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Tehachapi Loop, Tehachapi

(4.6/5 based on 140+ reviews on the web)
The Tehachapi Loop is a 0.73mi long spiral, or helix, on the Union Pacific Railroad line through Tehachapi Pass, of the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, south-central California. The line connects Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley to Mojave in the Mojave Desert. The line, which sees an average of almost 40 trains each day, is one of the busiest single-track mainlines in the world.With its frequent trains and spectacular scenery, the Loop is one of the prime railfan areas in the country. In 1998, the Loop was named a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and is now California Historical Landmark #508.HistoryOne of the engineering feats of its day, the Loop was built by Southern Pacific Railroad to ease the grade over Tehachapi Pass. Construction began in 1874, and the line opened in 1876. Contributors to the project's construction include Arthur De Wint Foote and the project's chief engineer, William Hood.Rising at a steady 2% grade, the track gains in elevation in the Loop. A train more than long passes over itself going around the loop. At the bottom of the loop, the track passes through Tunnel 9, the ninth tunnel built as the railroad worked from Bakersfield.
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  • When I was a kid in the Cub Scouts, a very long time ago, the troop was treated to ride through the loop in a passenger train, see, I told you it was a long time ago. I still remember that trip. I sup...  more »
  • Very interesting for adults and children. Be sure to visit the depot museum in downtown Tehachapi in conjunction with this stop. Also the train/toy shop in downtown. A train buffs dream visit.  more »
  • It's a pretty amazing experience to watch a long freight train go around a curve and the locomotives go under the wagons, which happens when a long train traverses the loop. It was built in the 1870s ...  more »
  • Interesting historical landmark! It is a "must see " if you like to watch trains. I wish there are some park bench on top of the hill. (35.196972, -118.532469 Google map GPS coordinates)That is the best spot to watch loop and trains. It can be a very good vista point.
  • Really cool place to come and watch trains. Mondays seem to be a bit slower than the rest of the week. Watch out for rattlesnakes, saw 3 during our 2 days there.
  • Amazing to see what ingenuity and back-breaking work combined to produce! You may have to wait for a train but it is worth it! Beautiful area as well any time of the year.
  • Watched three trains pass through here in the span of an hour with one sitting on the siding going down hill as one passed going uphill. Absolutely fantastic feat of engineering (no pun intended).
  • Simply fascinating to watch the spectacle of an engineering feet more than 100 years old. We arrived just as the train was starting it's ascend and truthfully my mind was blown --seeing the front of the train on top of the back of the train...a must go see!