EUREKA YARD, AUGUST 2002
The North Coast of California is mostly vertical, very similar to Europe's lower Alpine area. Three tectonic plates meet there, making it one of the most geologically active areas in the States. Weather extremes swing from months with no rain and wildfires to months of torrential downpours with floods that have literally washed entire towns into the Pacific. Earthquakes and landslides destroy track and tunnels, bridges are washed out.
The area's rugged beauty makes it a very desirable place to live. The early settlers built railroads to bring the giant redwood trees to the mills and harbors, but there was no railroad connection to the rest of the world until 1914. Economies of scale subsidized its high maintenance but as shipping and passenger service declined the thing quickly became an orphan.
August, 2002. This is the old NWP Eureka yard in Humboldt County, a couple of hour's drive south of the Oregon state line. These five engines have not moved since operations ceased years ago. A number of owners have made failed attempts to put the railroad back in service.
Some additional local and area railroad history is available at http://www.sunnyfortuna.com/railroad/
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