El Portal Rail Exhibit Turntable Reconstruction
This proposed project will reconstruct the Yosemite Valley Rail Road Turntable at the El Portal Rail Road Exhibit. The turntable will be reconstructed in the original turntable pit between the Bagby Station building, and the Shay Locomotive / Y.V. #15 Caboose display. This was a Gallows type turntable with 4 lower cords that was in service from 1929 until 1945. The turntable was 65 feet in length and was capable of turning the longest Observation cars on the line. Original and recreated plans as well as photo documentation provided by Y.V.R.R. historic authority Jack Burgess will be used to ensure dimensional accuracy of this reconstruction project. This project is possible because the original turntable pit is still intact and the Yosemite Historic Preservation Crew recently recovered most of the essential iron components from the identical Bagby Turntable that was stored in El Portal. The reconstruction will include all new wood timbers of original dimensions married to the recovered iron components of the Bagby Turntable. The entire turntable will be painted using appropriate, authentic colors identified by Jack Burgess. There is a good possibility that the turntable could be made operational, but it will most likely be secured in a static position for safety reasons. Tree removal in the center of the turntable concrete foundation has been approved in the CE 2005-014.