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AT&SF Railway freight train symbol 938 near Monolith, CA

AT&SF Railway freight train symbol 938 near Monolith, CA

Train 938 (Extra 5693 West) comes by the new hot box detectors near Monolith on November 26, 1977.

The second section of train 515 is approaching Monolith on May 30, 1978. 2-515 is the number used to dispatch the train over the Palmdale Cutoff. The symbol is probably the WCEUY. The Monolith cement plant was constructed between 1906 and 1908 to provide high quality cement for the construction of the Los Angeles aquaduct. After the aquaduct project was completed in 1914, the mill shut down. In 1920 the property was leased to a partnership called the U.S. Potash Company and during June 1921 it was renamed the Monolith Portland Cement Company. A fourth kiln added at Monolith plant in 1923. The plant was shipping about eight cars a day during this time. Remember that covered hoppers hadn't been invented yet, so the cement was placed into sacks (98 lbs.) and loaded into box cars. During the 1930s, almost all of its cement went into the construction of Hoover Dam. During the 50s the kilns were fueled by bunker C fuel oil, cost was a little over $3.00 a barrel. For many years the hills just east of the cement plant were covered in gray cement dust. When the Clean Air Act became law, the plant was equipped with a dust removal system. The Calavaris Cement Company purchased the property and replaced the original factory with a modern facility. The kilns then began using Colorado coal. Employment peaked at about 450 during World War II and has dropped down to the current 115. Disk 47