Epsom Salts Monorail

Epsom Salts Monorail (HMXWI)

Location: Randsburg, CA 93562 San Bernardino County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 40.884', W 117° 23.475'

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In 1917 a deposit of Epsom salts was discovered near the old Wingate Wash Borax Road at the southern end of Death Valley. In 1919 the claims were acquired by Los Angeles florist Thomas Wright. Although close to an existing road, Wright devised other plans to exploit the find. A scheme to dissolve the salts and transport them via a 28-mile pipeline to the Trona Railroad had to be abandoned due to lack of water. In 1922 Wright began construction of a monorail at Magnesia Siding on the Trona Railroad, six miles south of the town of Trona. It ran eastward across the south end of Searles Lake, through the Slate Range via Layton Canyon, across the tip of Panamint Valley, over Wingate Pass and thence to the mine. It consisted of a single steel rail on top of a heavy wooden beam supported by A-frame trestles about three feet high. Locomotives and cars ran on two wheels and the load was balanced on each side, much like pack saddles on a mule's back. Construction took 2 years and cost about $200,000. Simple in concept, the line never worked properly, and after several attempts to increase efficiency the operation ceased in 1927. In the late 1930s the rail and beam were salvaged, leaving only A-frames, most of which have since disappeared.
Series This marker is part of the E Clampus Vitus series
Marker Number129
Year Placed2008
Placed ByBilly Holcomb Chapter No. 1069, E Clampus Vitus in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 11:30am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 464596 N 3948682
Decimal Degrees35.68140000, -117.39125000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 40.884', W 117° 23.475'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 40' 53.04" N, 117° 23' 28.50" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)760
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 78625-78639 Pinnacle Rd, Randsburg CA 93562, US
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