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Santa Fe Railway freight train symbol 849 at Marcel, CA

Santa Fe Railway helper engines drop down the hill through Marcel, CA

Lite engines 3372 and 3345

Santa Fe Railway freight train symbol 849 at Marcel, CA

A little earlier in the day train 849 (Extra 5704 East) passes the east end of Marcel siding. There are two sidings at Marcel. The spring switch at this end will direct a westbound train into the siding to the right. The spring switch at the east end will direct an eastbound into the siding between the main and the siding for westbound trains.

The little shack was added during the war. Since this route was a major supply line for the war, the government posted a guard here to protect the tunnels between Marcel and Cable from saboteurs. You will see another little shack like this one at Cable. Disk 46

In 1916, the Southern Pacific began increasing the size of the tunnels and adding concrete liners. Tunnels were increased to 22 feet in height and 16 feet wide on tangent track or 17 feet wide on curves. Rather than fix tunnels 12 and 13, it was decided to relocate 2,700 feet of track to lessen the curves from ten degrees to eight degrees and eliminate the two tunnels. The work to bypass these two tunnels was completed in 1920. The Tehachapi tunnel improvement project was completed in July 1921. This was quite an accomplishment considering that on peak days there could be as many as 67 trains.