McCloud River Railroad : Along the Line

The Bartle Branch

Construction on this line started around 1900 and reached the small community of Bartle in 1905. The line continued on beyond Bartle, heading in a northern direction with a rumored destination of Klamath Falls. The city was reportedly offering a $100,000 bonus to the first railroad to reach the city at the time, and the McCloud onwership group had extensive timber holdings in that area. However, the initial construction ended in 1906 with the railhead at Milepost 52, where the railroad established a station named McGavic. The railroad fenced the McCloud-Esperanza right-of-way between 1908 and 1925. In 1908, the railroad apparently gave up on any ambitions to reach southern Oregon and abandoned the Slagger Creek to McGavic section of the line, only to gradually rebuild it starting in 1912 as the lumber company logging operations caught up with the truncated railhead. Railroad construction reached McGavic again in 1913 and continued north, reaching a final terminus at Milepost 58 in late 1915. The line survived in this form until 1918, when the railroad abandoned the line back to Milepost 47 in favor of a new lumber company mainline running north and east from there. In 1923, the railroad built another new mainline heading north and east from Young Spur, cutting this line back to the basic form it would hold until abandonment.

McCloud-Milepost 17.79 (1900-1907), then 16.85 (1907-1955), then 0 (1955-present). Start of line. See the Upton/Mt. Shasta to McCloud segment for a list of facilities in McCloud.

North McCloud-Milepost 19.00 (1900-1907) then 18.06 (1907-1955), then 0.6. This was the site of a small residential community and a large dormitory for single men adjacent to the new sawmill complex. The expansion of the sawmill pond in 1952 eliminated the neighborhood. One profile of the railroad showed a 3,632' siding at this location, likely the track along the log dump.

Ash Creek Junction-also known as the "Run Around"- Milepost 19.98 (1900-1907), then 19.04 (1907-1955), then 2 (1955-present). Site of the junction with the Ash Creek branch. The lumber company used the area to dry deck logs through much of the 1950s and 1960s. The McCloud River Railroad and McCloud Railway have used this site to store cars and track supplies.

- Livestock yard, two loading chutes, built 1942. While being credited to Ash Creek Junction, this yard actually lay somewhere around modern Milepost 4.
- Shed, converted circa 1996 from boxcar body.

Side Tracks
- Loading spur for a cedar logging operation, built 1912 and retired 9/30/1918.
- Gravel spur, built 1927 and retired 1937.
- Various storage tracks retired in 1937, including a 1,795' siding shown on a profile map.
- Main line realignment, run-around track, and two storage tracks, all built 1941. Storage tracks originally connected to main line but were cut back to stub end spurs circa late 1960s. Both remain intact at present.
- A short spur and earthen loading ramp, built in the late 1970s.

Chiloquin/Long Bell Sidings-Immediately east of Ash Creek Junction. The railroad built these two sidings, the 3,000-foot long Chiloquin Siding in 1952 and the Long Bell siding a few years later, to handle shipments of logs harvested from the Hearst Estate properties destined for sawmills served by the SP and GN. The Chiloquin Siding was labeled on at least one company map as Kesterson Siding; this may be a mistake on the records, as the closest Kesterson Lumber Company is known to have harvested any timber is in the Egg Lake region, east of White Horse. Both sidings removed by early 1970s.

Cowning's Mill-Milepost 3.4, on the east side of the Pilgrim Creek Road crossing. Cowning's Mill built a small stud mill around the middle 1960s that operated into the early 1970s. The end of track after 2008 is at Milepost 3.3 just west of the Pilgrim Creek Road crossing.

Esperanza-Milepost 23.15 (1903-1907), then 22.21 (1907-1939), then 21.83 (1939-1955), then 5 (1955-2008). Esperanza is the Spanish word for Hope. John McKea's Esperanza Lumber & Timber Company operated a sawmill here between 1903 and 1907. Another company shipped cedar logs harvested from the surrounding lands in the middle 1910s, and Elkins Cedar Mill may have operated a small sawmill here in the late 1920s/early 1930s. The railroad had a section gang headquarters and a water tank at this station. A line change in 1936 bypassed the original site of this station, and the railroad built a new camp on the revised alignment. A station sign existed through to abandonment.


Original Location
- Section house, 12'x36'-12'x13', built 1907 and retired 1936.
- Bunk house, 12'x40'-8'x9' lean-to, built 1912 and retired 1924.
- Bunk house, 12'x21', built 1912 and retired 1934.
- Tool house, 12'x14', built 1907 and retired 1936.

Revised Location
- Section shed, 30' long outfit carbody on wood sills, built 1936.
- Tool house, 12'x14', built 1936.
- Wood shed, 12'x16', built 1936.

Water Tower, Original Location
-14'x14'x15', 20,000 gallon, built 1907 and retired 1927.

Side Tracks all original location
- Two sidings, 1,282' and 1,516', one built 1908 and the other 1909, both retired 1936.
- Spur (550'?) for livestock unloading and car storage, built 1914 and retired 1936.

Bigelow-Milepost 26.79 (1904-1907), then 25.85 (1907-1939), then 25.54 (1939-1955), 24.3, then approx. 8 (1955-2008). Junction point with logging spurs running both north and south of the mainline. Spur to the south was Spur #4, which in 1904 ended at the lumber company's Camp 4 on a flat on the McCloud River. Virtually nothing exists to mark the spot today.

- Passenger shelter, 16'x16', built 1908 and retired 1929.

Dry Creek-Milepost 29.79 (1904-1907), then 27.21 (1907-1939), then 26.90 (1939-1955), then 10.4 (1955-2008). Activity at this station started with log spurs built off of the main line. Later traffic originated here included cedar logs and livestock. In 1955, the station moved approximately one-half mile east to where the lumber company built its last logging spur, Spur #50, into the mountains south of the McCloud River. This line lasted until 1960.

- Livestock yard, built 1911 and retired 1927.

Side Tracks
- 960' spur, built prior to 1917 and removed in 1938.
- Spur, built off of first spur in 1917.
- 2,898' passing track, built 1941. East switch removed and siding shortened in 1949.
- A small yard (two sidings and a set-out track) plus a wye, with the tail track the start of spur #50, all built 1955 at revised location by the lumber company. A 171' stub of the west leg survived as a spur until abandonment.

Detail map of the Swobe to Kinyon section

Swobe-originally Spur 9. Milepost 31.9 (1904-1907), then 29.65 (1907-1939), then 29.63 (1939-1955), then 13.13 (1955-1959). Originally known as Spur 9 and then renamed after McCloud River Railroad president Dwight M. Swobe. This station started out as a section headquarters. About 1908, the lumber company built their logging line north to the Black Fox Mountain area from this station. Elkins Cedar Mill operated a sawmill that shipped out over the railroad in the late 1920s/early 1930s. A 1959/1960 line change bypassed this station; only the empty and overgrown roadbeds, some large timbers from the sawmill, poles from the telephone line, and scattered trash remain.

- Passenger platform, 7'x9', built 1907 and retired 1939.
- Bunk house, 16'x30'-9'x18' lean-to, built 1907 and retired 1934.
- Tool house, 16'x30', built 1907 and retired 1939.

Water Tanks
-22'x22'x15' wood tub on a tower, 55,000 gallons, built 1909 and retired 1925.
- 25,000 gallon tank, built 1925 and moved to Car A 1939.

Side Tracks
- Wye track, built 1910. In 1933, the railroad removed 405 feet of the tail track along with the turnout, with the former east leg of the wye converted into a 1,612' spur (Elkins Log Spur, Spur #2) and the former west leg converted into a 922' spur (Spur #1). Spur #1 removed 1936 and Spur #2 removed 1944. An additional 569' spur existed at this station from sometime before 1917 until 1927.

Old Bartle-roughly Milepost 32.15 (1904-1905). The railroad established this station as its eastern terminus around 1904. The site featured a hotel and some freight docks among other amenities. Station existed for barely a year before being closed following completion of the railroad to Bartle.

Kinyon- Milepost 13 (1951-1964). Site of a McCloud River Lumber Company log camp named after Kinyon Young, the logging superintendent who ran the camp, that operated from 1951 until 1963. U.S. Plywood razed the camp shortly after it closed, leaving only scattered foundations and piles of trash. The deteriorating remains of railbus #63 sits on a short piece of former spur in the camp.

- Phone booth and trainman's shanty, both built 1951.
- Single stall enginehouse along with water and oil tanks and spurs into camp, all lumber company property.

Algomah-Milepost 33.15 (1904-1907), then 32.21 (1907-1909). By the end of 1904 the railroad built a spur from this site south to the Bridgeford-Cunningham sawmill on the river south of the railroad. In late 1905 the railroad built a 780-foot spur off of the Bridgeford-Cunningham spur to serve the Algoma Lumber Company, who built a box factory adjacent to the B-C mill. The railroad abandoned the spurs about 1909. The Forest Service still uses the name for a campground and some other recreational facilities in the area, but only a few traces of the spur grade and a lot of trash around the old community remain today.

Nebraska Curve-Milepost 15.75. Never an official station point. Location of a broad fill that has been a popular photo spot for excursions through the years. This name first appeared by 1908.

Bartle-Milepost 37.00 (1905-1907), then 36.06 (1907-1939), then 35.75 (1939-1955), then 18 (1955-2008). Brothers Abraham and Jerome Bartle established a cattle ranch and a fine hotel here in 1887 that served as a rest stop on the stage routes connecting the Fall River and Big valleys with the Southern Pacific railroad in the greater Sisson area. A post office named Glazier operated here in the late 1880s, and the community also had a newspaper, The McCloud River Pioneer, that printed from 8/24/1889 to 12/31/1893. The McCloud River Railroad arrived in 1905, and the station served as the railhead for the agricultural communities to the southeast until the late 1920s. Freight traffic originated at Bartle through the years included a great deal of livestock traffic, lumber from an Elkins Cedar Mill sawmill in the late 1920s/early 1930s, and a wide variety of traffic reloaded to and from wagons and trucks.

- Passenger and freight depot, 30'x100' (first floor) and 30'x20' (second floor), plus 4,635 square feet of platform, built 1905 and retired 1934.
- Section house, 12'x37'-12'x28', built 1905 and retired 1931.
- Section house, 16'x28'-12'x24' lean-to, plus two porches (5'x30' and 5'x16'), built 1907 and retired 1936.
- Section house, 12'x24'-11'x12'-9'x12' lean-to, built 1907 and burned 1932.
- Tool house, 12'x14', built 1907 and retired 1936.
- Freight shed, 30'x40', plus 800 square feet of platform, built 1909, expanded with two 30'x45' sheds built on the existing platform in 1921, and retired 1937.
- Livestock yard and scale, built 1911 and retired 1956.
- Agent's house, 26'x36', built 1912 and retired 1929.
- Fuel shed, 16'x206', built 1912 and retired 1920.
- Hotel, built 1913. Toilet added 1914; barn and water system added 1919. Burned 1936.
- Shed, 9'x30', converted from caboose #07 body, placed on the ground at Bartle 1917 and burned 1937.
- Machine shop (lumber company property), built 1917 and moved to Pondosa (Hambone) circa 1922.
- Tool house, converted 1936 from a 36' outfit car body.
- Bath house, built 1946.
- Bunk house, built 1947.
- Two stall speeder shed, built in later years and surviving at present.

Water Towers
- Original tower, built 1909 and retired 1912.
- 15'x15'x14', 20,000 gallons, built 1912 and retired 1933.
- 25,000 gallon tank, built 1933. Tank collapsed 7/2011. Hardware salvaged by Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad for use on planned water tanks on their operation. Base will remain standing.

Side Tracks
- Two sidings reported in 1917, left one 1,335' and the right 1,141'. In 1917, the railroad extended one passing track 271.5' and built a 523' spur. In 1938, the railroad relocated and extended a passing track. By 1942, the railroad reported one 1,176' siding and a 1,000 foot house track. House track lengthened and connected to the main line in 1951 and retired circa 1970; Siding lengthened to 1,328' in 1957 and scrapped with the railroad in 2008.
- 1,195' spur to livestock yard, built 1911 off end of balloon track and retired 1956.
- Balloon track, 2,448', built 1911, removed 1936, rebuilt 1938, and removed 1950.

Bartle Wye-Milepost 38.00 (1905-1907), then 37.06 (1907-1939), then 36.75 (1939-1955), then 19 (1955-2008). Site served as a junction point at several points through time. Records indicate the first wye connecting to log spur #51 may have been built 1911 and then retired 1916. The connection with the Pit River Railroad reused Spur 51's connection and part of the grade from 1921 until roughly 1928. The location again became a junction point in 1951 following the completion of the new Spur #51 into Pondosa, with the east leg of the wye built 1953. A small tool shed also existed here from the mid 1960s until at least 1982.

McIntosh Vista-Milepost 23 (post-1955). Never an official station. The railroad reached the top of Bartle Hill at this point, which provides a fine panoramic view of Mount Shasta and the McCloud flats. Named after the McIntosh Family, who purchased the Bartle Brothers ranch in 1909 and have held it ever since. The railroad built a 4'x6' telephone booth at the Upper Davis Crossing near here in 1923.

Young Spur-Milepost 41.25 (1923-1939), then 40.94 (1939-1955), then 23.8 (1955-2008). Probably named after railroad superintendent E.M. Young. Station established in 1923 when the railroad built the new line from this point northeast to Pondosa (Hambone). The railroad retained 1,577' of the original Bartle Branch main line as a spur until 7/1947.

Spur 50 Wye-Approximately Milepost 41.5. Connection with early logging spur #50. South leg 1,099', north leg 818'. Removed 1916.

Spur 25-Approximately Milepost 43 - On 6 June 1913 the railroad issued a work order to build a water tank on the main line at the junction with Spur 25, at or near this milepost. No records of such a facility exist in the 1917 ICC valuation, indicating this tank was either not built or retired prior to that time.

Slagger Creek-Milepost 46.49 (1906-1923). Name originates from the corruption of the last name of an early sheep rancher (Stager or Slagers) on the east slope of Black Fox Mountain, near the present site of Slagger Camp.

- Passenger platform, 6'x16', built 1907 and retired 1923.
- Bunk house, 20'x24', built 1907 and retired 1923.

Water Tanks
- Original tower, built 1906 and retired 1912.
- 17'x17'x18', 39,000 gallon, built 1912 and retired 1923.

Side Tracks
- 495' spur reported in 1917 and retired 1923.
- Short spur, built for engine storage 5/1913 and removed May/June 1916.

Mikepost 47-Site of a 15'x15'x16', 27,000 gallon water tank, built 1912 and retired 1923. This was the eastern end of the railroad from 1918 until 1923.

Siding #55-Milepost 48. Site of a 2,592' siding, built 1914 near the former connection with Spur 55 and removed 1918.

McGavic- Milepost 52. The station may have been named after F.O. McGavic, recorded as being the lumber company's sales manager in 1916. The railroad first reached this site on the west flank of Harris Butte in 1906. Railroad facilities never consisted of anything beyond a 2,497-foot long balloon track and a telephone line. In 1908, the railroad abandoned the trackage from this spot back to Slagger Creek, but started to rebuild the line in 1912. By 1913, the railroad reached McGavic again, where it rebuilt the balloon track. The railroad abandoned this station in 1918.

Milepost 58-Official northern end of McCloud River Railroad. The railroad completed this line 10/1915 and built a 2,176 foot long balloon track- known as Balloon #3- at this spot. Several lumber company spurs branched off of this line and continued north. The railroad abandoned this station 1918.