NPRR Co. | Engineer’s Office | No. 68
Name V.G. Bogue | Date June 30, 1885 | Subject Construction on Western Division, Annual Report to Genl. A. Anderson, Engineer-in-Chief
Construction Department | Tacoma, W.T., June 30, 1885
Gen. A. Anderson, Engineer-in-Chief, St. Paul, Minn.
I beg to submit the following report of work being done on the divisions under my charge during the last fiscal year:
More or less work of construction or surveying has been done on the following divisions: Yakima Division, Cascade Division, Stampede Tunnel Division, Portland Division.
November 27, 1883, Mr. Nelson Bennett made a proposal for grading from the 25th to the 50th mile westwardly from the Columbia River. This proposal was accepted and work under it was in progress on a limit of $12,000 per month at the beginning of the fiscal year just closed. In August the contractor was allowed to increase his force on this section with a view of pushing the work more rapidly.
August 1st, the contractor made a proposal for grading the short section between Pasco and the east bank of the Columbia River, which was accepted, and under which the work was immediately begun.
In September it was verbally agreed with the contractor that he should be paid the same price for track laying and surfacing and for bridge work on the second 25 miles westwardly from the Columbia River, and on the short section from Pasco to the Columbia River, that he had been paid on the first 25 miles westwardly from the Columbia River.
Track laying began at Pasco, September 9th, and the 25th mile westwardly from the Columbia River, September 25th. The end of track reached the 50th mile and the sections Pasco to east bank of the Columbia River, and the 25th to 50th miles westwardly from Columbia River, were ready for acceptance by government commissioners November 13, 1884.
September 1st, a contract was let to Mr. Nelson Bennett for the grading, bridging and track laying from the 50th mile to the 89th mile westwardly from the Columbia River. Work under this contract began immediately and progressed rapidly.
Track laying began November 13th. The track was laid and this section ready for acceptance to the 85th mile, December 17th.
Track reached the 89th mile March 30th.
January 1st a contract was let to Mr. Nelson Bennett for grading, bridging and track laying from the 89th to the [125th] mile westwardly from the Columbia River. The grading under this contract progressed favorably on a limit of $40,000 per month until June 1st, when the force was so reduced that the total expenditure should not exceed $10,000 per moth, on which limit the work is now in progress.
The work done by Mr. Nelson Bennett during the year on contracts above enumerated is shown below:
Type Measure 2nd Contract 3rd Contract 4th Contract Pasco to Col. R. Total
Willows acres -- 3.15 46.10 -- 49.25
Sage Br. acres 96.37 155.56 60.57 19.52 332.02
Sol R CY 5153 3224 50572 -- 58949
Los R CY 22284 -- 611245 866 84274
C Grav CY 29416 99 66555 1134 97204
Earth CY 61126 53479 172867 7752 295224
Earth CY 134845 427683 424354 26773 1013655
Extra Haul CY 109 -- 5721 -- 5830
Frame Tres BM 368204 208445 2711 -- 603760
Tim Brains BM 97912 -- -- 1404 99316
Tim Culvt BM -- 183731 10763 -- 194494
Plank BM -- -- 4100 -- 4100
Piles NO -- 381 176 -- 557
Bld Drns CY -- -- 691 -- 691
Hard Pan CY 525 -- -- -- 525
Trk Ly MI 25 41 1 3 70
The work on buildings, rip rapping, ballasting and putting the track in first class condition began in October and is now practically finished to the 89th mile.
A few of the buildings were put up by men employed by the company, but most of them by contract.
Rip rapping, ballasting, etc., was done by company force.
Below is a list of the buildings erected during the year:
Buildings on Yakima Division
Chinese Section Houses—9
Including the main track, side tracks, spurs and Y’s, there are between Pasco and the 89th mile westwardly from the Columbia River, 99 miles of track.
Kennewick Transfer—at the close of the last fiscal year, landing facilities had been partially built on the west bank of the Columbia River. These were finished early in the year so that in connection with the incline on the north bank of [the] Snake River, transfers could be made. In September work was commenced on the incline and cribs on the east bank of the Columbia River opposite Kennewick. November 9th this work was sufficiently completed so that transfers could be made directly from the east to the west side of the river.
March 28th a contract was let to N.J. Blagen to complete the landing facilities, except the carriages. All the work done under this contract is now practically finished.
Steamer Billings—Transfers at Kennewick are made by the steamer Billings. This steamer was placed in complete repair during the early part of the year and is now doing good service.
Surveys—In advance of all construction the located line was carefully revised. The located line from 125th mile to the east end of Stampede Tunnel has also been revised.
At the date of my last annual report the located line from the 25th to the 50th mile eastwardly from Tacoma was being prepared for construction. September 1st a contract was let to Mr. Nelson Bennett for the grading, bridging, and track laying on this section. The work under this contract commenced during the same month and has been prosecuted vigorously to this time. Owing to heavy rains many difficulties have been encountered.
Track laying began February 11 and ought to be done to the 50th mile and work otherwise finished ready for acceptance by government commissioners October 1st.
The work done under this contract is shown below:
Clearing heavy timber—281.56 acres
Excavation solid rock—31100 cubic yards
Excavation loose rock—25492 cubic yards
Excavation cement gravel—167430 cubic yards
Excavation earth—294895 cubic yards
Tunnel with timber lining—122 linear feet
Tunnel without timber lining—5 linear feet
Timber lining tunnels—116000 feet BM
Extra haul—174177 cubic yards
Crib work logs in place—21740 linear feet
Slope wall—98 cubic yards
Riprap in place—1044 cubic yards
Crib work square timber in place—9088 linear feet
Piles delivered driven etc complete—47272 linear feet
Abutment and pier crib filling—303 cubic yards
Timber sawed complete in structures—1945076 feet BM
Timber hewed complete in structures—49444 feet BM
Log culverts—2901 linear feet
Timber culverts—256398 feet BM
Cross ties timber off right-of-way—65911
Cord wood soft—1058 cords
Laying track main line—3 miles
Extra work per force account—$16832.29
Including 3,090 feet of siding laid by company forces at South Prairie, they may have been four miles of track laid on this section this fiscal year.
Material has been provided and a contract let to Hoffman and Bates, dated April 29th, for framing and erecting a 300 [foot] span at [the] White River. Material has also been provided and a contract let to James Seguin, dated May 21st, for framing and erecting seven spans of 150 feet each for the several crossing of [the] Green River. Work on these bridge contracts is being prosecuted vigorously and will probably be finished October 1st of the coming fiscal year.
Surveys—During the year two grade lines were carefully located westwardly from Stampede Tunnel, upon which comparative estimates were made showing that the line which follows the south bank of Camp Creek should be adopted.
Stampede Tunnel Division
The located line was carefully run across the summit and stakes so set that the work could be begun at any time. It would be well to have long stakes planted in the ground along the line during this season, in order that it may be traced without difficulty during the winter.
At the date of my last annual report, the embankments along the Portland Division were being rip-rapped to prevent their being damaged by the waters of the Columbia and Willamette rives. This work was continued until completed and the track ballasted and put in order so that freight trains began to operate October 3rd, and passenger trains began running October 15th.
Below is a list of the buildings built during the year:
Total, 5 buildings.
Kalama Temporary Transfer—During the year the Kalama temporary transfer was completed. Some of this work was done by the Portland Construction Company, under proposals made July 26h and August 9th. Their work was finished September 30th. From that time the work was done by company forces.
The transfer was competed March 1st.
Transfer Steamer Tacoma—At the time of my last annual report the transfer steamer Tacoma, (Kalama), was being put together by Messrs. Smith Bros. and Watson. The work on this steamers was finished so that a trial trip was made October 1st. This trial trip demonstrated that to make continuous run the boilers should be supplied with heaters, which were accordingly put in by the Willamette Iron Works under contract. The Gates Steam Steering apparatus was also put in and some other work done about the steamer as suggested by the captain. The steamer made her first actual transfer of cars between Hunters and Kalama, October 9th.
Tacoma Coal Bunkers
In September it was found that the teredo was damaging the foundation piles above the concrete fillings of the cylinders. In order to make the piles perfectly secure it was decided to extend the cylinder and concrete protection to [the] high water mark. This work was begun November 21 and finished April 30th.
To do this work it was necessary to remove all the old braces from the piles and put on new ones. The foundation may now be considered absolutely secure from the ravages of the teredo and greatly increased in stability.
Respectfully submitted, [Virgil Gay] Bogue, Principal Assistant Engineer
Northern Pacific Railroad Company, Construction Department
Ellensburg, W.T., June 30, 1886
General A. Anderson, Engineer-in-Chief, St. Paul, Minn.
I beg to submit the following report of work done on [the] Cascade Division during the last fiscal year;
Yakima to Ellensburg (40 Miles).
At the date of my last annual report, work was progressing on this section at the rate of $10,000 per month, but in November orders were received to finish the road to Ellensburg as soon as practicable. Some delays occurred, caused by the destruction of false work at the first and second crossings of the Yakima River by ice gorges, and by inclement weather usual to the Winter season. The track, however, was laid to the 12th mile post by March 31st, and this section accepted by government commissioners May 12 and turned over to the Operating Department May 15, 1886.
The following is an estimate of work done by the contractor, Mr. Nelson Bennett, on this section during the fiscal year.
Sage Brush—29.33 acres
Solid Rock—15115 CY
Loose Rock—23503 CY
Cement Gravel—11989 CY
Embankment Earth—230024 CY
Extra Haul—35087 CY
Timber Sawed—1046126 Ft BM
Timber Culverts—113976 Ft BM
Plank—101923 Ft BM
Blind Drains—155 CY
Abutment and Pier Crib Filling—1845 CY
Crib Work Logs—8230 Lin. Ft.
Cord Wood—520 cords
Track Laying Main Line—35 Miles
Track Laying Side Track—2 Miles
Extra Work per Force Account—$21771
Contracts for buildings on this section were made with J.C. Forbes, who began work in January and finished May 1st, 1886.
Following is a list of buildings built under these contracts:
At the crossing of the Natches River two Howe truss bridges were erected, on of 180 feet span, and the other of 150 feet span. These bridges were formerly used at the Second Crossing of the Clarks Fork, having been replaced by an iron structure. The 180 feet span was destroyed by fire the night of April 28th. A temporary pile bridge was promptly built in its place and traffic resumed. This temporary bridge will serve as false work upon which to erect the 180 [foot] combination span that has been order in place of the truss destroyed.
At the first crossing of [the] Yakima River, two iron bridges each of 155 [feet] [7.25 inches] span were erected. These spans were a part of the drawbridge originally designed for use at Texas Ferry by the [Oregon Railway and Navigation] Co.
At the second crossing of [the] Yakima River a 300 [foot] combination span was erected.
At the third crossing of the Yakima River, one 150 [foot] combination span, and one 150 [foot] Howe truss span were erected. This Howe truss span was originally intended for use on [the] Clarks Fork but was not required and was held in stock until shipped to its present location.
All the work of framing and erection of these bridges was done by Messrs. Hoffman and Bates, under accepted proposals dated January 18th, 1886.
Plans and specifications have been prepared for a depot, five-stall round house and other necessary buildings required at Ellensburg for repair and shop purposes.
Ellensburg to 165th Mile (40 Miles) and East Side Steep Grade (6 Miles 745 Feet).
Contracts for both these sections were let to Hale, Smith, Burns and Co. [on] June 1st, 1886. Work under these contracts, in accordance with instructions received, is going forward as rapidly as possible considering the scarcity of laborers.
Below please find estimates of work done under these contracts to date.
Ellensburg to 165th Mile.
Heavy Timber—5.63 acres
Cottonwood and Willows—38.59 acres
Sage Brush—5.39 acres
Solid Rock—1477 CY
Loose Rock—500 CY
Cemented Gravel—1743 CY
East Side Steep Grade
Heavy Timber—26.70 acres
Solid Rock—1105 CY
Loose Rock—50 CY
Stampede Pass Tunnel and Approaches (2 Miles 1900 Feet).
The contract for Stampede Tunnel and approaches was let to Mr. Nelson Bennett [on] January 21st, 1886. Contractor commenced sending tools, plant and men to site of work almost immediately.
The first blow was struck at the west heading of the tunnel February 13th. At the east heading March 18th.
Work with compressed air drills commenced at the east heading the afternoon of June 18, the heading at that date having been driven 410 feet, and the breast 333 feet by hand labor. By August 10th the machinery will probably be in place and these drills running at the west end.
At this date the east heading has advanced 405 feet, the breast 378 feet, and west heading 386 feet.
In driving the west heading a wedge shaped section, having the sharp edge of the wedge at the portal, has been taken up. All the breast could not be removed owing to the heavy cut at [the] approach to the tunnel. This cut is now well advanced so that work on the breast proper ought to begin by August 1st.
When the contract was let, the roads were bad from mud and snow, and remained so for nearly two months. The labor and expense of getting machinery and supplies to the tunnel were, therefore, great, and progress slow. Considering all the difficulties I think the work accomplished satisfactory, and all that could be expected.
Following is an estimate of the work done under this contract to date:
Solid Rock—11240 CY
Loose Rock—280 CY
Excavation Standard Size—695 lin. ft.
Extra for Timber Lining—1999 CY
Timber Lining—106000 Ft BM
Switch Back or Overhead Line (About 7 1/2 Miles) and West Side Steep Grade (8 Miles 520 Feet).
Contracts were let to Hale, Smith, Burns and Co. for the work on these sections June 1st, 1886.
At the date of this report but little had been done except the work of putting in camps and facilities.
Green River Section (20 Miles).
Contract for this section was let to Nelson Bennett [on] June 1st, 1886.
The following is an estimate of work done to date on this contract:
Heavy Timber—21 acres
Light Timber—7 acres
Solid Rock—704 CY
South Prairie Section (25 Miles).
At the date of my last annual report, work was progressing on this section under the contract made with Mr. Nelson Bennett the year previous. The track reached 50th mile post eastwardly from Tacoma, October 27th, 1885, and this section was accepted by the government commissioners November 8, 1885.
The following is an estimate of work done by Nelson Bennett under his contract during the fiscal year just closed:
Heavy Timber—25.13 acres
Solid Rock—20332 CY
Loose Rock—20344 CY
Cement Gravel—66269 CY
Tunnel with Timber Lining—168 Lin. Ft.
Tunnel without Timber Lining—395 Lin. Ft.
Timber Lining of Tunnels—133168 Ft. BM.
Extra Haul—209907 CY
Crib Work Logs In Place—7067 Lin. Ft.
Slope Wall—134 CY
Rip-Rap In Place—5336 CY
Crib Work Square Timbers In Place—20378 Lin. Ft.
Piles Delivered Drive Etc Complete—11287 Lin. Ft.
Abutment and Pier Crib Filling—2327 CY
Timber Sawed Complete In Structure—731384 Ft. BM.
Timber Hewed Complete In Structure—36588 Ft. BM.
Timber Culverts—112973 Ft. BM.
Cross Ties from Timber off Right-of-Way—1216
Cord Wood Soft—331 Cords
Track Laying Main Line—20 Miles
Track Laying Side Tracks—1 Mile
Extra Work per Force Account—$13271.41
The contract with Messrs. Hoffman and Bates for framing and erecting a 300 [foot] span bridge at [the] White River, and that with Mr. James Seguin for framing and erecting seven spans of 150 feet each for the several crossing of [the] Green River were finished before this section was accepted.
The buildings were built under contract with N.J. Blagen as follows
Two Chinese Section Houses
Two White Section houses
Three Tool Houses
One Water Tank
One Telegraph Office
One Sand House
After the acceptance of this section by the commissioners, the entire force was withdrawn and no more work done until April 20th this year, when instructions were received to put the track in order. This work is now going on, but with the small force available will not be finished until some time in September.
On [the] Green River there are several places where slides have occurred, and where they may occur again unless considerable material is now removed.
A small warehouse and house for engineers office are being built under contract by A.B. Butler at Eagle Gorge. The engineers office will be made a section house when vacated by the engineers.
Revision of Located Line.
April 16th of the present year instructions were received to revise the located line from Ellensburg to the 50th mile post on [the] Green River and get it ready for construction. Several parties of engineers were placed in the field immediately, and the work prosecuted with vigor. The entire line is now revised and ready for contractors.
Overhead or Switch Back Line.
During previous years surveys were made with the view of ascertaining the feasibility of a temporary overhead line which could be used pending the completion of the summit tunnel.
These surveys demonstrated that a practicable route existed for such a line. In April of this year the surveys were continued and as soon as the snow was off the ground the work of location [remainder of report missing].
Minnesota Historical Society, 136.k.12.2(f); courtesy J.M. Fredrickson, January, 2006
Anderson, Adna (July 25, 1827, to May 15, 1889).
Second Vice-President and Engineer-in-Chief.
Office: Tacoma, Washington Territory.
Engineer-in-Chief, February 18, 1880 to January, 1888
Born: July 25, 1827, Ridgway, Orleans County, New York.
Entered railway service: February, 1847, chainman, location, New York and New haven; October, 1847, to November, 1848, assistant engineer, Connecticut River, Massachusetts; November, 1848, to September, 1849, assistant engineer, Mobile and Ohio; September, 1849, to March, 1850, assistant engineer, Ashuelot, New Hampshire; April to December, 1850, resident engineer, Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana; December, 1850, to September, 1852, locating engineer, Mobile and Ohio; September, 1852, to July, 1855, resident [engineer]; July, 1855, to January, 1860, chief engineer and superintendent, Edgefield and Kentucky; September, 1860, to January, 1861, chief engineer, Henderson and Nashville; January, 1861, to April, 1862, receiver, Edgefield and Kentucky; June, 1862, to February, 1863, assistant engineer and chief of [C]onstruction [C]orps, Army of Potomac (Federal) in Virginia; February, 1863, to February, 1864, chief engineer, [M]ilitary [R]ailroads of Virginia; February to November, 1864, general superintendent, [G]overnment [R]ailroads, [M]ilitary [D]ivision of Mississippi; November, 1864, to July, 1866, chief superintendent and engineer, [M]ilitary [R]ailroads, United States; February to May, 1867, chief engineer, Illinois and St. Louis Bridge, four years ending 1871; general superintendent, Kansas Pacific, [three] years ending May, 1874; vice-president and general manager, Toledo, Wabash and Western, January, 1872, to January, 1873; vice-president, Lafayette and Bloomington and fifteen months ending May, 1874, receiver, Chicago, Danville and Vincennes; January, 1878, to October, 1879, general manager, Paducah and Elizabethtown; February, 1880 to date, engineer-in-chief, Northern Pacific, and since October, 1886, second vice-president, same company.
No author. The Biographical Directory of the Railway Officials of America for 1887. Chicago [Ill.]: Railway Age, 1887, p. 17. (See also Clough, Joel Barber.)
Bogue, Virgil Gay (July 20, 1846 to October 14, 1916).
Born: July 20, 1846, at Norfolk, N.Y.
Son of: George Chase and Mary (Perry) Bogue.
Education: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., Civil Engineer, 1868.
Married: Sybil Russell, March 2, 1872.
Career: Assistant engineer, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1868 to 1869; assistant engineer, Oroya Railway, manager, Trajille Railway, Peru, South America, 1869 to 1879; assistant engineer, Northern Pacific, discovered Stampede Pass, supervised construction across Idaho and Washington, 1880 to 1886; chief engineer, Union Pacific, 1886 to 1891; consulting engineer, New York City, 1891—. Member commission appointed by President Harrison to investigate methods for improving navigation of Columbia River; consulting engineer for Government of New Zealand on proposed railway across South Island; consulting engineer, Department of Public Works, N.Y.; chief engineer, Western Maryland, 1903 to 1906; chief engineer and vice-president, Western Pacific, 1905 to 1909; prepared plan for Greater Seattle, Washington; for harbor of Tacoma and Grays Harbor, Washington; etc. Fellow, American Geographic Society.
Office: 15 William Street, New York City, N.Y.
Died October 14, 1916.
Who Was Who, p. 112.
Author: Virgil Gay Bogue. Title:Stampede Pass, 1885 - 1886
© January 11, 2006