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California \ Diamond & Caldor Railway.
Reference Data.

Corporate Ownership.
California Door Company
1902 - June 1953

Mainline Length.
33.06 Mi. (1912)
36.69 Mi. (1953)

Tie Dimensions.
6” x 8” x 7’ (mainline)
6” x 8” x 5’4” (mainline)
6” x 8” x 6’ (sidings)
6” x 8” x 7’ 6” (sidings)
6” x 8” x 9’ (switch)

Tie Material.
White Pine (Mainline)
Oregon Pine (Mainline)
Cedar (Siding)
Redwood (Siding)

Rail Weight.
40 lbs.

Trestle Material
Untreated Fir

Culvert Material
Untreated Redwood

Information from 1912 California Public Utilities Commission Valuation Report.
Last Updated: February 25, 2015

Diamond & Caldor Railway.

By John Barnhill.

he California Door Company was established in 1884 in Oakland, Ca. Shortly the company purchased 30,000 acres of timberland around Caldor,CA and built a sawmill there. They also built a new planing mill and box factory in Diamond Springs on the Central Pacific (later Southern Pacific), Placerville Branch.

At first, lumber was hauled from Caldor to Diamond Springs by way of mule teams and then steam tractors. After numorous problems and the high costs associated with the mules and tractors, a narrow guage railroad was settled on as the answer to the transportation issue. In 1902, the 34.69 mile Diamond and Caldor Railroad was incorporated.

The mill at Caldor burned in 1923 and was replaced with a mill in Diamond Springs. Now the railroad hauled the logs straight from the woods to the new mill. Service was continuous until 1952 except for the years of 1929-1934 when the economy took a bad downturn.

Abandonment was complete in 1953, but it wasn't until sometime between 1999 and 2001 that the final demolition of many of the buildings in Diamond Springs occured.

Revised: February 24, 2015.
Farrell, Mallory Hope. El Dorado Narrow Gauge: The Diamond & Caldor Railway. Edmonds: Pacific Fast Mail, 1990. ISBN-13: 978-0915713172
Hilton, George W. American Narrow Gauge Railroads. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-8047-2369-9.

Reference Material Available Online:


Collected Diamond & Caldor Photographs.
Images collected from private collections, libraries and historical societies.


Cut-Over Land Study: California Door Company.
Biennial Report of the State Forester of the State of California, 1914 (Vol. 5)

California \ Diamond & Caldor Railway.
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