Newcastle in Weston County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Cambria Powers the Trains
The 1888 discovery of coal at Cambria, eight miles north of Newcastle, provided the final key to railroad development through the northeast Wyoming Territory. The main line of the railroad stretched west from Newcastle, while a spur line built in 1889 to the flourishing town of Cambria transported coal and livestock. The coal mines closed in 1928 and in 1929 the Burlington Railroad officially abandoned the line from Newcastle to Cambria.
Working for the Railroad
Two roundtrips ran daily from Newcastle to Cambria at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Brakeman rode on top of cars and turned iron wheels than engaged the brakes of that car, then jumped to the next car and repeated the process. Two brakemen were needed.
Engineer operated the train. Railroad workers worked their way up to be an engineer.
Fireman kept the cylinders on the drive wheels oiled while the train was underway and shoveled coal into the firebox on the engine. Early engines burned 40-200 pounds of coal per mile.
Conductor was the boss of the train crew.
Side bar on the left:
Few accidents occurred during the 39 years the Cambria train operated. However, a wreck in 1917 killed two people and injured three more when the train went off the rails and spilled three cars of coal.
Erected by Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Natural Resources • Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. 43° 51.245′ N, 104° 12.354′ W. Marker is in Newcastle, Wyoming, in Weston County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street and South Railroad Avenue, on the left when traveling west on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 West Main Street, Newcastle WY 82701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Trains Power Newcastle (here, next to this marker); Hanging of Diamond L. Slim Clifton (within shouting distance of this marker); Accidental Oil Well (approx. 3.9 miles away); Cambria (approx. 4½ miles away); Site of Field City (approx. 4.6 miles away); Salt Creek Overlook (approx. 4.9 miles away); The Jenney Stockade (approx. 4.9 miles away); Camp Jenney (approx. 4.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newcastle.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 3, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 26, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 316 times since then and 95 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 26, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.