Historic Trona Monorail

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Historic Trona Monorail

Postby BallaratBob » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:26 pm

Historic Trona Monorail
Interesting information, images, and a map.
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Re: Historic Trona Monorail

Postby panamint_patty » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:06 am

Monorail Route
I'm not sure where Magnesia is, but construction began in 1922, the monorail became operational in 1924, and it was closed in 1926. Most of the monorail was disassembled in the late 1930's, but there are still pieces of it lying around mostly on military land.
The monorail started at the sidings in Magnesia, crossed the dry bed of the Searles Lake and climbed on a ramp through the Layton Canyon with a gain of 1,800 feet (550 m) in 5 miles (8 km), i.e. a 7 % gradient. It passed the Layton Pass, whose summit is 3,500 feet (1067 m) above sea level, and followed a steep canyon downwards to the bed of the Panamint Valley with only one road crossing on its way. At the other side of the valley it climbed with a gradient of 10–12 % to the Wingate Pass, followed then the Wingate Wash and the Crystal Hills Wash and turned finally eastwards to the camp and mine.

LINK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epsom_Salts_Monorail
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Re: Historic Trona Monorail

Postby panamint_patty » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:06 am

Historic Photos of the High-Riding "Magnesium Flyer"
Nothing about this monorail sounded like it worked very well. Before an engine upgrade could be implemented after the first few months of operation, "sun and heat splintered the timbers and loosened the bolts of the elevated road bed. The outrigger wheels had worn the guide rails to shreds." It sounds like it constantly broke down and needed repair. Although the project was not a bad idea, the implementation was pretty much a failure. (Article begins on page twelve. Nice pics and map included.)
LINK: https://www.scribd.com/document/2402722/196301-Desert-Magazine-1963-January
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Re: Historic Trona Monorail

Postby tronagirl » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:49 am

Nice topic guys! I wish we could still go out and explore around on the east side of the lake would be neat. A place called Dean's Mill shows up on the map. It appears to be on military land. Does the military patrol that area? is it okay to just go out and kick some cans around out there?
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Re: Historic Trona Monorail

Postby BoraxBill » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:56 am

Around Trona and Searles Valley
This book includes sketchy info about a lot of sites around the valley. Regarding Dean's Mill it says:
New York Mine/Dean's Mill was financed in the 1890s by George Hearst. J.C. Dean built the 20-stamp mill and crushed ore for many of the gold and silver mines in the Slate and Argus Ranges. Dean was the postmaster, and his family lived in what they called John Searles's winter house. The military ran them off the property in 1944, claiming they would pay them $150,000 for the property. They were never paid.

See page 22. (By the way Wyatt Earp is mentioned on page 21.)
LINK:
https://books.google.com/books?id=lRozCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA21&lpg=PA21&dq=slate+range+%22dean%27s+mill%22+trona+searles&source=bl&ots=9LDf2QPhq3&sig=lnV6wcTRHWFU_ZDLyslEE8QuSfY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwig8JjC_p7RAhVB4GMKHcadDtgQ6AEIGjAA#v=onepage&q=slate%20range%20%22dean%27s%20mill%22%20trona%20searles&f=false
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