Tehachapi Loop


Woodford-Tehachapi Rd
Keene, CA 93531

The Tehachapi Loop is a .73 miles (1.17 km) long 'spiral' or helix on the railroad main line through Tehachapi Pass, in south central California. The loop derives its name from the circuitous route it takes, in which the track passes over itself, a design which lessens the angle of the grade. A train more than 4,000 feet (1.2 km) long (about 85 boxcars) will thus pass over itself going around the loop. In 1998 it was named a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

The railroad line connects Bakersfield in the San Joaquin Valley to Mojave in the Antelope Valley. Hailed as one of the greatest engineering feats of its day (ca. 1876) as well as being the world's busiest single-track main, the line was built by Southern Pacific Railroad. It is now owned by Union Pacific. BNSF also uses the loop under a trackage rights agreement.

The area is considered to be one of the prime railfan areas in the country with its combination of frequent train traffic and spectacular scenery. A railroad museum with many historical rail artifacts is located in the small nearby city of Tehachapi.

GPS coorindates are 35.20085°N  118.53681°W

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Listed in categories: Outdoor

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