|This is a very picture intensive article, so it's been divided up into three parts.
This is PART THREE.
Click here for PART ONE. --- Click here for PART TWO.
|This page is a spur line of my main
Abandoned & Historical Railroads Homepage
|This is an article about a trip that John and I took from the prairies of Northeast Washington to the
Rocky Mountains of Idaho/Montana Boarder during the weekend of August 27-30, 2004. In less than
4 days, we explored many historical railroad and logging sites, including dozens of abandoned
tunnels and bridges in addition to logging camps and abandoned donkeys and even another
abandoned "steam locomotive in the woods". So, sit back and I hope you enjoy this very picture
intensive article. Below you'll see the pictures and descriptions of each significant historical site that
we visited in the order that we visited them. Hope you enjoy the article. Since I'm not as intimately
familier with the railroad and logging history of Washington and Idaho as much as Oregon, there are
a few gaps that need to be filled in by those in the know. Please email me anytime if you have
anything to add to this article.
|Abandoned Rutledge Logging Climax locomotive.
In 1930, a Climax steam locomotive ran away down a steep hill, in the mountains north of Clarkia, Idaho. It jumped the tracks and
wrecked. Today, the wreck still exists. Although much of the locomotive is missing a substantial amount remains to explore. But it
requires a hike to the site. Rather than spend a lot of time on it here, I have entirely new page dedicated to the locomotive with more
information and many more pictures. Visit my Abandoned Climax Locomotive page.
|The abandoned Climax was built in 1909 as Climax serial number 916, but didn't start working for the
Rutledge Lumber Company until 1916. In 1922, Rutledge built a steep incline railroad over the mountain.
Locomotives and log cars were pulled over the mountain on rails via steam donkey winches. In 1930, the
locomotive was either being pulled up or let down the north slope, when the cables broke and it ran away at
a high rate of speed before crashing here.
Dont forget to visit my Abandoned Climax Page for more info and a lot more pictures of
this historic locomotive.
|Rutledge Incline Railroad and abandoned trestles.
The Rutledge Lumber company owned a large track of forest land north of Clarkia, Idaho and had been logging that land for years, but in
1922, a large forest fire swept through the area and changed the logging operations forever. While most of the Rutledge logging camps
that were in use, were spared by the fire, much of the trees were destroyed and Rutledge had to act quickly if they wanted to salvage
the remaining burnt logs. Rather than built a normal railroad that went around the mountains, Rutledge decided to build one straight
over the mountains to the damaged area. Thus, the famous "Incline" was constructed. The incline was a steep section of track that
went straight up one side of a mountain and down the other. Since the locomotives could not possibly power themselves, much less
any load of logs over the incline, steam donkeys were used as winches to pull the trains up and over the other side. The loads were
hauled up and over, one car and one locomotive at a time, using several steam donkeys.
The line continued north of the Incline for several miles. In the next photos, you'll see the remains of trestles and other artifacts found
along the grade. The trestles were built in 1922 and last used in 1930.
|As we walked down the grade, we noticed this small cut into the hill. Soon we would come across our first
|This wood trestle was pretty significant in size. It has amazingly withstood well over 80 years in these mountains, although
the top deck is long gone. Note how many decades ago, a tree began to grow out of the pilings near one of the landings.
It looks to me like the decking was cut off purposely at some point as opposed to just rotting away.
|Not far from the above trestle was the remains of a steam donkey. Today, only part of the frame and
one full drum of cable remain. It appears that the entire rest of the donkey was parted out or cut up
for scrap, but the salvagers, couldn't figure how to haul away such a large and heavy drum of cable.
|I found this pottery in the
middle of the grade. Not
sure if it's railroad
related or dumped here
in later years.
|More railroad grade. This is a built up area,
about 15 to 20 feet above the forest floor.
|Another large cut on
|The remains of the third significant trestle on the grade. This one was in the worst shape
and was mostly collapsed. We didn't explore the grade any further from here, but more
trestle remains likely exist.
|This rail connector was
the only metal evidence I
could find of the old
|MIsc. Historical Railroad Sites.
As we made our way home, we stopped and photographed several historicaly significant railroad sites in Idaho and Washington.
|Bovill, Idaho. This is the end of the line for an abandoned railroad. The line into Bovill is part of the ex-Milkaukee Road Elk River
branch that ran from St. Maries to Elk River. Today, the tracks end here at Bovill. The rest of the line to Elk River was torn out in the
early 1980s. But the line between here, north to Clarkia is also abandoned in the mid 1990s when several slides blocked the line.
Lack of maintenance caused several washouts, making the line even less usable. The tracks remain, but the line will probably never
be used again south of Clarkia. The St. Maries River railroad continues to operate to the log reload at Clarkia. The same reload that
the Rutledge Logging company used more than 80 years ago.
|Kendrick, Idaho. This is the ex-Moscow branch of the Camas Prairie Railroad. It was abandoned sometime in the early to mid 1990s
and most of it is now a bike trail. On the left is a freight house of some type along the old grade. On the right is the old Kendrick Depot,
now boarded up and abandoned.
|This huge trestle belongs to the currently operational Camas Prairie Railroad and crosses the Clearwater River several miles east of
Lewiston, Idaho. It was probably built in 1906, when the line was first built.
|In Lewiston, Idaho is this 3-truck Heisler. It was originally built for the Ohio Match Company at Hayden Lake, Idaho, in 1924, as their
number 1. It was later sold to Potlatch Forest Inc, and renumbered #92. It operated at Headquarter, Idaho and later here in Lewiston,
Idaho. It was donated to the city of Lewiston in 1963 and has sat here ever since.
The caboose is likely an ex-Burlington Northern Caboose that was used by the Camas Prairie Railroad. The interior looks to have most
of it's original equipment, right down the 12 volt Engal refrigerator (just like the one I use in my truck!)
|On the west end of Lewiston, the Camas Praire crosses the Clearwater River once again. This time across this huge drawbridge.
What is interesting about this bridge, is that it is a relatively new structure. The silver painted bridge structures were built in 1906.
There was likely a swing bridge in the center. In 1974 (note the date in the new concrete pillar) this drawbridge was constructed,
probably to replace the swing bridge which either wore out or was perhaps damaged somehow.
|This depot located in Dayton, Washington was build in 1881 and is Washington state's oldest surviving depot. Used mainly by Union
Pacific until the 1970s, when it was closed and then turned into a museum. It is in excellent condition and I was very surprised to find
that it was as old as it was. It has likely undergone an extensive renovation.
|Located just down the street from the Dayton Depot, is the Union Pacific, class Class CA-5 caboose. It appears to have
been restored and was in spectacular condition, inside and out. It appeared as if it were brand spanking new. This was one of 100
cabooses built for Union Pacifc in 1952. This one was built in July, 1952 and was retired in May, 1986 and donated to the Dayton
HIstorical Society. They must have done the restoration and should be commended for a job well done.
|West of Walla-Walla, Washington, near Touchet, were these derelict mixture of passenger and baggage cars on the ex-Union Pacific
line, now run by the Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad, which is owned by Watco. This railroad used to be called the Blue Mountain
Railroad in recent years. These cars are likely used for rail maintenance storage. Of course I had to take a picture of the "Do Not
Hump" sign. Apparently this has to do with railroad yards that were bullt with humps and railcars used to be pushed over these humps
and allowed to coast downhill onto different tracks in the yard, allowing cars to be set without the constant use of a locomotive. These
old passenger cars apparently are not able to withstand such operations. Thanks to Floyd Pink and Cliff McKay for answering my
question as that what "do not hump" actually meant!
|Further down the tracks at a location called Reese, Washington, these locomotives a load of cars were parked on the tracks.
Apparently, the crews were done for the day and they were parked for the night. Crews were probably going to return in the morning to
finish the run. Because this is a lightly used line, there was no problem blocking the mainline. Note that the locomotives were
originally owned by the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad of Maine. They probably went into a lease pool and are now being leased by the
Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad, which runs this line.
|The End, Thanks for Viewing!
|This is a very picture intensive article, so it's been divided up into three parts.
This is PART THREE. Click here for PART ONE. --- Click here for PART TWO.
|If anyone has any further information or pictures about any of the stuff in this article, please
Email me anytime. Thanks.
|Copyright © 2004 Brian McCamish, All Rights Reserved
Note about the photos on this site:
Most photos were taken by me, except for those that are otherwise indicated. I usually allow people to use my photos for personal use or
websites. Simply Email me. I may not have authority to grant permission regarding some photos that were only loaned to me by others
specifically for this website. Every effort has been made not to include other's photos without the proper permission and credits, however, if
you see any photos which belong to you and that I don't have permission to use, I apologize. If you send me an Email, I will remove the
photos immediately or give proper credit, which ever you wish.
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|Rutledge dug a large cut
here to get the railroad
|We noticed several pieces
of wood that were buried
lateral along the grade. We
believe these are the
remains of the ties.
|Another large trestle that
still stands in the woods.
Again, the top decking is
|Another cut, this time
wider to accommodate
what appears to be two
tracks from the tie