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Tonopah Junction

Mineral County

In 1881, the Carson & Colorado rail line from Mound to Hawthorne was completed. Several different railroad companies would involve themselves with laying track to connect different Nevada and California mining towns over the next 30 years. To include narrow gauge, standard gauge and dual gauge lines. In some cases, multiple lines to accommodate different gauges ran through the same area. In 1900, the Southern Pacific purchased the Carson & Colorado for what seemed to be a large amount of money. The excitement over the sale quickly diminished when the "Queen of the Silver Camps" was discovered a couple months later. If the discovery of Tonopah wasn't enough to make the sellers realize that they sold too low, Goldfield was discovered in 1903 and organized in 1904. Although the Southern Pacific had purchased the Carson & Colorado, the C&C name remained in place. By 1903, talks were underway in reference to connecting the newly formed Tonopah Railroad with the Carson & Colorado. The following is from the 'Tonopah Bonanza' newspaper dated March 14, 1903. It is titled 'Tonopah Railroad'. This article speaks directly to the establishment of Tonopah Junction as the connection. "C.S. Lemon, the capitalist and engineer of the rapidly developing Tonopah Railroad project, has returned to this city, duly armed with a charter and rights of way granted by the State of Nevada. Moreover, the actual surveys of the route have been made, the surprising results of which are decidedly interesting. Its initial point is at the 143rd mile-post on the Carson and Colorado, about one mile from Rhodes. The distance to terminal in Tonopah is 62 miles..... Were all construction material at hand, a mile of the road can be laid everyday. With reasonable allowance for delays in the landing of construction supplies, the tracks should reach Tonopah in ninety days. It appears now to be understood that the Southern Pacific will put down a third rail on the Carson and Colorado from Mound House to Rhodes, and the Tonopah Road will be equally equipped to bear rolling stock of both gauges. Rails are being landed at the southern end to fill in the 100-mile gap on the C and C., between Keeler and Mohave, but it is asserted that that road below the Tonopah Junction will remain a narrow gauge.," By 1904, train schedule advertisements were being published in the area newspapers. They read as follows: "Time Table -of the- Carson & Colorado R.R. Taking effect May 14, 1904." The new schedule now included Tonopah Junction as a stop on the rail line. I have saved the ads from a couple of newspapers from mid to late 1904. By the mid 1930's, there were talks and requests to abandon the section of rail line that connected Tonopah Junction to Benton, California. It became official on February 16, 1938 when the last Southern Pacific train left Mina. The Tonopah & Goldfield Railroad was officially abandoned on October 15, 1947. There is a very good article in the Mineral County Independent News dated April 12, 2016 regarding this timeline of events.

Post Office: None

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: I've been here a few times. The photographs are from 2013. The dirt road leading south from Hwy 360 is decent. It is about a 1/4 mile to the relics.

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