McCloud River Railroad :Freight Operations:

The Sierra Job

The Sierra Job was called that because it existed primarily to service the Sierra Pacific Industries sawmill located west of Burney. This job generally worked two or three days a week, depending on the shipping needs of the sawmill. It also performed any other work that needed to be done on the Burney branch, usually restricted to switching the Dicalite loading facility at Cayton. The Sierra job usually operated McCloud-Burney and return in one day. Speed restrictions imposed by declining track conditions caused this job to consume two full days in the last several years of operation, with the train running from McCloud to Cayton on the first day and completing the round trip on the following day. This train was usually 7 to 15 cars long and consisted of three types of cars, centerbeams and woodchip hoppers for Sierra Pacific and covered hoppers for Dicalite. Caboose #102 was still used for most Sierra jobs due to the long reverse move the train must make into the Sierra Pacific sawmill.

Lake Britton, CA, circa 1988. The Sierra Job is seen here heading towards McCloud. The consist today is four loads from Sierra Pacific and six empty woodchip hoppers. The railroad at the time was hauling sporadic shipments of hog fuel (woodchips) into Burney for one of the area co-generation plants.

Near Cayton, CA, 5/2003. Twenty-four empty cars are stretched out behind the power this day. The empties are two covered hoppers for Dicalite at Cayton and 16 empty centerbeams and 8 empty woodchip hoppers for Sierra Pacific.

Goose Valley, CA, 11/2002. Caboose #102 is seen trailing two locomotives and 18 loads from Sierra Pacific en route back to McCloud.

Lake Britton, CA, 11/2002. Locomotives 36 and 37 pull a McCloud-bound Sierra Job across the Lake Britton bridge.

Lake Britton, CA, 11/2002. Loads of lumber and woodchips from the Sierra Pacific mill cross Lake Britton.