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“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.
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, 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
Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 29, 2005
2. Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line Marker
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.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 35° 11.688′ N, 118° 32.064′ W. Marker is near Tehachapi, California, in Kern County. Marker is on On Old State Hwy, 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.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tehachapi Loop (here, next to this marker); The Great Flood of 1932 and Engine No. 3834 (approx. 1.4 miles away); "Old Town" (approx. 4.2 miles away); Duty~Honor~Country (approx. 6.4 miles away); Tehachapi Loop Mural (approx. 6.4 miles away); Original site of the First Catholic Church in 1887 (approx. 6.5 miles away); Gallinger House (approx. 6.5 miles away); Odd Fellows Hall (approx. 6.5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tehachapi.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceLandmarksMan-Made FeaturesNotable PlacesRailroads & Streetcars
 
Tehachapi Loop image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle
3. Tehachapi Loop
Tehachapi Loop image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle
4. Tehachapi Loop
Vintage Postcard - Tehachapi Loop image. Click for full size.
5. Vintage Postcard - Tehachapi Loop
Reached by Southern Pacific Lines
Vintage Postcard - The Loop image. Click for full size.
By Bvnc
6. 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.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 28, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 3,658 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 28, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
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