Mineral County Oversight

In 1985 the Southern Pacific (SP)placed the Mina Branch line under study for abandonment. At the same time the federal court upheld a judgment that the SPTCO had no right-of-way through the Walker River Indian Reservation. With the final ruling of trespass against SP, as an alternative to abandonment, the feasibility of the Walker Tribe operating the branch as a short-line was studied. These efforts failed and the SP was allowed to abandon the tracks from Thorne to Mina (33 miles) in 1990. In 1991 the ICC allowed the SP a paper abandonment of the remaining 53.88 miles from Wabuska to Thorne to enable the Army to take over the rail line. The Army had to rehabilitate the line and compensate the Reservation for the right-of-way.

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