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Seeing Some Old Friends

By Charlie Giordano - Torrance, CA

A look at 2 beautiful Southern Pcific narrow gauge 4-6-0

 On Thursday ,June 18 Todd and Charlie Giordano left Torrance ,CA on a trip to Mammoth ,CA to the annual fathers day motorcycle race. While driving along Highway 395, Charlie stopped by to see some old friends, No.18 and No.9. 

 After a quick stop in Mojave for gas and food we trucked up into Independence where we got out and said hi to No.18. Number 18 is a beautiful Southern Pacific slim gauge 4-6-0 that ran on the Carson and Colorado NG line back in the early 1900's and up in until the mid 1950's. She's looking really good and seems to be in great condition. While at Laws up in Bishop, one of the staff members told me that a few months ago they were actually able to fire her!! That was a wonderful surprise and talk of restoring her to running condition is already in the making. It would be wonderful to one day see her back on the track pulling a short train through those white mountains. I took some pictures but it was hard to get a good image because the engine is behind a wire fence and I had to put my camera in the holes to get a clear shot.

 After leaving Independence we made our way into Bishop where we had lunch and hung out at Laws Narrow Gauge Railroad And Historical Museum to check out No.9, one of No.18's sister engines. Like No.18, No.9 is a Southern Pacific NG 4-6-0 and turning 100 in July! Laws is a great place to stop and unlike No.18, you can get up in the cab of No.9 and ring the bell!!!!! Laws also has a collection of NG rolling stock from the Carson and Colorado RR and offers a really fun look back into the past of what the Laws depot would of looked like in the 1940's as No.9 came creeping in with a mixed train. Laws also has other engines like a newly refurbished motorized rail car that is operational. Hopefully if No.18 is restored to operational condition, it and the rail car will be able to run on a short stretch of track back into Bishop which is being finalized. Laws even has some of the original buildings surrounding the depot like the old school house, dentist office, Wells Fargo building, general store, water tank, and the original Armstrong turntable. If you ever get a chance, Laws is one of the best museums in the Eastern Sierra area and offers a wonderful historic experiences for people of all ages.

 The Carson and Colorado RR was said to be a railroad built from nowhere and ending up nowhere but it is no doubt one of the most interesting and beautiful historical tributes to ever touch the rocky soil of the Eastern Sierra Mountains.    


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