Granite Rock Train

This shot was taken at the California Train Museum in Sacramento. This is a functional steam train from years gone by. It is fascinating to watch as the train gets prepped and fires up!

Granite Rock was founded by Arthur R. (A.R.) Wilson and Warren Porter on February 14, 1900, who saw a good business opportunity in buying and operating the granite quarry in Aromas. For the first few years, quarry operations were tough; fifteen men used sledgehammers, picks, shovels and wheelbarrows to break and load broken rock onto horse-drawn wagons for the trip to the railroad line. Relief came in 1903 when the quarry was automated with a steam-powered No.3 McCully crusher. It produced 20 tons of 2½ inch rock per hour. By 1904, rock was transported from the quarry face to the crushing plant in horse-drawn, side-dump rail cars, which were still loaded by hand. There were about 24 men working at the quarry.

The  1906 San Francisco earthquake flattened the new steam crushing plant and temporarily halted operations. Train rails were twisted, rail cars overturned, and the quarry operation generally devastated. Fortunately, the earthquake’s devastation created a new demand for construction: In the years that followed, Granite Rock Company supplied materials for a number of important buildings in San Francisco and around the Monterey Bay area.


3 responses

  1. Cool train, Erik! I want to drive it! What a great post today, my friend, I really love it!

    April 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm

  2. Fantastic train shot! I can almost hear the bell ringing on the top of the train.

    April 27, 2011 at 6:41 am

  3. Very nice shot Erik, I like that you captured the steam.

    April 27, 2011 at 7:36 am

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