Revisiting the Tecopa Railroad


With the slope of the land rapidly increasing above the Wye into the range of 4% to 6% grades and possibly more, the operation may well have been one of running one or two gondolas up to the Gunsight, then taking another pair of empties up to the Noonday. The whole train would then be re-assembled at the Wye for the 'down' run on the less severe grades.

Old images show the saddle tank engine pushing an L.A. & S.L. gondola under the funicular at the Noonday, while pulling a water tank mounted on T&T flatcar #205.

The track length available would have accommodated a second car beyond the loading position, for a total of two to be loaded in one trip.

Funicular at Noonday

Loading Operations
at Noonday Mine
A "Ghost"


Because the loading area is still on a grade, a safety 'runaway' spur was constructed just below the clearance point of the train. The train would then have backed down the route to the Wye.

At the Gunsight, the images show the engine headed downhill with the gondolas behind the water car. At this location the funicular dumped into a set of bins which could load cars on either side. Remaining ties indicate that the two tracks went back into a slight cut before stopping. Whether they re-joined at this point and allowed a run-a-round is yet to be determined.

Mapping the Route:

Satellite Images

With the advent of the Internet, and more recently the U. S. G. S.'s co-operation with TerraServer, it is practical to download and assemble photographic and topographic maps of the area.

This has been done for the Tecopa Railroad. The Mine and the Wye areas are thumbnailed here.

Satellite Image of Eastern half
of Tecopa RR



Walking the Roadbed:

We'll cover the Tecopa Railroad's route in five sections:

Section One begins the walking tour at the Noonday Mine, traveling down the roadbed to the Wye.

Section Two covers from the Gunsight back to the Wye.

Section Three examines the area from the Wye to the mid-point of the long curve.

Section Four follows the Tecopa Railroad to the crossing of The Old Spanish Trail.

Section Five is the final leg down to the Mill and junction with the T&T at Tecopa Station.


Line drawing

Line drawing of the Tecopa Railroad


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