Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation.
Building of the Construction Railroad between Coulee City and Grand Coulee happened during the Great Depression, so labor was quite cheap and in abundance. Also, the line itself didn’t have a lot of heavy construction to complete the grade, so a few machines, some animals, and human labor were all that were needed to easily build the line. Note that the railroad ties are not treated with creosote, a normal railroad practice. This would increase the cost of construction, but prolong the life of the ties in the dry environment of the Grand Coulee area. The railroad wasn’t expected to last much beyond the construction of the dam.