The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Discussion of early railroads and "honorary" narrow gauges.
Brian Norden
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:40 pm

Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Post by Brian Norden » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:31 pm

An equipment summary might be found in one of the annual Poor's Manual. I have seen and used some of these. But, I do not recall what libraries, etc. have these in their holdings. CSRM?

You might also check out the California Digital Newspaper Collection I did a search for "Los Angeles & Independence" railroad; the result was close to 300 newspaper articles -- but many were an advertisement for a town site along the route of the railroad.

Of interest may be a write up in the Los Angeles Herald of July 2, 1874 about possible routes from Los Angles to the Owens Valley by a narrow gauge railroad. At that time the company was looking at connecting with the SP at either Spadra or San Fernando and building a line to the Owens Valley via either Cajon Pass or Soledad Canyon and Pass respectively. I once read part of a thesis about early Los Angeles railroads by Frankyn Holt. The ng proposal was a year before the standard gauge LA&I was built from Santa Monica to Los Angeles. Hoyt wrote that the Cajon Pass was determined to be the best for the line to the Owens Valley.

Holt wrote that the Los Angeles business men had been enjoying providing supplies to Cerro Gordo using freight wagons. They were afraid that they would lose the business once the SP reached Caliente on the west side Tehachapi. So they began investigating building a railroad to the Owens Valley.

Regarding the flat cars -- I should have that book and I"ll check it out and report.
Brian Norden

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Andrew Brandon
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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Post by Andrew Brandon » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:23 am

The flat cars in question were the 30' captured end beam cars used by CP/UP/V&T/etc.

Take a look at this post: Early UPRR Flat Cars
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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Post by PacificCoastBorax99 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:18 pm

300 articles, eh? Wow... That might be enough information to write a book about the LA&I!

And a narrow gauge railroad proposal too? Most interesting...

Brian Norden
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:40 pm

Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Post by Brian Norden » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:39 am

Not really 300 articles about the LA&I. The search was not filtered for eliminate advertisements, I think I subsequently did that and came up with maybe 20 articles.

Work was started on a portion of a grade and a proposed tunnel at the north end of the approach up to Cajon Pass. This to record work that would be senior to any construction work by the SP's on its direct route from Mojave to Beaumount Pass and bypassing Los Angeles. I have heard that a railfan retrieved a tie from near the tunnel and was sized for or had spike holes for 3' gauge rails.

In the book Pioneer of the Mojave there are portions of several maps. One shows the LA&I survey location at the mouths of Lytle Creek Wash and Cajon Wash. It has been some times since I looked at my copy of this book -- I cannot do that this evening as I'm traveling for several days.
Brian Norden

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