Mail Call – Steam Shovel and Side Dumps

A few recently acquired photographs landed in my mailbox today. I’ll post them over the coming weeks. The first one is one of the CR&NW’s steam shovels loading rock into side dump car #13, with car #85 right behind it. The location and date are unknown, but judging by the trees it looks like a forest fire has been through the area recently.

Records of forest fires in Alaska from these early years are pretty sparse, as there was little way to monitor and track them systemically. However, we know the Gilahina Trestle burned in 1915 from the Sourdough Hill fire, which was attributed to the railroad and burned some 384,000 acres from Chitina to Kennecott. There was also the 1915 Kennecott Fire, which burned 64,000 acres between the Kennicott and Nizina rivers. Still that’s just a guess, and even if correct doesn’t really narrow it down.

A CR&NW steam shovel loads rocks into several side dump maintenance cars.

2 thoughts on “Mail Call – Steam Shovel and Side Dumps

  1. Dixie Lambert

    Your page doesn’t have your name but let me introduce myself as Dixie Lambert in Cordova. I have the Cordova Alaska History Buffs page on facebook and have posted photos taken by E A Hegg of the construction and equipment of the CR&NW Railway. You have photos we don’t have in our local museum. Would you be willing to post your photos on my page for others to see?

  2. Matthew

    Thank you for the photos you’ve posted, and all the work you’ve put into the track layout. It’s amazing!

    I saw this about the steam shovels, and cannot help but recall the skeleton of one of the dinosaur’s that I’ve seen on the route, it’s just back off in the woods that have grown up now. When I was young, we would play on it.


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