Thunder Butte

March 18, 2014

Building the Railroad Near Dupree

Building the Railroad Near Dupree, December 16, 1910

Here is an interesting photo showing work in progress on the Milwaukee Road railroad line as it neared Dupree, South Dakota, on December 16, 1910. If you click on the photo to see a larger version and inspect it carefully, you can actually see that the rail cars on the tracks adjacent to the work site are stacked with metal rails and wooden ties to be laid underneath the tracks. If this is the same branch line that led to the first train entering Faith on January 6, 1911 -- and I believe that it is -- then the work must have been relatively non-stop. The men laying down the tracks would have had to cover over 22 miles in less than three weeks time. Was covering this distance with new rail tracks possible in that amount of time? Across relatively flat terrain, yes. When the first transcontinental railway was constructed in the 1860's, a couple of records were set when eight miles of track were laid in a single day and later, in 1869, when ten miles of track were laid in one day.

--Mike Crowley
Mike Crowley Tuesday, March 18, 2014


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