from The Silverstone Sun
S&J TO BUILD
Long Planned, Long Delayed Rail Line To Begin Construction Next Year
By Francine Rivera - Staff Writer, Silverstone SunSILVERSTONE Officials of the Silverstone and Jade Electric Railway announced today that the long planned "Arroyo Route" link from Silverstone to Camp Angeles and their backcountry resort of Camp San Gabriel has once again been given the go.
The Arroyo Route - designed as a safer, faster, and more direct link to the backcountry than the current line up and over Mt. Figueroa - has had a long history of false starts, delays, and cancellations. Originally proposed in 1920, by 1924 grading of the route actually progressed as far as Slide Canyon - eight kims from the starting point in La Cañada Heights - and track was laid for the first three kims of the route to the current site of Hiker's Station - then planned only as a workcamp for the construction.
But the opening of the resorts at Verde Lake and the completion of the line to the Widney Sea in 1925 cut revenues in half for the Alpine Division and the planned extension was shelved.
The return of visitors to the backcountry in the mid-thirties brought the proposal for the route back a second time. But after much discussion, funds for the project were instead used to upgrade the tracks between Mt. Figueroa and Camp San Gabriel (It was at this time that the dangerous section of track known as "The Rattlesnake Coaster" was replaced with the now famous "French Curve Bridge") and the project was shelved again.
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Since that time, someone at S&J has dusted off the proposal and presented it to the board on the average of once every ten years. In 1962, it actually got as far as the route being resurveyed before the idea was once again abandoned.
However, the upswing in tourists to the region over the last five years and the increasingly obvious inadequacies of the current Mt. Figueroa line to handle the new traffic has once again brought the Arroyo Route proposal back to life. Officials at S&J have been studying the idea with increasing favor over the last eighteen months, culminating with today's announcement.
In this announcement, Señora Baldwin - head of S&J's Alpine Division - stated that the tracks will follow above the Arroyo Seco as far as the watershed divide between it and the West Fork. From there, they will then run above the West Fork until they meet with the current trackage between Camp San Gabriel and Camp Angeles at Shortcut Ridge. Construction is scheduled to begin in May of next year, and the final spike should be driven thirty-six months later.
There are no plans to abandon any of the current Alpine trackage once the new route is complete, Señora Baldwin said.
OWNERS OF BOB'S TRAILHEAD STATION CONCERNED
Will Loss Of Hiker's Station's "End Of The Line" Status Also Mark The End Of It As A Popular Destination?
by John Robinson - Staff Writer, Silverstone SunRobert Cortez looked over the piles of ties, rails and ballast that he'd seen growing day by day just north of his resort and grimaced.
"This is going to kill us," he said. "We are going to stop being a place to begin hikes from and start being one people just wave at as they roll by."