Mountain Division/Mainline Closed Due to Mudslide

Massive landslide on mainline west of Minden, Tuesday night, January 10. Photo: Zak Holman.

Monday, January 9 was the wettest day of 2023 with 5-7” of rainfall in our area. During a downpour that day a rain-saturated hill above the Mountain Division released its grip and heaved a significant amount of dirt, mud, and debris along Crystal Springs Drive. Nearly 7 vertical feet of sodden decomposed granite now covers about 30 feet of tracks and signals west of Minden. There is additional debris on the tracks further up the Mountain Division.

Earth removal progress Wednesday, January 11 on mainline along Crystal Springs Drive. Photo: Glen Manchester.
View of landslide from town of Minden. Photo: Glen Manchester.

The water structure below Nelson Summit was deluged, dumping water and leaves into the pit. In the West End meadow, a storm drain overflowed, creating a temporary lake under the O’Brien-Moore Bridge. Just west of the tunnels a cliff-dwelling oak became dislodged and fell, but caused no blockage or damage to our tracks.

Flooding in our West End meadow beneath the O’Brien-Moore Bridge. Photo: Ron Nelson.
Flooding beneath the O’Brien-Moore Bridge. Photo: Ron Nelson.
Downed oak tree west of tunnels. Photo: Glen Manchester.

The rains also compromised the tracks and switches in a few areas, and a number of signals are still affected.

Track and switch repairs on main and yard lines near Disney Crossing. Photo: Diana Manchester.
More track and switch work on yard line. Photo: Glen Manchester.
Repairing a switch at our Work Car. Photo: Glen Manchester.

Sunday Operations Suspended while Digging Out

Member Les Kovacs spent Tuesday afternoon and late into the evening attacking the landslide with the Bobcat. Because of the massive accumulation of DG, he was able to only make a dent. A special workday for member volunteers has been called for Friday, January 13, to continue the digging out process.

Public train operations for this Sunday, January 15 look unlikely. Heavy rains are forecast for Saturday and there may be showers on Sunday. More flooding and landslides are possible.

Watch our LALSRM Facebook page for announcements regarding Sunday closures.

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