• Narrow Gauge Railroads

  • This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.
This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.

Moderator: Nicolai3985

  by CarterB
Much of the narrow gauge discussions so far have occurred on the New England and specifically the Maine NG museum or East Broad Top in PA.
I'd like to broaden the discussion to other narrow gauge operations 3ft, 2ft or other. Would like info posted by our readers
regarding any remnants or ROW's still visible, equipment, photos, maps etc on lines that were originally narrow gauge.

There is more to NG than just D&RGW, East Broad Top and Maine.

So let's have at it!!!
  by trackwelder
in ashland, pa, there is a pretty good tour of an anthracite coal mine, the Pioneer Tunnel. they have a 42" gage 0-4-0 which you can take on a short excursion with two stops at historic sites connected to the mine in its operating days.
  by edbear
Well, out of Catskill, NY there was a string of 3 ft gauge roads that poked inland to the mountain resort hotels. On the NY-Pennsylvania border there were a number of ng roads that penetrated that oil producing country. A good portion of the St.L-SW (Cotton Belt) main line was built as the ng Texas & St. Louis. The Nickel Plate line out of Toledo toward St. Louis was built as ng. It along with the Texas & St. Louis was part of what was billed as the Grand Narrow Gauge Trunk, Toledo to the Mexican border and much of it built and put into service. SP had a number of ng properties. Part of the Nortwestern Pacific was built as ng, the South Pacific Coast from Oakland through San Jose to Santa Cruz was another one. The Carson & Colorado built from a connection with the Virginia & Truckee through Nevada into what became part of the Los Angeles watershed and the Nevada-California-Oregon built from Reno, Nev to Lakeview, Ore and was bought by the SP and converted to the Modoc Line. C & NW and MILW had ng branches in Iowa. Up in the copper country in Michigan there were ng roads. I think part of the Seaboard Air Line's Atlanta-Birmingham route was built narrow. Los Angele and Denver had 3'6" city trolley lines and San Antonio's trolleys had a4' gauge. How's that for a starter.
  by CarterB
Nice info edbear! Let's keep it going.
  by ExCon90
The Pennsylvania (!) had two 3'-0" railroads: The Waynesburg & Washington in PA, and a railroad in OH which was called the Ohio River & Western in 1913, but also operated at (I think) a later date as the Bellaire, Zanesville & Cincinnati (known to the locals as the Bent, Zigzag & Crooked) from Bellaire to Zanesville; it never made it to Cincinnati. I always got a kick out the fact that in an Official Guide of the 1920's the two railroads occupied the same page, with the notation (Narrow Gauge) under the name of each. Across the top of the page (as on the other pages) it said
The Standard Railroad of the World

In a strange way, the BZ&C lived on in spirit until at least the very late 1970's. When it was in operation (it was gone by the 1930's) the freight tariffs published by the Central Freight Association, the railroad rate bureau which published rates in that territory, provided for an arbitrary of 3 cents per 100 lbs. on all shipments originating or terminating at certain stations in Ohio, which were all stations on the BZ&C; this was evidently to cover the cost of transloading from standard-gauge to narrow-gauge boxcars at Bellaire or Zanesville. In 1935, when motor carriers were made subject to Interstate Commerce Commission jurisdiction, they were required to publish class rate tariffs just as the railroads did, naming rates on every imaginable transportable commodity from every station on a given railroad to every other station in the U. S. -- a monumental task. What the trucking companies did was form rate bureaus with territories corresponding to those of the railroads. Accordingly, the Central States Motor Freight Bureau was established by the trucking industry and simply copied the existing rail tariffs down to every period and comma, including the 3-cent arbitrary, which was probably no longer being applied even by rail, since the BZ&C had certainly ceased operation by 1937. As late as about 1979 some discussion about arbitraries had arisen in connection with the I. C. C., and I checked to see whether that arbitrary was still in the truck tariff. It was -- since 1935 no one had apparently picked up on it or challenged it. (If the I. C. C. had noticed it would certainly have required it to be eliminated.) It probably goes to show how little freight -- either by rail or truck -- was actually moving on class rates. If any truck shipments did move and pay the arbitrary it could be considered a tip of the hat to the spirit of the departed Bellaire, Zanesville & Cincinnati. Does anybody know whether there were similar charges for transloading on the D&RGW, or on the Maine two-footers, for example?
  by CarterB
Tuscola, Charleston & Vincennes...Chartered in 1867, evidently some actual grading was done circa 1871 northward from Charleston, IL toward Tuscola, IL before the project was abandoned in favor of a railroad from Charleston to Danville.(nee Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City then the Toledo St. Louis & Western) Railroad Company) the NKP Cloverleaf. I believe early on was narrow gauge. 3' until circa 1883
  by frank754
There was the Wanamie Railroad, a very short coal-hauling line near Nanticoke PA, which was 3' gauge and operated steam until the end in 1967. I haven't found out too much about it but the gingerb site covers it here:
http://www.gingerb.com/cnj_nanticoke_branch.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
and there are also several discussions about the locos on the Railway Preservation News site. Go to Google and type this into search: wanamie railroad site:www.rypn.org
  by piker
I spent quite a few years hiking and driving the Denver Boulder and Western road bed up Boulder Canyon in Colorado. This 3' line served the mining towns west of Boulder. http://switzerlandtrail.blogspot.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; This website i just discovered describes it well. the real find though is Forrest Crossen's book "The Switzerland Trail of America http://www.ebay.com/itm/Forest-Crossen- ... 0793711634" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Lots of duel gauge operating in Boulder on what is now Canyon Blvd and I think they ran dual gauge all the way to Denver. If you are ever in the area its worth looking at.
  by edbear
The Utah & Northern built from Salt Lake City up into Idaho and was widened and became part of the UP's line from SLC northward. The Pacific Coast had a ng line from Port San Luis, CA into the interior and a standard gauge division outside of Seattle. The two divisions were connected by a steamship line. Hawaii had the Oahu Ry & Land Co which had about a dozen miles of double track equipped with automatic block signals. The single track line continued all along the west coast of Oahu up to the top of the island. During WWII a number of agricultural branches were beefed up to provide an alternate inland route should the exposed line on the western coast of Oahu be attacked by the enemy. I think Honolulu had ng streetcars too.
  by 452 Card
Lets not forget the White Pass and Yukon Route, up in Skagway Alaska. :wink: