The Bodie and Benton Railway operated for about thirty eights years, supplying the town of Bodie, California. The narrow gauge railroad travelled north, from the forests south of Lake Mead up to the townsite of Bodie.
The Bodie Railway and Lumber Company was founded on February 19th, 1881. The business plan called for supplying the town is lumber for building and firewood for heat against the harsh high altitude winters. Steam Engines, which powered the town, also burnt this valuable supply of fuel.
The lumber was collected from the Inyo National Forest south of Mono Lake. At the Mono Mills, the lumber is loaded onto flat cars before being hauled up to Bodie and Warm Springs and Line Kiln. The Mono Mills are capable of processing 80,000 board-feet of lumber in every 10 hours of operation.
The thirty one mile route up to Bodie also featured a two thousand foot elevation gain. The allow the rail to climb this grade, two switch backs are included in the route. The Bodie and Benton Railway is closed on September 7th, 1918. The need for a ready supply of fuel is diminished the a Hydroelectric Power Plant is constructed in Green Creek. The rail is abandoned and sold for scrap.
Today, there is little evidence of the railroad. An abandoned railcar was discovered and is now on display at the June Lake Marina.
Bodie and Benton Railway Map
Bodie and Benton Railway Summary
|Name||Bodie and Benton Railway|
|Also Known As||Mono Railway|
|Location||Mono County, California|
|Operations||February 19th, 1881 – September 7th, 1918|