Restoring a Local Treasure

Restoring a Local Treasure (HM14B6)

Location: Cloudcroft, NM 88317 Otero County
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 57.858', W 105° 44.869'

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The Mexican Canyon Trestle was restored in 2009-2010. Over 420 timbers were replaced and large sections of the trestle were rebuilt. The US Forest Service, New Mexico Rails-to-Trails and local efforts continue to preserve this treasure.

The Mexican Canyon Trestle, built in 1899, is 323 feet long and 60 feet high. It was abandoned on September 12, 1947. Of the 58 timber frame trestles along the "Cloud-Climbing Railroad", this trestle is the last that remains standing.

Engineering studies began in 1989, and through the efforts of volunteers, organizations, agencies, and New Mexico Congressman Stevan Pearce, restoration started in 2009. In 2010, the trestle again looked as it had during Southern Pacific ownership in 1937-1947.

Timber frame trestles like the Mexican Canyon Trestle are comprised of a series of structures called bents. Each bent is made up of strong timbers that served specific roles in supporting the weight of the train and keeping the trestle from swaying.

By the 1980s a dip in the center of the trestle formed as several vertical timbers began crushing the two rotten mid-sills between them at bents 10 and 11. Almost equally rotten bracing held the trestle together in the center. In 2008 even as Forest Service employees and volunteers prepared the construction site, the trestle collapsed at its north end.
HM NumberHM14B6
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 2:51pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 430113 N 3647577
Decimal Degrees32.96430000, -105.74781667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 57.858', W 105° 44.869'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 57' 51.48" N, 105° 44' 52.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)505
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 115 Osha Trail Rd, Cloudcroft NM 88317, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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