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For this series we will follow Southern Pacific trackage form the north end of the Sacramento Valley in California north through Dunsmuir to Penoyar siding on the Black Butte Subdivision.
The Southern Pacific began to expand northward in California in October 1869. The line from Marysville reached Redding in September 1872. The Oregon & California Railroad Company was building south from Portland and reached Salem in September 1870, Eugene in October 1871, and Roseburg in December 1872. Construction stopped due to financial difficulties, but resumed twelve years later. The Oregon & California Railroad Company was acquired by the SP in July 1887. The lines were finally connected at Ashland in December 1887.
To overcome the steep grades and numerous curves on the Siskiyou Line, the SP built the Natron Cut-off. This line was also started at both ends and built toward the middle. Originally the line east from Eugene was to connect with the Union Pacific near Nampa, Idaho. However, breakup of the Harriman empire stopped construction at Oakridge in 1912. The California portion had reached Klamath Falls in 1909 and stopped at Kirk in 1912. Work resumed in September 1923 and was completed in August 1926. This route was 25 miles shorter than the Siskiyou Line and reduced the maximum grade from 3.3% to 2.2%.
CTC was installed in stages. The first was between Redding and Black Butte in 1942, then Eugene to Cascade Summit in 1955, and between Black Butte and Klamath Falls in 1966. The entire route from Portland to Roseville via Klamath Falls now has CTC.
All pictures in this series are on disks 19 and 20. You can purchase a disk and printout any of the pictures for your own use to dress up your train room or add color to a house that just cries out for more train pictures.