These papers are from the Southern Pacific, later Union Pacific, Sacramento interlocking control tower at Elvas.
Interlocking towers were commonly used to control and sequence the movement of trains at crossings and junctions where the
tracks of two or more railroad routes crossed or diverged. Southern Pacific's Elvas Tower controlled operations at the junction
of the Donner and Valley routes in North Sacramento. Trains heading east from Sacramento could be routed south to Stockton
or east to Roseville and points beyond.
The Elvas Tower was built in 1910 near the intersection of C Street and Elvas Avenue in Sacramento (adjacent to Interstate
Business Route 80 and across the American River from CalExpo.) The structure was a two-story wood frame building equipped
with a General Railway Signal Company (GRS) Model 1 all-electric interlocking machine. The tower operator's cabin was on
the second floor with windows on all sides. The original GRS machine remained in service until the Tower's last day of
operation. When Union Pacific's Jerry Davis Yard in Roseville was modernized in 1999, Elvas Tower's control functions were
moved to Roseville. On November 1, 1999 at 10:07 a.m., Arthur L. Spackman shut down the Elvas Tower.
Key architectural elements from the second floor and some equipment were donated to the California State Railroad Museum.
Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from
manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM
as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
also be obtained by the reader.
This collection is open for research at our off-site storage facility with one week's notice. Contact Library & Archives
staff to arrange for access.