Crossing Crown Point Fill. The reconstructed V&T Virginia City Line pretty much follows the original, historic right-of-way, with a couple of notable exceptions. The first is at the south end in Moundhouse, where the original ROW just wasn't available, due to industrial expansion in the area. The other area where some detours were necessary is in and around Gold Hill. In that case, it's because the landscape just isn't the same as it was when the original rails were laid back in 1869. This is mining country and holes have been dug, such as the massive Overman Pit. In one case, a hole has actually been filled in. Yeah, no kidding! Behold, the Crown Point Fill.
Back when the original railroad was constructed in 1869, this spot was a deep ravine....known as Crown Point Ravine, oddly enough. When the railroad came through, they spanned that ravine with a spectacular, 85 foot-high, 350 foot-long, wooden trestle, known as Crown Point Trestle. For a photo of this historic structure click here. That trestle remained in place until the mid-1930s, shortly before the original rails were lifted. At that time, renewed mining activity in this area necessitated filling in the Crown Point Ravine....which must have been one heck of a job, but they did it. So when the Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T started building new track south out of Gold Hill in the early 2000s, the old ravine was no longer an obstacle and no spectacular bridge was needed. In fact, it is now probably one of the flattest stretches of track on the entire railroad. Here, we see V&T #29 with a short freight, crossing the Crown Point Fill....the exact same spot as that "Lincoln Log" trestle in the historic photo.....a vivid imagination is required to picture what it used to look like. Note how the color of the sand beneath the train is much lighter than the surrounding hills. This train is running on top of 85 feet of fill.