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Southern Pacific Railroad Natron Cutoff, Tunnel 5, Milepost 545.2, McCredie Springs, Lane County, OR
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Milepost 545.2, McCredie Springs vicinity, OR
Find maps of McCredie Springs, OR
Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER OR-93
Significance: The Southern Pacific Railroad Cascade Route, built as the Natron Cutoff between Black Butte, California and Natron, Oregon was one of a series of major rebuildings and realignments of the original Central Pacific Railroad. Begun in 1905 under railroad magnate E.H. Harriman to replace the original Central Pacific route over the Siskiyou Mountains into Oregon, the Natron Cutoff had to overcome both natural and political obstacles. Stalled by government anti-trust lawsuits against Harriman, by World War I and the ensuing federal takeover of the nation's railroads, the Natron Cutoff finally overcame the rugged Cascade Mountains of Oregon to reach completion in 1927, at an ultimate cost of nearly $40 million. For the purpose of the current project, the Natron Cutoff was found likely to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places at the state level of significance under Criterion A for its significance in engineering, transportation history, and the economic history of central Oregon, and in the development of the West, and under criterion B for its association with E.H. Harriman. The Natron Cutoff's period of significance is 1905 to 1945, from the beginning of construction in 1905, through the years of its role in the economic development of the central Oregon, to the conclusion of the railroad's achievements in World War II. Built in 1927, Tunnel 5 is a contributive element of this property.
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
1. West portal of the mudshed abutting the west portal of Tunnel 5, view to the northwest, 135mm lens. The flat-roofed reinforced concrete mudsheds, rocksheds, and snowsheds are a common feature of the Natron Cutoff over the summit of the Cascades. With the railroad located on a sidehill bench cut into the precipitous slopes, the sheds protect the track from rock and mud slides, as well as from avalanches. With a solid wall on the uphill side and a series of columns on the downhill side, they form a gallery-like effect from within. This mudshed was built concurrent with the tunnel, in 1927. Though none of the mudsheds on the line are scheduled to be modified, this shed was documented as an integral element of Tunnel 5.
2. View to the east-southeast from within the mudshed toward its portal, 135mm lens with electronic flash fill.
3. Downhill side of the mudshed, contextual view to the south showing the steep slopes typical of this portion of the Natron Cutoff, 135mm lens.
4. West portal of Tunnel 5, view to the northwest from within the mudshed, 135mm lens with electronic flash fill.
5. East portal of Tunnel 5, contextual view to the northeast from the west end of Cruzette Siding, 210mm lens.
6. East portal of Tunnel 5, view to the east, 210mm lens with electronic flash fill.
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