McCloud Rails : Passenger Operations: Excursion Photos

Early Shasta Wonderland and Similar Excursions

The connections with north-south mainlines at the extreme ends of its system brought the McCloud River Railroad almost nothing in the way of bridge freight traffic, but railfan groups discovered early on that the road could be used a part of "circle" trips that would run to McCloud on one of the connecting mainlines and return to the origin point on the other. The California-Nevada Railroad Historical Society sponsored a number of these trips, and a good number of them operated under the Shasta Wonderland banner.

Known or recorded excursions in the early years that used the McCloud River as a bridge between the SP and GN/WP mainlines are as follows:

- 28-30 May 1949, California-Nevada Railroad Historical Society round trip that ran SP-MR-GN-WP.

- 22-24 May 1959, "Shasta Wonderland" Tour from the Bay Area, WP-GN-MR-SP, with a side trip to the Yreka Western.

- 2-6 September 1960, "Evergreen Journey". This ambitiouns trip started in Los Angeles and over the course of the four days ran up the Santa Fe to Stockton, then Western Pacific to Bieber, then Great Northern to Hambone, then McCloud River to Mt. Shasta City, then Southern Pacific to Montague for a trip over the Yreka Western, then from Montague back to Stockton on the Southern Pacific, and finally back to Los Angeles over the Santa Fe.

- 17-19 May 1963, "Shasta Wonderland" Tour from the Bay Area, WP-GN-MR-YW-SP.

- 22-24 May 1964, "Shasta Wonderland" Tour from the Bay Area, WP-GN-MR-SP.

The photos on this page are of the Shasta Wonderland trip of May 1964. The #25's air pump had not yet been repaired from its failure back in January, which limited the steamer to a cosmetic role only on this trip, much to the frustration of the railfans on the trip. Baldwin diesels #32 and #33 provided the power for the trip.

The #25 at Lookout Junction.

Another shot of the #33, #32, and #25 picking up the May 1964 Shasta Wonderland excursion at Lookout Junction. Photo is by Ken Douglas and is presented here courtesy of Keith Ardinger.

The two diesels pushed the train from the rear most of the trip to McCloud, but the #25 was able to lead the train most of the day.

Taking water at Bartle.

Nebraska Curve.