Mexican Railway and Other Narrow Gauge Lines In Searles Valley

Mexican Central Railway, Trona, CA

From “Pete Aguereberry” by George Pipkin

Rail Car Hoppersm Westend

Rail Car Hoppers, Westend

Rail Car Hoppers, WestendWhile researching the Plimoth (Plymouth) Railway in Westend, the old timers told me there were some hoppers minus the wheels from some of the cars on the lime dump behind the plant. I took these pictures of them. — Pete Canning

 

 

 

Nameplates from narrow gauge cars at WestendI got permission to remove them as a donation to the History House. They were initially stored on Jim Sim’s property just over the county line in Inyo County. I don’t know what became of them after the Sims passed away. Anyway, the hoppers look very similar to the ones on the Mexican Central. I never did find any pictures of Westend’s Plimoth (Plymouth) Railway, only maps showing where the tracks were. — Pete Canning.
There was a third small railway in South Trona at the short-lived Burnham Plant. Walter Knott purchased it and as far as I know it is still on display at Knott's Berry FarmThere was a third small railway in South Trona at the short-lived Burnham Plant. Walter Knott purchased it and as far as I know it is still on display at Knott’s Berry Farm  — Pete Canning
“Mexican Central” Railway

“Mexican Central” Railway 1920

"Mexican Central" Railway

“Mexican Central” Railway 1915

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the “Mexican Central” railway as the caption says. It ran behind Austin Hall down along California Street, then out across Searles Lake. Mexican workers rode out on the train and loaded the hopper cars with salt by hand. Then the train returned and the salt was unloaded. For awhile the train hauled materials to and from the Copper Queen/Gold Bottom mine on the east side of Searles Valley. It never ran within the plant itself.

I suspect but have never found proof that this train was later moved to the Westend Plant and was called the Plimoth (Plymouth) Railway. There it was used to haul materials around the plant and waste lime to behind the Westend pool area. — Pete Canning

I did a little research and found out that the locomotives for the Mexican Railroad were manufactured by J.D. Fate Company in Plymouth, Ohio. In the 1950 the company became the   Plymouth Locomotive Works.

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