Hoover Dam Construction

Permanent Gallery|

The construction of Boulder City and Hoover Dam was such a massive undertaking that it took three railroads to make it possible. The Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad (a subsidiary of Union Pacific) built and operated the Boulder Branch Line that connected the small ranching community of Las Vegas to a railyard in the future townsite of Boulder City. The LASL was responsible for bringing in all material from the national system and staging it in Boulder City. Today, the museum is located on the railyard site, and our excursion trains traverse 5 miles of the original 1930 Boulder Branch Line.

Two additional railroads were built and operated to facilitate construction. The U.S. Government line connected Boulder City to Black Canyon—the site of Hoover Dam. Construction materials staged in Boulder City were moved along the U.S. Government line to the dam site for installation. Six Companies, the contractor selected for construction, also built their own railroad line that connected gravel and sand pits to the large concrete mixing factories near the dam. The Six Companies railroad was abandoned following the completion of major construction in 1935. The Bureau of Reclamation operated the government line until construction on the dam’s power-generating facility was completed in 1963.

Two surviving railroad artifacts from the construction of Hoover Dam are displayed at the museum:

  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Davenport Gasoline Switching Locomotive
  • Six Companies Dump Car

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