Railroad Repeats

Return to Hart Home Page   |   Photopairs   |   Information about Alfred A. Hart

Railroad around Cape Horn     39°06'9.84"N, 120°55'56.1"W


Hart took the original photograph from Burnt Flat with the river farther below to the photographer’s right.

Crofutt p. 168-169 “Timid ladies will draw back with a shudder, one look into the awful chasm being sufficient to unsettle their nerves and deprive them of the wish to linger near the grandest scene on the whole line of the trans-continental railroad…the lovely little valley now lying on our left, and a thousand feet below us still.”

“viewed from the river, the passing train looks like some huge monster winding around the bluff, bold point, puffing and blowing with its herculean labors, or screaming angry notes of defiance, or perhaps an ultimate triumph at the obstacles overcome…..now the genius and energy of the pale-face has laid a broad and safe road whereon the iron steed carries its living freight swiftly and safely on their way to and from ocean to ocean.”

Shearer p. 252-253 “Around the Cape, the railroad clings to the precipitous bluff at a point nearly 2,000 feet above the river and far below the summit, and where the first foot-hold for the daring workman on the narrow ledge was gained by men who were let down with ropes from the summit.”

“The railroad here is an achievement of engineering skill, genius and daring on the part of its bold projectors, triumphing over natural wonders and obstacles of which ever to be proud. The view is magnificent. No one passing can afford to miss it, or he will die poorer and worse for the loss. Unless it be the view at Giant’s Gap, there is no railroad view to surpass it. The wonderful chasm is almost too frightful to behold. …. as the defying mountains open wild galleries back among the higher peaks, the mountain sculpture grows grander and grander until the rugged but dimly outlined forms stretch away in a vast sea of pine, peak and snow…”

“The road-bed, to one looking down is apparently scooped out of perpendicular rock and overhanging the great abyss; and, to one looking up, is like a long skein of gray thread wound around the cliff.”


The modern terrain and vegetation appear quite similar.