McCloud River Railroad History – Chronology


(By VESTRA Resources Inc. as part of Phase I Environmental Assessment)

1896          First 4 miles of track laid between McCloud and the terminus at the town of Upton with the Central Pacific track running north-south in California.

1897          Creation of the McCloud River Railroad and the McCloud River Lumber Company.

1903          Expanded eastward to a mill in Ash Creek, which burned in 1903, and track was abandoned.

1900-1920     Track was expanded and removed as necessary to log the “flats” east of the town of McCloud.

1905          A permanent track reached Bartle.

1907          Terminus changed from Upton to Mt. Shasta City (then called Sisson).

1917          Railroad divested from the lumber company, but remained with the same shareholders.

1917 – 1920 Railroad operated by federal government during World War I and returned to private sector at the end of the war.

1921-1929      An extension from Bartle to the Pit River was owned by PG&E; built to assist in Pit power project construction.

1923         East expansion into newly acquired timberland. New branch (Santa Claus Junction) was established 4 miles northeast of Bartle.

1925         Camp 2 established (renamed Pondosa in 1925) and included extensive rail yards and a repair shop.

1927         Decision to abandon temporary camps; town of Pondosa established.

1927          Line to Lookout and Great Northern added.

1948        First diesel locomotive purchased.

1950          New line added between Pondosa and Curtis.

1953          Last steam engine retired.

1954          Line to Burney started to service; single-stall engine house built in Burney.

1955          Line to Burney completed.

1960          Excursions started with old steam engine Number 25.

1963           McCloud Railroad sold to U.S. Plywood. U.S. Plywood pulls up lumber company spurs (U.S. Plywood later became Champion).

1977          Itel purchased railroad from Champion; 400 new box cars purchased by Itel.

1982           Rehabilitation of track structures and roadbed under Federal Railroad Administration grant.

Late 1980s:   Removal of Pondosa branch line

1990         (December) Historic office burns, destroying company records and historic artifacts.

1992          PG&E second pipeline project. Railroad sold to Four Rails, Inc. Jeff Forbis changed name to McCloud River Railway.

1997          100-year anniversary.

2005          Four Rails, Inc., requests permission to abandon all lines east of McCloud.

2010          Track removed between McCloud and Burney