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Train 188 (Extra 5030 West) is dropping down the canyon at Nelson on November 1, 1977. There are many places along the double track between San Bernardino and Belen where the east and westbound mainlines split apart. This short segment at Nelson is just one example. This westbound train is on the original alignment. The track in the foreground was completed in 1923 and lowered the eastbound grade. The dirt road into Nelson (in the background) and down to Peach Springs was US 66 until 1930. Nelson is at milepost 460 at an elevation of 5,110 feet. The Nelson Tunnel (where the tracks come together again east of Nelson) was built in 1923 to avoid the old alignment with its sharp curves in a narrow part of the canyon. The westbound main was realigned near the community of Nelson in 1947 and near the tunnel in 1953. Since the Crookton Cut-off was completed in 1960, the Nelson Tunnel was the only tunnel between Barstow and Chicago on the freight line. The Johnson Canyon tunnel was abandoned in 1960. The only other tunnel between those points is on the passenger line at the summit of Raton Pass. Disk 73
This picture is from the Arizona Memory Project and is in the public domain. This is the depot at Nelson taken in 1940. Notice that there is snow on the ground.