Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad trip

The Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad was constructed just after the turn of the last century to serve the booming mines of Death Valley and the Amargosa region of eastern California and Nevada. It traversed rugged Mojave Desert terrain from Ludlow, CA to Beatty and Rhyolite, NV. By the early 1930's the mines had played out, but the railroad persisted until about 1940 when permission was given to cease operation.

Track bed can still be followed along most of the old route, but there are few areas that still boast a few weathered railroad ties and scattered spikes. From Shoshone, California north to Death Valley junction, some of the old telephone poles can be seen although there are fewer and fewer to be seen every year.

On this trip we were able to drive much of the old road that parallels the track bed from Evelyn, CA to Death Valley Junction near the Nevada border. This is one of the stretches in which ties can still be seen. Most were removed shortly after the railroad stopped running and many structures can be found in the area that were built using them.

We have traveled much of the old route north of Baker, CA including the rugged Amargosa Canyon south of Tecopa, CA. A rutted sand and dirt trail runs alongside the track bed across the Amargosa Valley to Beatty, NV.

Sally on 

Sally is standing on the track bed near Eagle Mountain>


A lizard soaks up the sun on a rock pile.

Jon on 

Jon stands on the trackbed. The camera is facing Death Valley Junction.

Lunch break

The midday sun was hot as Sally and the dogs take a break near a worn cement trestle.


Railroad spikes and a piece of steel found along the track. Note the white agate material which is plentiful in the area.

DVJ building

An unusual old building in the yard at Death Valley Junction.

Water tanks at 

Old rusty water tanks at Death Valley Junction stand like sentinels.


Copyright © 2012 - K1NV Jon M. Schumacher
All Rights Reserved
Webmaster: Radio Nevada