Patterson to Jones

The Patterson and Western Railroad

This 3-foot narrow gauge railroad wended its way from a connection with a Southern Pacific line in Patterson westward through the Del Puerto Canyon to a site named "Jones". Built in 1916, it served a number of magnesite mines as part of the war effort during World War I.

It operated for only 4 years, and was abandoned in 1921. Today, Del Puerto Canyon Road runs atop its right-of-way.

Not much of the right of way is visible and the Jones sight is not on the existing road but rather off the road on private property when the road the road makes a sharp left about a mile from frank raines parks. The right of way goes straight and where there had once been a trestle the road goes left. Very disapointing. From Google earth can be see what's left of the the Jones camp and the water filled mine shaft and where the spurs of a very random rail yard had once been. About 5 miles from interstate 5 there is the concrete pillars of the trestle that was once over the creek not far from there is a fire road that travels up the hill for a couple miles, this was once a 2 foot gauge gasoline powered tramway that leads up too a set of abandoned mines also on private property. There is also a site of a farm about 10 miles into the canyon where there are 2 small mounds of mining chat and this is what's left of the processing plant. There is however many abandoned mines on the side of the road and rail bed if you know how t

NarrowGuageFan
Patterson, CA
1/2/2013

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Unfornunately ""Narrow Gauge Fan"'s comments have many errors. The site of the bridge abutment, form I-5,is approximatly correct. The two foot tramway was at Jones Station at the tail of the wye. The tramway was to the east side of the P&W tail of the wye, and above it. The tram cars dunped the ore into the P&W cars below.

In addition to magnesite the mine at the end of the tram was for magnesite, but it was deemed a "dry hole" and the tram was torn up by Roy Williams in the fall/winter of 1917.

Chromite was another ore in the Del Puerto canyon. There many "pocket" mines that yeilded a very high grade of Cr2 O3. These ore were processed at a concenting plant at Chrome, Mile Post 20.7. The cChrome Concentrating plant then shipped the finished product to Patterson.

The P&W was a short lived WWI boom railroad that died after the end of the was and govenment price supports were with drawn. The two Shay locomotices were sold to logging operation in CA and WA. There some cars (former ballst cars) that were sold to the Eureka & Palisades narrow gauge in Nevada. The fate of the remaining cars is, to date, unknown. Since these were cars that had been buil in the 1880s and well used on at least four railroads, they were probably burned to salvage the scrap metels.

Dan Ranger
Chama, NM
2/19/2013

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Sorry for the misinformation o ly info i could find was oral as majority of people in patterson are not even aware of the railroads exitance. Thank ypur for correcting me on the info. Could you please update this article dan with all the info you have aquired and some photos.

narrowguagefan
santa cruz ca.
10/13/2013

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The Patterson and Southern Pacific Railroad use to run up Del Puerto Canyon, ending at where my Loading Dock for the Adobe Springs Water Co. now exists. There are still remnants, as apparently they ran a short narrow guage line to my old barn (flooded and torn down now) where they maintained the tiny steam locomotives. You can still see some of the concrete structures they left. They used to haul the ore up my hill, crush it, and then let it slide down into the rail cars. Donkey trains brought the ore from Hideout Canyon (tied in to Red Mountain Mines), as Quicksilver Grade was too steep for trains. I still occasionally find a tiny railroad spike once used for nailing down the tiny rails. 20 years ago I dismantled a big steel funnel, about 6 foot by 6 foot by 8 feet tall, that was used for funneling the crushed ore into the ore cars. Its concrete foundation is still visible.

Paul Mason
Patterson's hills, CA
11/29/2014

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Back in Feb. 2013, I submitted comments on the P&W as expressed in your posting. At this time I would like to make corrections and more comments.

The original mineral was Manganese, not Magnesite. It was the "dry hole" at the manganese mine that caused the change to Magnesite and Chrome.

Mr. Mason's statement that the Southern Pacific ran in the Del Puerto canyon, is incorrect. The SP never went any further than the P&W yard on Sperry Ave. in Patterson.

The crossing of the river, west of I-25, and, indeed, all bridges on the mainline were of the Howe Truss design. While there may be "two small mounds of chert" these may not have any connection with the Chrome Concentrating Company which was on Adobe Creek. The trans loading facility at Jones was the tail end of the wye along Peach Tree creek. The transfer facility from trucks to the P&W of Magnesite approximately along the roadway on the NW side of the Jones yard. There was a bunker, filled from the mine road. Then loaded into the NG cars via a wooden chute.

My understanding is that ore was brought from Hideout creek spur by rail and some was by truck to Jones.

Dan Ranger
Chama, NM
11/30/2014

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Googlefanning ... your notes got me looking. A bit of the original r/w is still in place where the road bypassed it as seen in Google: https://www.google.com/maps/@37.4770119,-121.2278341,798m/data=!3m1!1e3

Abutments of a bridge still present here: https://www.google.com/maps/@37.4543182,-121.2553921,114m/data=!3m1!1e3

Otherwise, not much obvious sign; some other early n.g. railroads (like NPC) left more visible things in the terrain.

MikeB
Sacramento, CA
5/11/2015

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