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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Tehachapi in Kern County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line

Constructed 1874 – 1876

 

— Commemorated October 1998 —

 
Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, November 29, 2005
1. Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line Marker
Inscription.  
In front of you is the world famous Tehachapi Loop which is about halfway upgrade to the Tehachapi Pass. This steep line averages 2.2% in gradient in its 28 miles of length. This feat of civil engineering genius was crowning achievement of civil engineer William Hood of the Southern Pacific Railway Company. It is one of the seven wonders of the railroad world.

The Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line was cut through solid and decomposed granite by up to 3000 Chinese laborers from Canton, China. They used picks, shovels, horse drawn carts and blasting powder. This line, which climbs out of the San Joaquin Valley and through the Tehachapi Mountains had 18 tunnels, 10 bridges and numerous water towers for the old steam locomotives. It was completed in less than 2 years time under the leadership of civil engineer J.B. Harris, Chief of Construction, a remarkable feat.

This line was part of the last and final link of the first railroad line connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles. It was a primary factor in the early growth of the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.

This single track line, essentially unchanged,
Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Denise Boose, August 9, 2021
2. Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line Marker
The marker is at a new viewing stand and the markers were moved to each end.
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is still in constant use today, 122 years after its completion. It passes an average of 36 freight trains each day. This attests to the superior job of both engineering and construction done by the two civil engineers and the Chinese laborers.
 
Erected 1998 by History and Heritage Committee, Los Angeles Section and Southern San Joaquin Branch, American Society of Engineers.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the ASCE Civil Engineering Landmarks series list.
 
Location. 35° 11.701′ N, 118° 32.093′ W. Marker is near Tehachapi, California, in Kern County. Marker is on Woodford-Tehachapi Road, 3.2 mi E of Keene exit, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Keene CA 93531, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tehachapi Loop (a few steps from this marker); The Cross at the Loop (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Great Flood of 1932 and Engine No. 3834 (approx. 1.4 miles away); Cesar E. Chavez National Monument (approx. 2.4 miles away); Nόwa - Kawaiisu People (approx. 4 miles away); "Old Town" (approx. 4.2 miles away);
Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Denise Boose, August 9, 2021
3. Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line Marker
A new viewing stand and the markers were moved to each end. Tehachapi Pass Railroad is to the left.
Duty~Honor~Country (approx. 6.4 miles away); Tehachapi Loop Mural (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tehachapi.
 
Old view of the markers - 2019 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, September 21, 2019
4. Old view of the markers - 2019
Tehachapi Loop image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle
5. Tehachapi Loop
Tehachapi Loop image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle
6. Tehachapi Loop
Vintage Postcard - Tehachapi Loop image. Click for full size.
7. Vintage Postcard - Tehachapi Loop
Reached by Southern Pacific Lines
Vintage Postcard - The Loop image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bvnc
8. Vintage Postcard - The Loop
As the Southern Pacific winds through the most difficult part of the range, it swings around and across its own track in an effort to relieve the grade. The famous loop is a very ingenious feet of engineering.
Tehachapi Loop image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anne Marie Novinger
9. Tehachapi Loop
This display is in the Tehachapi Depot Museum.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 17, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 3,942 times since then and 32 times this year. Last updated on May 26, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1. submitted on September 28, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   2, 3. submitted on August 12, 2021, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.   4. submitted on September 21, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on September 28, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   9. submitted on September 21, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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May. 28, 2022