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Central Pacific Rail-bed

Sacramento California

Welcome to another Jeep trail page that was built many years ago. The Central Pacific Railroad Company was started back in 1862 in Sacramento, California. With formal approval from the United States Congress, this small company began constructing a railroad eastward to join the west coast and the east coast. The first rails were laid in 1863 and the project finished up May 10, 1869 at Promontory Utah. The CPR faced a huge obstacle right out of the gate; the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Progress was extremely slow and it took the company almost 5 years to get over and through the mountain range. Two of the major difficulties in building this line were the building of tunnels and the nasty winter weather that left the railroad buried under mountains of snow. Once they reached the valley floor in Nevada, the building process became much easier and it took them less than a year to reach the end of the line in Utah. 

So, why am I adding this to my page? Let me explain. In 1942, World War 2 was in full swing and the country needed iron to build ships and tanks. The original line had been abandoned since 1904 as the main route across Utah.The railroad had finished construction of a bypass that went strait across the Great Salt Lake. So, they went and tore up all the track and it was melted down for the war effort. The track was gone and that left road that was open to travel by automobiles. Today, you can start at Promontory and follow the road to Nevada. There are spots that the BLM has closed down due to being dangerous, which I call bullshit, but for the most part, you can follow it to Nevada. The road can be smooth sailing or barely passable. Yesterday, 07/29/2017, the road between Watercress and Kelton was in excellent condition. It was hard packed and you did not generate a lot of dust driving on it. The road is open year round and for the most part unless there has been a ton of snow. The early spring drivers usually tear it up and cause it to be extremely rutted. I am under the impression, and this is just my opinion, that the road was graded just recently. Many new signs have been placed in spots explaining what was happening there in the early years of its existence. Now how do I know they are new? No bullet holes. It seems that any signs put up out in the Utah desert become fair game to bored bunny hunters. All of these signs were bullet free. This the reason I believe them to be new. As I said, you can follow the road year round and during the wet periods, the road can be a great challenge. Plus, there are 4 ghost towns along the route that you can visit. These first fotos below were taken with my phone so the quality isn't the greatest, but you will get the idea of what you can expect to see. This page will be a work in progress because I noticed some things on this trip that need to be looked at more closely. When I am out doing that, I will take more fotos and use the good camera for that. One word of advice to those who venture out to the trail, don't do it alone. The route is out of cell phone range for the most part and you might not see another vehicle during your trip. The BLM as well as the National Park Service also post a warning that flat tires are possible due to rail spikes left behind. I have only had 1 issue with that  but it was years ago. All I can say is go prepared and EXPLORE AWARE.

07/29/2017