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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Elko in Elko County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Railroad

 
 
The Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Theresa Hilton Small, November 14, 2019
1. The Railroad Marker
Inscription.  Elko was established by the Central Pacific Railroad in late December 1868 with the tracks running through the middle of Elko. In 1908, the Western Pacific railroad was constructed with the tracks located in the middle of Silver Street. With two railroads and multiple crossings in the middle of town, traffic was often clogged and numerous train/auto accidents took place. In 1979, “Project Lifesaver” realigned the Humboldt River, moved the two railroad tracks out of downtown Elko a few blocks south and relocated the rail yards east of Elko. This change forever improved the safety and environment of downtown.

The idea for the project came from Mark Chilton, who had extensive experience as a railroad engineer with the Western Pacific Railroad and knew the engineering staff and management with the Southern Pacific Railroad.

“Project Lifesaver” eliminated at least 16 railroad crossings through Elko by relocating 5.4 miles of tracks from between Commercial and Railroad Streets to just north of the Humboldt River, outside the downtown corridor. The project stopped all train-vehicle and train-pedestrian

The Railroad Marker is on the right. image. Click for full size.
By Theresa Hilton Small, November 14, 2019
2. The Railroad Marker is on the right.
incidents: saving many lives. After five years of planning, construction began in 1979 and was completed in 1984..

Before the tracks were relocated, it was not unheard of to wait an hour or more for one of the fifty daily trains to pass through town. Emergency vehicles were often stuck on one side or the other of a stopped train while trying to get to a patient on the south side of town or trying to get a patient to the hospital, which was located at College Ave. and 12th Street. A very common sound was hearing the train whistles blow and rail cars crashing into each other as the trains started and stopped.

Mark Chilton along with the “Project Lifesaver” Steering Committee which included Dutch Stenovitch (City of Elko Mayor), Ira Rackley, John Aguirre, Walter Aldrich Jr., Fred Faupel, Robert Higley, John Miller, George and Theo Gund, John Biegler, Barbara Errecart, Bill Nisbet, Mel Stenniger, Ray Gardner, Randy Mathis, Dan Bilbao Jr., Jerry Warren, Chick Handwright, Ralph Paoli, Jack Hull, John Tewell, Nick Halton, Terry Reynolds, Chet Bate, Lorne Pratt, Chub Smales, Jack Sutherland, Bill McKinley, and Dr. Tom Hood worked tirelessly for 10 years to see this project through.
 
Erected 2017 by the City of Elko.
 
Location. 40° 50.001′ 

A nearby marker about Mark Chilton noted on this marker. image. Click for full size.
By Theresa Hilton Small, November 14, 2019
3. A nearby marker about Mark Chilton noted on this marker.
This is the middle of the three markers.
N, 115° 45.61′ W. Marker is in Elko, Nevada, in Elko County. Marker is at the intersection of Commercial Street and 7th Street, on the right when traveling south on Commercial Street. Located in Elko Railroad Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Commercial Street, Elko NV 89801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Entertainment (a few steps from this marker); Missouri Flats (a few steps from this marker); Education (within shouting distance of this marker); Growth and Industry (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Inhabitants (within shouting distance of this marker); Pioneer Saloon and Hotel (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Elko County High School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Elko Independent (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elko.
 
More about this marker. 7th Street, between Commercial & Railroad Streets, was closed off to combine the two portions of the park.
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 

More. Search the internet for The Railroad.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 15, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 15, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 57 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 15, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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