by Placerville Newswire / Feb 04, 2018 / comments


This short, silent film from 1940 shows an excursion aboard the Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe Railroad, from Camino to Cable and then the return. CP< was an 8-mile (13 km) Class III short-line railroad operating in the Sierra Nevada in California, east of Sacramento. It was built primarily to haul lumber from the El Dorado National Forest. The standard gauge line ran east for 8 miles (13 km) to Camino from a connection with the Placerville Branch of the Southern Pacific Company at Placerville. 

One of the unique features of this steam railroad was that it utilized a cable (seen at :52) to move lumber to the Michigan-California Lumber Company across the American River from the Pino Grande Mill on the north side to the Camino Mill on the south side of the river. It was installed in 1901 and was in operation until 1949. According to the Sierra Logging Museum, the distance of the cable over the river was 2,650 feet (other sources say 2814 feet) and it was about 1,200 feet from the the cable to the river below. 

The narrow gauge railroad took the rough cut lumber from the mill to a tower on the north side where the carriage was loaded, moved across the gorge and unloaded in a tower on the opposite side onto the narrow gauge railroad which took it to the mill in Camino. The system of railroads and the cable system over the river ended up successfully getting cars loaded with lumber down the mountain and over the river to where they could be moved by locomotives to the mill at Camino.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com