When the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway (N-C-O) arrived in Lakeview, Oregon, in 1912 to complete its last northward extension, several dozen automobiles were on hand to meet the first train. Little did anyone there realize that the steam trains were already being threatened by those gas buggies. The "Northern California Outrage" lasted another 15 years beyond that Lakeview ceremony, and operated its last narrow gauge train in 1927.
The N-C-O operated for almost 50 years. Its first trains ran in 1881, when construction started in Reno, Nev. under the banner of the Nevada & Oregon Railway. It was supposed to reach the Columbia River in Oregon, and have a branch line to the central Oregon coast as well.
As it turned out, it only reached Lakeview, with a branch into the Feather River country ending at Clio.
The N-C-O has lived on in the hearts of residents of the areas it served, as well as in the equipment scattered to other western railroads.
I first discovered the N-C-O in 1973 while living at South Lake Tahoe, Calif., I looked around for a "local" narrow gauge of interest. I decided the N-C-O was the best bet for some interesting three-foot gauge history and modeling potential. The closest point on the line was been Reno, Nev., about 60 miles from my home. However, I made many trips there and on up the line to Chat, Constantia, Doyle, Wendel, Karlo, Madeline, Likely, Alturas, Goose Lake, and Lakeview (about 290 miles away).
I hope you like this offering of N-C-O material. As time permits I will try to add more, and will look forward to your comments and additions.
The most detailed and widely available story of the N-C-O is found in David Myrick's books "Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California," Vols. 1 and 2. You can also find information on the Internet at "Narrow Gauge on the Net," www.narrowgauge.net.
There is a great deal more information to be discovered on the "Narrow, Crooked, and Ornery." There are court cases to read, newspaper stories to find, photos to view, and stories to tell. Enjoy what's here, and share this site with your friends.
I give thanks to Rick Blanchard for his help and the use of his Slimrails site.
Tom Armstrong -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Timeline for the N-C-O
Locomotive Roster for the N-C-O
Locomotive Numbering for the N-C-O
Stock Car Roster
N-C-O Drawings Sources and Locomotive Stablemates
List of Plans Sources
Useable Models for N-C-O