The Council City and Solomon River Railroad
The Council City and Solomon River railroad was founded on March 27, 1902, in New Jersey. The line was planned to run from Dickson, at the mouth of the Solomon River, 134 miles to the mines at City Council, traversing the Seward Peninsula. Construction on the line began later that year, and the first locomotives (used since 1881 on the New York Elevated Railroad) and cars were delivered the following year.
The first 9 miles saw operation on September 2, 1903, and transported both passenger and freight traffic. The headquarters of the line were located in a three-story building in Dickson. In order to reach Council City, a coach service ("dog or horse" powered) was provided that started at the end of the line and covered the rest of the distance to Council City. In addition, a 34-mile spur from Dickson to Penny Creek was completed in 1906 and also saw both freight and passenger traffic. As given by a passenger timetable from 1907, total travel time to East Fork took one hour, with a three-hour travel time to Penelope Creek.
During the fall of 1907, due to lack of funds and building materials, the railroad was abandoned, never to see a turning wheel again. The equipment and tracks remained until 1913, when a large storm took out the tracks, stranding the equipment permanently.
Today, as seen in countless number of photographs, former equipment remains, including three locomotives, two passenger cars, and 17 freight cars, all in various states of rust; it is known today as the "Last Train to Nowhere".
I flew over the area in March of this year while working the Iditarod Dog Sled Race. It is amazing the history that lies in pockets throughout the region. I have a friend that lives about 60 miles out of Nome and loves the Tundra life.
With a little time, one can discover many true treasures of "The Great Land".
If the state of Alaska would be interested and funds were there, I would be extremely interested in making a nice museum out of this equipment and even operating a short stretch of line.
E mail me for ideas.
Great info! Can you share the source from which you drew the route? I have been looking for this info and haven't found anything else like this. Do you know why the route has a break?
I saw your post above. I interested in seeing what your plans are for this line. I would be more than interested to help and get involved with your plan. Please email me back.
Hello there abandonedrails.com
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