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Bay State Iron Company CPRR Rail, 1863 & 1866.
Courtesy G. J. 'Chris' Graves, Newcastle, Placer Co., Cal.*

Bay State Iron Company CPRR 56 lb./yd. Rail, 1863
Bay State Iron Company CPRR 60# Rail, 1863.

Pear-shaped Central Pacific Railroad 56 lb./yd. rail cut from a rail branded "BSI Co. 63"; ordered by Theodore Judah* in the Fall of 1862 from Bay State Iron Co. of Boston, Mass.;  shipped around the Horn on the 'Herald of the Morning';  first rail laid by the Central Pacific Railroad in Sacramento City, Cal. on October 26, 1863.  This rail was used between Sacramento City and Colfax, Placer Co., Cal.
*[The actual order was executed by Huntington, after being turned down for credit by the NY rail makers.  He was referred to Bay State Iron Co. by the Ames Brothers, of Mass., (suppliers of shovels for the CPRR, which now litter the desert in Nevada) who knew him for years via the hardware store.]

Herald of the Morning, Ship AdvertismentHerald of the Morning, Clipper Ship Trade Card
Clipper Ship Trade Cards
advertising for
Herald of the Morning
which carried this BSI Co. 63 rail
May 16 - September 20, 1863
Boston to San Francisco
'Round the Horn
in 127 days
[enlarged image]

October 19, 1997
We this date assisted in the taking up and cutting the rail from the first transcontinental railroad as laid by the Central Pacific Railroad in 1863.
G. J. Graves
Ed Snider
Subscribed and sworn before me this 19th day of October, 1997.
Robert Minshew, Pres't.
Folsom, El Dorado, Sacramento Historical Railroad Association

Note:  The rail cross-section is displayed at life size at 72 dpi.

BSI Co. 1866 rail with logo
"BSI Co 66" branded rolled iron rail used in construction of the CPRR

Original construction 56 pound rolled iron rail for the first transcontinental railroad, manufactured by the Bay State Iron Co. near Boston, Massechusetts in 1866.  It was shipped around the Horn of South America, and laid by the Central Pacific Railroad in 1867 between Colfax, California and Donner Summit.  This iron rail was abandoned in 1871 in favor of steel.  (During the summer of 2000, 5 bars of original rail were found, 4 of them unbranded, but the one from which this section was cut had three brands.  This piece was cut to a length of 8 inches long and weighs 12.44 lbs.)  Shipped to  San Francisco, California on the Clipper Ship "CALIFORNIA," thence to Sacramento on the schooner "CHAS. L. CASE" on May 23, 1866.

*G.J. Graves was selected by the California State Parks to exhibit original construction rail at the California Sesquicentennial, held in Sacramento in Sept., 2000.  Mr. Graves has toured most of the old grade from Promontory Summit to Sacramento both by 4 wheel vehicle and on foot.

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