As with all things that begin with a bang, the McCloud River Railroad ended with a whimper. By most fair estimates the railroad should have ended 20 years ago. Except for the loving and inventive hands of Jeff and Verlene Forbis, who bought the railroad when it had finished it’s corporate usefulness, the railroad would have been nothing but a string of rust in 1990. But a couple of rough winters coupled with what can only be called overzealous environmental regulations and new techniques in construction all combined to put the railroad in an untenable economic condition. I give all props to the Forbis’ for their herculean effort in keeping our favorite shortline running as long as they could, it was obviously an effort of love.
Over the the many months intervening there were many rumors, many hopes each one of them fading in the distance as the last whistle blew.
As ever this website is dedicated to the celebration of the railroad and not it’s demise. If you would like more information on the scrapping of the McCloud you can click here and visit Jeff Moore’s excellent website.
The picture above is of cars stored in Hambone in 2005. The connection to the BN (BNSF) had already been severed by then.