Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tram Station and Tower Route

www.SaltTram.blogspot.com   SalineValleySaltTram@gmail.com
Salt Tram history is rapidly disappearing, and we are striving to rediscover the efforts of our forefathers in order to give proper recognition to their hopes, dreams and abundant sweat from an era that is rapidly fading from our memories. We are actively seeking out information about the mining of Salt in Saline Valley between 1903 and the 1950's, including: documents, photos, articles, stories, artifacts, etc. If you can help us out, please email us at the address above - Thank-you! --Tim and Brian Waag, the Waag brothers (aka E. Clampus Waagus).
Caution (PLEASE READ): Climbing around on the tramway is dangerous because its really old and defnitely unsafe, so don't even think about it. Shoot, just getting to it requires some perilous hiking, and if you don't believe me, just take a look at the Zig Zag Access Trail (or what's left of it). Plus, climbing on it weakens it and endangers your life. Also, the Saline Valley Salt Tram is on the National Register of Historic Places and should be treated with the respect that it deserves. What little remains is of great historic value, and should not be disturbed in any way. Heck, its probably against the law to move parts of the tram around, and certainly a crime to take home some of the few bits of it that remain (though you'd have to ask your friendly local BLM agent for details). So please treat it with the respect it deserves, so that future generations can enjoy whats left, without you messing it up. Really. Please. You can see its listing on the National Register of Historic Places at these web links:
National Register of Historic Places 1          National Register of Historic Places 2

Tram Side: East or West? The Salt Tram is divided in half by the Inyo Summit and the Summit tramway Station. Note that the sections are also indicated on this Salt Tram map, taken from the May 1917 ASCE document.
Tram Section (select I, II, III, IV, V): The section of the tram can be ascertained from the May 1917 ASCE map above.

The difference between a Tower and a Station: Below is a photo that illustrates both a Tower (on the left) and a Station (on the right). Note that a Control Station (which is defined as a Station with an electric motor, and is numbered from the Salt Lake as CS 1, CS 2, Summit Station, and CS 4), is also a station, but has a different number; example: Control Station 1 is also Station 7; Control Station 2 is also Station 15, etc. Also, you can see that the Station below on the right also has a Weight Box (aka "WB", aka "Box O' Rox").

Tower or Station Numbering: All numbering starts from the Salt Lake and increases numerically as it goes West towards Owens Valley. The Stations are numbered along the tram route from 1 to 40 or so, as you move towards the West. The Towers are also numbered upwards as you move from East to West, but are start numbering back at 1 at the beginning of each Section. Reference the Station Numbering maps for Station Numbers. Our goal is to number the towers, which has not been done yet.

Tower or Station Latitude and Longitude:  Proper datums need to be used for saving the GPS locations of each of the towers or stations.

Check for all of the following, and document with Video, Photos, Drawings & text description:
  1. Existence of Cables and Wires         
  2. Caliper Guage the Cables  
  3. Sample the wires (note: we aren't allowed to do this!) 
  4. Coverage of Track or Traction Cables, if any
  5. Written markings on structure parts
  6. Dates, names or places stamped in concrete foundations
  7. Camps, tent foundations and dumps in area         
  8. Search nearby ravines for Tram material
  9. Complete Bucket sheet for all carrier parts found       
  10. Weight Boxes and Anchors (which cables)
  11. Measure and map concrete foundations
  12. Measure footprint of entire Tower/Station
  13. State of structure: standing, fallen, etc.         
  14. How much is missing from original tower?

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