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Fernley & Lassen - Willows Creek/Gulch Bridge


Fernley Lassen Railroad Bridge at the Willows, Pyramid Lake

Fernley Lassen Railroad Bridge at the Willows, Pyramid Lake from Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Road 203/SR445.

Photo taken by Mike Lynch

License: Released into public domain


BH Photo #255797

Street View 


The Fernley & Lassen Railroad was constructed in 1912-1914 between Fernley, Nevada and Westwood, California, near Susanville, a distance of approximately 112 miles (180 km). The railroad was constructed to connect the Red River Lumber Company's facilities in Westwood with the Southern Pacific's main line running through Fernley. After the railroad's construction, it was heavily used by other nearby lumber companies; the Fruit Growers Supply Company maintained the longest-lived railroad connection with the Fernley & Lassen, with an active connection present between 1920-1953. Due to the Great Depression, which significantly lowered freight volume, and the completion of Western Pacific's competing branch to Westwood, however, the Fernley & Lassen's days were numbered. By 1934, passenger traffic service had been discontinued, with local rail freighting following it in 1956. In 1978, the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the Southern Pacific's petition for removal.[1]

Fernley Lassen Rairoad Route:

Coming from Fernley, the Fernley & Lassen roughly follows modern-day Nevada State Route 427 to Wadsworth, then parallels Nevada State Route 447 until the railroad veers westward just south of Nixon. From there, it briefly parallels Nevada State Route 446 until it merges with Pyramid Highway. From there, it parallels Pyramid Highway through Sutcliffe and Zenobia, until it veers sharply to the west and starts paralleling High Rock Road. In Flanigan, the Fernley & Lassen intersects the original Western Pacific Railroad, then continues on to Wendel, California. From Wendel, it heads due west, passing by the northern coast of Honey Lake, then through Litchfield and Leavitt, until finally reaching Susanville. From Susanville, the right-of-way continues into the Sierra Nevada range and on to Westwood. In Fernley, the original depot has been restored,[2] as has the depot in Susanville.[3] From Susanville to Westwood, the right-of-way, including the grading and original bridges, has been converted into the Bizz Johnson Trail.[4]

At its peak in the 1930's the Paul Bunyan Lumber Company of Westwood operated the largest pine mill in the world.

Local rail freighting ended in 1956 and in 1978 the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the S.P.'s petition of abandonment of the Fernley and Lassen Railroad.


Bridge over Willow Creek on formerly the Fernley Lassen Railroad used until 1956
Washoe County, Nevada
Open to pedestrians only
Built by the Fernley Lassen Railroad, most likely replacing an earlier bridge as the line had been operating since 1914. Operations on the line ceased in 1956 and was officially abandoned in 1978.
- Fernley & Lassen Railway (F&L)
Steel beam with wood deck and concrete abutments..
Total length: 22.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.0 ft.
Also called
Willows Railroad Trestle
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.07413, -119.70063   (decimal degrees)
40°04'27" N, 119°42'02" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
11/269709/4439480 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Pyramid SW
Inventory number
BH 56521 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 8, 2013: Added by Mike Lynch


  • Mike Lynch - lynch3212 [at] wavecable [dot] com
  • Luke