Sperry ... Townsite and Wash

 

Eastern Cut at Narrows

 
After crossing the Narrows Trestle, the roadbed runs through a cut and bends left before opening out onto Sperry Wash.

The wash enters from the left and making a southwards bend into the widened Amargosa River Valley.

Sperry is further along to the right than the image shows, but about where the white streak exits.
 

Sperry Wash Bridge

 
 

 

 

 
With the amount of water flowing down Sperry wash, this was a very substantial, though low crossing of the wash.
 

Roadbed North at Sperry

 
 
At Sperry the remains of some foundations are found to the west of the roadbed.

Beyond the site is the Sperry Wash road which connects Dumont Dunes and the area of the Western (talc) Mine high up in the Kingston Range.

Roadbed South at Sperry

 
 
The water supply for Sperry Station was an in-ground cistern which was filled by passing trains from a water tank car.

The Amargosa's water is 'Sweet", meaning that it has some (moderate ?) amounts of arsenic dissolved in it.

Usable in an emergency, as a long term supply it would be avoided.

Beginning climb to Dumont

 
About a mile from Sperry, the T&T began to use the eastern hills to begin its long climb back up to Dumont.

Outside of the Canyon proper, this area has some of the most spectacular fills and cuts anywhere along the railroad.

Needing to provide lots of drainage for the cloudbursts, the washes encountered were filled and provided with multiple corregated iron tube, cement buffered culverts.

Typical multiple tube Culvert

 
If they weren't maintained and kept clear, the waters would back up behind the fills, over-ride the protective rockwork and saturate the roadbed, causing collapse.

While not of concern today, many of the wrecks on the T&T were caused by culverts failing to drain the washes and giving way under the passing train.

North to Sperry

 
 
From large fills to long cuts, the amount of earthenwork needed for just a few miles was a major problem for the T&T.

That they reached this point in the summer of 1906, one of the hottest, was their downfall in attempting to beat the Clark road into Tonopah.

Climbing away from Amargosa River

 
 
Still climbing away from the Amargosa River, now a quarter mile to the west, the T&T's roadbed disappears into the hills.

It reappears on the flat plain above the Dumont Dunes.

To continue following the Amargosa, rejoin the Sperry Wash road and turn westwards down towards California Hiway 127.

 

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01/25/2005