activity. Proposals and surveys were made for possible extensions to Tonopah and Ely. The line entered receivership in June 1900 when it defaulted on bond interest. The court appointed Mark Requa receiver in June. Seven months later the railroad was sold at auction to a group lead by Requa, representing the bond holders. A new Utah based company, The Eureka and Palisades Railway, was established. The bond holders agreed to exchange their bonds for stock, leaving the company without debt.

The new railroad company benefited from an upswing in mining. U.S. Refining & Mining purchased the Richmond and Eureka properties, the two largest, forming a new company, the Richmond-Eureka Mining Company. That company advanced the new railroad $70,000 to rebuilt four miles of the Eureka and Ruby Hill railroad, now the Ruby Hill branch. In Palisades, the railroad built a transfer trestle. Starting in 1906 ore was loaded directly into E & P freight cars, hauled to Palisades where it was transferred into Southern Pacific cars for transport to a smelter in Salt Lake City. By 1909 the railroad was hauling 200 tons of ore daily. This traffic was responsible for 90% of the traffic, and 75% of the revenue. Without debt, the railroad was showing a profit, paying small dividends to its shareholders.

Staring in February 1910, the railroad was washed out several times by heavy spring rains. In March 1910 things got worse. Severe flooding washed out 11 miles of track and inundated the shops and yards at Palisades. Both the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific were both washed out as well. A inspection put the cost of repairs at $150,000 (during the 1900 reorganization the railroad had been sold at auction for $300,000) The railroad was offered to the Richmond-Eureka Mining Co. The mining company did not accept the offer, but did sue the railroad to recover the money loaned to rebuild the Ruby Hill branch. That action forced the railroad into receivership.

As a result the railroad was sold at auction to the mining company, who in turn sold it to one of the former stockholders George Whitell. He would reorganize the railroad as the "Eureka-Nevada Railway." rebuild it and recommence operations in May 1912, 2 years and 3 months after the storms caused so much damage.

Kneiss, Gilbert H. (1941). Bonanza Railroads. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Myrick, David F. (1962). Railroads Of Nevada and Eastern California: Volume 1. (locomotive roster in Volume 2). Berkeley: Howell-North Books. ISBN 978-0-87417-193-8. (Recently reprinted by University of Nevada)
Hilton, George W. (1990). American Narrow Gauge Railroads. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-2369-9.
Fleming, Howard, Narrow Gauge in America. Originally published in 1875, revised and enlarged in 1876, reprinted with additional material in 1949 by Grahame Hardy and Paul Darrell, Oakland California, Grahame Hardy, 1949.
Various newspapers accessed via California Digital Newspaper Project and the Library of Congress "American Memory Project"

Reference Material Available Online:


Collected Eureka & Palisade Railroad Photographs.
Images collected from private collections, libraries and historical societies.


National Register of Historic Places Nomination for Eureka & Palisade #4, "Eureka".


Booze, Broads, or a Railroad, Eureka-Nevada Railway - 1918 by Howard Hickson.

Equipment Rosters.

Eureka & Palisade Railroad / Eureka - Nevada Railway Locomotive Roster Compiled by Randy Hees. PDF icon 154KB


Correspondence regarding charges on less than carload transloading. Adobe PDF 387KB
California Public Utilities Commission Case No. 117: Documents.
From the California State Archives.


University of Nevada Reno.
Records of the Eureka-Nevada Railway Company Collection No. NC02

California State Railroad Museum.
Inventory of the Eureka and Palisade Railroad Collection, 1876-1903 Collection Number MS-13

Nevada \ Eureka and Palisade.
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