McCloud River Railroad
Steve Moore Photographs

Steve Moore, my dad, worked a full career as a California state park ranger. One of his professional goals and dreams had been to be the first ranger in a brand new park, and in 1984 he fulfilled that aspiration when he became the first ranger assigned to the newly created Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park, six thousand acres of mostly broken lava flows, ponderosa pines, and spring fed wetlands located in the north end of the Fall River Valley. The family prior to that time had been living on the California coast north of Bodega Bay, and I owe my interest in the McCloud railroads to our move north. Because Ahjumawi was completely undeveloped at the time, and largely still is today, we moved into a house at McArthur Burney Falls Memorial State Park.

I think it's fair to say my dad had a passing interest in trains before he became a parent, and he definitely fostered and supported the extreme passion both his sons showed in the subject. If traffic on Highway 89 was quiet we could hear the McCloud freights going to or from Burney blowing for at least five grade crossings, along with the diesels going up or down the four percent grade south of the Lake Britton Bridge, which lay about a mile and a half straight line distance from our house. It did not take long for us to discover that if we left the house within a minute or two of hearing the train blow for the Arkrite crossing we could just beat them to the Lake Britton bridge, and on many occassions my brother and I would badger him into taking us for a quick drive.

My dad has had a lifelong commitment to photography, which included the railroads his two sons insisted on hanging around more often than not. He ended up doing two assignments between Ahjumawi and McArthur Burney Falls, first from 1984-2000 and then as a seasonal ranger in the middle 2000s. He took a good number of slides and digital images of the railroad during those years, a few of which are featured in various sections of this site. This page will feature some of his work not shown elsewhere. Thanks, dad!

McCloud logo on a boxcar stored in Burney about 1984.

On 31 October 1984 Steve was at the top of the grade into Lake Britton near Arkrite when a train showed up.



A visit to McCloud in December 1984 yielded this shot of plow 1767 and caboose 553 behind the depot.

In September 1985 he encountered another train powered by the #37 and #39 at Lake Britton.

The #37 crossing the highway bridge at Lake Britton.

Former Arcata & Mad River Railroad boxcars stored on the Pondosa branch in November 1985.

The winter of 1990-1991 was abnormally dry as evidenced by the complete lack of snow at Lake Britton in January.

Same date and time. This photo also appears in the Along the Line section.

March 1991 found Steve yet again at Lake Britton. He went down to the lake shore while his sons stayed up next to the tracks.



Caboose #101.

Sticking with the theme, Lake Britton again, but the date is March 1997 and the railroad is now the McCloud Railway.


No summer in the late 1980s and early 1990s was complete without a trip to the Yreka Western to ride behind the former McCloud River #19. These trips were always a homecoming of sorts for my dad, as he lived a few years of his youth in Montague while his dad managed the local irrigation district. Steve shot this photo in May 1993.