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Bloody nose


Southern Pacific's Late, Great Modoc Line

This is NOT an official Southern Pacific web site.

A journal about touring the line
before all the tracks were gone

June 12, 2003: According to our local newspaper here in Klamath Falls, Union Pacific is pulling up the tracks on the ex-SP Modoc line.  They will leave 7 miles of track south of Alturas for surplus car storage, the remainder is being removed by a contractor.

Not wanting to miss a chance to take some pictures while some trackage remains, I left work early to check on track removal progress on the Modoc line south of Alturas, CA.

Several existing sidings south of Klamath Falls were filled with stored freight cars.  At Alturas, the yard was full, and several cars stood at odd angles at the south end of the yard, derailed and almost capsized.

Without counting them, I would say that there are well over 100 freight cars stored on the ten or so existing miles south of Alturas, with reporting marks from many of the railroads absorbed by UP.  Double door boxcars, centerbeam flats, covered hoppers, gondolas and flats; nothing really old.

At a location shown on the map as Bayley (approx. N41° 17.260 W120° 32.327), the tracks ended adjacent to a livestock loading pen.

Photo # bayley01

End of track at Bayley looking north above, and south below

Photo # bayley02

A few miles farther down the right of way at Likely, I found crossing signals guarding US Highway 395 ... rails still in the highway but none left on either side except in a pile or two. A switch broom stood in its rack next to a relay cabinet but the switch it was once used to grease is absent. (Approx. N41° 14.502 W120° 30.251)

Click on image for larger version

Water tank and right of way at Likely
approx. N41° 13.660 W120° 30.079

At Likely, there is a field being used by A-K Railroad materials to stockpile and sell ties. I thought it was interesting that the ties were a buck or so more there than at Home Depot or Diamond in Klamath Falls (unless you bought them by the truckload).  I asked the yard man how much they would sell a switchstand to me for; "150 bucks and it's yours," he said.  Much as I would love to have one (always wanted one in my front yard - a lighted one, sort of a red and green walkway light) I couldn't justify shelling out that much dough. 

Sage Hen

Stacks of ties line the ROW over Sage Hen hill, and from the summit south everything has been cleared off down to the subballast.  From Madeline south all the ties and tieplates are still there... it looks like they just pulled the rail up a couple of days earlier. (Approx. N41° 05.708 W120° 28.353)

At that point I ran out of time and had to head home.

Next: The expedition resumes on July 4th, 2003>



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