McCloud River Railroad – McCloud Railway

Now that the powerful shortline railroad that hauled “Pine Across the Mountain” has steamed over the hill and into the sunset, we can take some time a reflect upon  the McCloud River Railroad and it’s erstwhile sibling the McCloud Railway. From the time the two dozen steamers had plied the track for the railroad and for the McCloud River Lumber Company to the burbling Baldwin diesels  and finally the EMD SD-38s  testing the strength of the lightweight track, the purpose of the MCRR was to haul timber to the mills, and lumber out of the shadow of Mt Shasta to it’s connections for  the cities of California Oregon and beyond.  Despite monstrous winters, two world wars, a crippling depression and all the other vagaries of history, in the last one hundred years, the railroad never flagged in it’s duty. It never failed to perform, until it had completed the course set before it.So lets take a trip back across the rails of memory and remember fondly the McCloud River Railroad, the McCloud River Lumber Company, Mother McCloud and finally the McCloud Railway. All aboard!


One Hundred Plus Years Of McCloud River Railroad History



System Map

Explore The McCloud River Railroad






A Selection Of McCloud River Railroad and McCloud Railway Photos


Motive Power And Station Lists.


Historic Post Cards

Once issued by the McCloud River Lumber Company



End Of The Line

The McCloud Railway packs it in and and steams into the sunset




McCloud Railway Video

As seen as on



Team Track

Odds and ends that didn’t really fit anywhere else





Links to other great McCloud resources.


This website is by no means meant to be a complete compendium of the McCloud River Railroad and McCloud Railway. There are more complete sites available on the internet, you will find them listed in the “Interchange” section. Also I am by no means the most experienced, knowledgeable, or experienced person when it comes to this railroad. I have visited it a handful of times and ridden it just once. But having spent a lot of time in, on and around Mount Shasta as a child, when I later learned more of this railroad as an adult,in 1992 right when it changed over to the McCloud Railway, I immediately became enamored with it.  Nothing in the intervening course of time has dulled that affection.


This to me is the McCloud River Railroad. Nearly one hundred miles of well rusted light weight rail,  rough hewn ties reeking of creosote and mounds of red lava ballast, stretching as far as the eye can see, completely empty.  In years passed, these rails near Burney might have seen daily service, of late they have seen weekly service, if that and now, they have been lifted and removed entirely. But for me and my memories of running up and down this quiet stretches of empty tracks with the enthusiasm of a kid…..this will always be McCloud.


 This picture was taken on the road between the Bartle junction and Hambone. Looking south west into McCloud River basin. Active log cutting has been going on in this area for a hundred years, and yet with proper management you can see such activities, have not have a debilitating effect on this environment. Somewhere in the middle of those all those trees is the railroad between Bartle and McCloud.

All photo’s, unless otherwise noted, are credited to Craig Nolan, Please E-mail for permission before use