Magnesite, California

The Magnesite Branch

(Forwarded from the Potterville Northeastern Railway)

An abandoned railroad line in Magnesite, California, known as The Magnesite Branch, of which .5 miles have been abandoned, was once operated in California by the Potterville Northeastern Railway and the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: 10164 Date: 9/30/1933 Section: 1
App. of Porterville Northeastern Ry. Co. and Southern Pacific Co., its lessee, for certificate to abandon that part of the Magnesite Branch at Magnesite, Tulare County, California, a length of 0.500 of mile.
Length: 0.5 miles Citation: 193 ICC 647  

I have journeyed to the site of the Magnesite mine and there are still some rails in their original locations on the ground at the site. The hope would be that these rails remain in place for all to enjoy for years to come. In addition, Robert Edgar of Dorris, California purchased a number of the rails from this line and constructed his own rail line in Villa Grande with Robert Bruer on Mr. Bruer's property. Since then, a slide destroyed the Villa Grande site, so Mr. Edgar salvaged most of the rails for use on his private steamline on his property in Dorris, California.

I asked Mr. Edgar if I could visit which he agreed to, and then took a memorable bike trip from Dunsmuir up to his magical property in Dorris, where he has constructed a line around his property with an engine shed for several engines, along with a garage for other of his steam toys, such as steam powered boats and a Stanley Steamer.

Mr Edgar also remembered traveling to the Magnesite mine and salvaging the wheels off of an ore car which was tipped over into the creek. He believes he still has these wheels on his property somewhere.

I have some digital audio from my visit to Mr. Edgar along with several photographs.

Phil Melman


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