The Central Pacific Railroad, soon to become Southern Pacific, arrived at campsites called Nutglade, then Cedar Flat, and then became a town called Pusher before being re-named Dunsmuir in honor of Alexander Dunsmuir. The Depot building was simply an old boxcar. S.P. built a more permanent Depot in the 1880’s which survived into the mid 1970’s. Sadly, the original wooden Southern Pacific Depot was demolished in 1973. Today, all that remains are the turntable, the CTC Annex and the vault.
The old depot served as the ticket and baggage office plus headquarters for the Superintendent of the Shasta Division. The Chief Dispatcher knew the trains and engine crews; he was the nerve center for train movement.
In late 1941, fifteen dispatchers were busy working at the Dunsmuir Depot, which was divided into five districts, Gerber to Redding and Modoc line, Redding to Dunsmuir, Dunsmuir to Black Butte, and Black Butte to Ashland, Black Butte to Klamath Falls and Klamath Falls to Crescent Lake. The train dispatcher’s office was closed in 1965.
Other offices and service facilities for the steam locomotives included offices of the roadmaster, bridge and building operations, water and fuel, signal department, master mechanic and master car repairer, foreman of the roundhouse, and Special Agents (railroad police).
|Dunsmuir Depot, Present Day|
Photo Credit: Carol Skalko