The Western Pacific Railroad was not the largest of the Western Class-One railroads. It wasn't formed until 1906, with completion in 1909. However, operating in the shadow of giants like the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe and the Union Pacific, the relatively young WP had to work that much harder to survive. In the mid 1970’s, Western Pacific engineer Norman Holmes enlisted the help of several area railroad employees and rail enthusiasts to build a railroad on his property in Portola, California. Utilizing volunteer labor, a tiny gas mechanical switching locomotive, a couple of freight cars and an old wooden WP caboose, the “Feather River & Western” was completed in time for the nations Bicentennial in 1976.
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