Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lucin Cutoff Railroad Trestle

As I was blogging about the Haloarchaea bacteria last month, I learned about how the Lucin Cutoff causeway changed the salinity of the north arm of the lake. That made me very interested in the Lucin Cutoff Railroad Trestle that was built in 1903 before the causeway. At the turn of the century, the Promontory line (think Golden Spike) of the Transcontinental Railroad was becoming a bottleneck. This was north of the Great Salt Lake. A man at Southern Pacific dreamed of having a railroad go across the lake saving miles in a train’s journey.

It involved 103 miles of new track between Ogden and Lucin (a town in the west desert), including an almost 12-mile-long permanent wooden trestle and several more miles of rock and gravel fill through shallow lake brine. Temporary trestles were used to help construct much of the fill. (Miller, David E. Great Salt Lake Past and Present. Publishers Press. 5th edition by Anne M. Eckman, 1994, p. 38) (Hofsommer, Don L. The Southern Pacific, 1901-1985. Texas A&M University Press. 1986, p. 17)

In 1959, the trestle was replaced by a solid fill causeway that is still in use by the railroad. Today, wood from the Trestle is being reclaimed and sold for different projects around the world.  

The beautiful crisscross lines of the trestle timbers remind me of knitted cables. I have several ideas of something inspired by these lines. All using a deep brown, the color of trestle wood, and maybe something for a man.

No comments:

Post a Comment