Saturday, November 20, 2010

Station 18

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

QUESTION 1: Observe the anchorage features of Station 18.
QUESTION 2: Observe the current state of the track and traction cables at Station 18. Where is the bitter end of the small track cable (it is NOT attached to its weight box).


Internal Code: 204

Location: Station 18 is the 2nd station below the Summit Station to the East (see Section III Map above).

Basic Characteristics: Station 18 is classified as "C", meaning that it is an Anchorage and Tension Station. The anchorage features still needs to be field-observed. Station 18 tensions the 2 track cables that run from Station 18 and through Station 19 and up to the Summit Station (Station 20); it does so with 2 Weight Boxes (see photos). The larger, heavier weight box tensions the heavy 1.25 inch North track cable, and the smaller weight box tensions the lighter 7/8 inch South track cable. Below: view of Station 18 looking North (click to enlarge).

Current Condition: The larger weight box is still attached to the heavy track cable, but the smaller weight box is detached from its cable. Both weight boxes are generally intact (and full of rocks), but sitting on the ground. The structure in general is intact. Below: 1st photo below shows large Weight Box with track cable still attached; 2nd photo shows the smaller Weight Box withOUT the track cable attached.

Dimensions: Station. 4 Sections Long. 4C. 4l. 14'.

Unusual Features: There is a large wood water pipe lying on the ground adjacent to Station 18 to the South. It is believed that this was "back traffic" used for water operations from Hunter Spring to the Salt Lake and Loading Station. It is believed that this water pipe may have fallen off its tram hanger and was never re-loaded onto the tramway for shipment to Salt Lake. Noted in 2006 field notes that trail was hard to follow up to this Station.

Also on this blog, see Wood Water Pipe Mystery.


  1. I've read over much of your blog, and I want to thank you for sharing so many of your efforts in researching the Saline Salt Tram. [We] enjoy exploring the outdoors, including [exploring what] others have left behind. We both feel that the salt tram is definitely one of the more unique and interesting operations we have come across. Several of our trips involved exploring portions of the tramway, and I've searched the web trying to dig up details on what I'm looking at out there. Your blog has provided most of the information I've found.

    I noticed a few recent blog entries about a trip you took last November to the tram. Amongst other things, you commented that both "boxes of rocks" at station 18 (the first anchorage station east of the summit station) were on lying on the ground. During our October trip, we passed that station and remember the box attached to the larger cable was still hanging in the air. We even took a few photos of the hanging box.

    We're planning to hike down the east side from the summit station again, hopefully to reach Control Station 2. The trail seems be become much harder to follow after Station 17. If you don't mind me asking, is it possible to scramble down into (and climb back out of) Daisy Canyon without any ropes?

  2. Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. It would appear from your photo that the large Weight Box at Station 18 that tensions the loaded track cable is indeed off the ground (by about a foot or so). I have not yet been out there since the controversy about the track cable anchorage came to light in order to see for myself. The photos in my own Salt Tram library are inconclusive. Thanks for the help!

    Yes, you can hike from the Summit Station (Station 20) to Control Station II (Station 15) without the use of ropes, but there are several sections of trail along the way that are either missing or very difficult to follow.

    Thanks for your interest in the Salt Tram.