Island Mountain Tunnel Fire: Railroad Recovery Operation
Documentary footage of the recovery of Southern Pacific SD-9 diesel locomotive No. 4310, one of four locomotives marooned at Eureka following the Island Mountain Tunnel fire. The footage documents the 1979 movement of the detrucked diesel by Bigge Drayage from Alderpoint to Dos Rios, where it was put back onto NWP/SP rails. This is a bit of odd California railroad history, more recent history at that. The Island Mountain tunnel was the longest tunnel on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad (at more than 4300 feet). In September of 1978 it burned and about half the tunnel caved in with rock and debris. The fire stranded several locomotives and freight cars north of the tunnel. Reconstruction took much longer than anticipated (more than a year), and because there was so much demand for diesel locomotives the railroad decided to move the locomotives on flatbed trailer trucks. Caltrans would not allow the locomotives to be moved on highway 101, so these movements were on curvier, smaller roads.
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