Wednesday, April 8, 2009

ICC Valuation of the Milwaukee Road Moses Lake Branch

Valuation Section Washington 7-A covers what is known as the Moses Lake Line which leaves the Warden-Marcellus branch, …at Tiflis and extends in a general northwesterly direction about 16 miles to Neppel on the eastern shore of Moses Lake. The general exploration work for this branch was done in conjunction with that work on the Warden-Marcellus Line, although a close reconnaissance outlining the adopted route was made just previous to the instrumental survey.

On June 25, 1911 a locating party started west from Tiflis and competed their work on July 31st , during which time they ran 42 miles of preliminary and 40 miles of location survey to obtain the 15 3/4 miles of adopted line, or about 2 2/3 miles each of preliminary and location for one mile of adopted survey.

Just previous to construction, which took place in 1912 the line was resurveyed and some revisions made.

Construction was carried on, under the supervision of an Assistant Engineer, who reported to the Assistant Chief Engineer in Seattle.

The Line as constructed leaves Tiflis on a slight descending gradient for about a mile thence climbs to a summit in mile 4 on a varying gradient with a maximum of 1.5% thence descends to Sieler on a maximum gradient of .9%. From Sieler the gradients are generally descending with a maximum of 1.5% to mile 15, thence level to Neppel.

In Mile 3 the line passes under the Connell Branch of the Northern Pacific Railway.

The clearing, grubbing, grading and culvert work was let by contract to H.C. Henry, who sublet to three other contractors. Equipment and supplies were unloaded at Tiflis and hauled from there by team to points of use.

A moderately heavy growth of sage brush and grease wood covered the uncultivated land which required clearing.

Grading was started in May 1912 and completed in December of the same year. The work was largely done with teams and was light, averaging about 12,000 cubic yards per mile. A small percentage of classified material was encountered.

The most difficult feature of the grading was the work in connection with the crossing under the Northern Pacific in mile 3 where is was necessary to maintain traffic while the material was being removed from under their track.

Considerable grading has been done since the original work was finished in widening and removing the tops of cuts to improve the view at road crossings as required by the Public Service Commission.

All the bridge work occurs in the first three miles west of Tiflis and was built by Railway Company Forces.

Corrugated iron pipe for the culverts was shipped by rail to Tiflis, from where it was hauled to the sites by team.

Track was laid by hand, 50# relay steel being used. Ballast was obtained from Neppel pit.

The material for right of way fence, telegraph lines, station buildings, etc., was delivered by rail after track laying had been completed and construction work was carried out the Railway Company forces. A 24 ft. by 88 ft. standard framed depot was built at Neppel. Telephones were installed in booths at blind sidings in addition to those in the depot.

The line is operated as part of the Idaho Division, the usual branch line equipment being used.

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