7. McCloud River Railroad History 1992 – 2009

McCloud Railway Redemption….for a time.

1992- 2009 The railroad was sold by Itel to 4 -Rails Inc, Jeff Forbis, who was a employee of Itel. This period of time saw a name change from McCloud River Railroad to McCloud Railway in essence forming a new company. This period of time saw a renascence for the railroad. With someone in charge, who was local and cared about the railroad and the community the railroad was on an upbeat. Restoration of historic engines, excursion and dinner trains and civil war re-enactments were the the new wave. Freight straggled along with lumber still being shipped from Burney and some cedar from McCloud and various other commodities (sugar beats and diatomaceous earth) held the carrier in place, supplemented with the tourist trade the railroad held it’s own and made improvements. Then old man winter got involved. After a severe winter and several line wash outs, the railroad stumbled onto hard times. The GN owned line from Hambone to Lookout Jct was finally abandoned ending the paper business. Then the mill McCloud closed again, and the end was in site. In July of 2005 The McCloud Railway asked permission to abandon all lines east of McCloud, leaving only enough line to keep the excursion service alive (which is for sale). While some of the shippers have complained (specifically the Diatomaceous Earth loading in Cayton) it seems by the beginning of 2006 the rails of the McCloud east of the town of McCloud will fall silent.
Update: 2009 The planned closure has occurred.


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