Sutro Tunnel Restoration


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Site Team
Jun 30, 2009
Sierra Nevada Range
Now here is a massive undertaking -

Sutro Tunnel Restoration

As Virginia City's Comstock Lode mines got deeper and deeper, heat and ground water were challenges. Adolf Sutro came up with the idea of a long tunnel to drain them.

Sutro also had the idea to bore through the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Lake Tahoe to supply water to San Francisco. I'm sure glad that never happened.
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing, and thank goodness Sutro’s plan for Lake Tahoe didn’t get traction.

It seems draining lakes for agriculture and supplying water to the cities was popular in the last century. A similar scheme was approved for Waldo Lake in the Oregon Cascades. It was started, but failed for financial reasons.

Where’s Waldo? Why it’s east of Eugene.
My Grand Parents use to talk about the Sutro Baths in San Francisco. They both grew up down in the Bay Area. Pictures are so cool.
Back in my working days we had a new hire who was making numerous trips south to move his train. I figured he had a large HO setup until I went to his house to see it. What he had was the Joe Douglass narrow gauge locomotive from Dayton, Sutro & Carson Valley Railroad. He had found it in front of a real estate office in Palm Springs, did some research and restored it. Its history included the Dayton Valley and building the Lake Arrowhead Dam.
He had a great photo album of the restoration which included making molds and casting missing or broken parts. I don't think he certified the boiler but he could run the locomotive off his air compressor. He had a couple hundred feet of track in his yard and a flat car.
I think he sold it to the Nevada Railroad Museum in 94.

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