Northern California August 08, 2019
The Unique Spot In Northern California That’s Perfect For Watching Trains Go By
One of our favorite little-known things about Northern California is the fact that it’s a railfan’s paradise. Home to all kinds of train-themed destinations, it’s simply a great place to explore for those with an appreciation for trains and how they transformed our state. Featured here is one popular trainspotting destination that you’ll definitely want to see for yourself. Known as the Keddie Wye, it’s considered one of the most popular spots for hardcore railfans to watch trains go by. It’s almost hard to believe it’s been hiding right underneath our noses this whole time! Keep reading to learn all about it and make it your goal to see it for yourself.
The small town of Keddie, California may not be famous for much, but it's a popular town for train enthusiasts. After all, it's here you'll find the iconic Keddie Wye—a popular spot to watch trains go by across the gorgeous landscape.
Considered one of the West's most classic railroad spots, the Keddie Wye combines noteworthy engineering with jaw-dropping scenery. It's simply a rail enthusiasts dream come true! Seeing it for yourself is an inspiring experience, but it's the history behind the Keddie Wye that'll really leave an impression.
The wye was constructed by the Western Pacific Railroad along the Feather River in 1909. It completed a route that stretched from San Francisco to Salt Lake City, Utah, and it provided an alternate way to get over Donner Pass.
Keddie Wye was preferred by many since it boasted a gentler grade over Donner Pass. However, it wasn't until 1931 when the wye was truly complete. This was when a branch was added so train conductors could diverge from east-to-west and instead head north to the town of Bieber.
The wye and the Western Pacific Railroad were both the vision of Arthur Keddie, the very man the town is named after. Keddie had a dream to build this railroad for years, but it suffered in competition against the Southern Pacific system. The wye was mainly constructed in effort to gain traction over their Southern Pacific rivals.
Constructed over bridges which span across Spanish Creek, the wye was considered an architectural marvel when it was built. It certainly makes for a lovely sight to see! Surrounded by endless mountains and forest, seeing a train run through the wye is a real treat.
Although it's possible to view the Keddie Wye from different angles, the most popular overlook can be found right off of California Highway 70 which is the main road through Feather River Canyon. Along the highway is a pullout and an excellent vantage point of the wye. Although, you'll still want to be careful of passing traffic.
Northern California's train industry has changed a lot over the decades, but you can still view trains chug along the Keddie Wye to this very day. A fascinating destination for photographers, trainspotters, and those with an appreciation for history, this little overlook is simply a must-visit.
Have you been to this popular trainspotting destination? Where’s your favorite spot in NorCal to watch trains? Let us know in the comments! Check out this
Dreamy Train-Themed Trip Through Northern California for even more unique destinations like this one.
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