Rails and Roads

Copper Mining is a very segmented process, involving three separate and distinct steps in production. Each step was constrained by several geographical conditions, which precipitated where it had to be located. A mine of course had to exists along a rich ore body. The mills had to be placed near large bodies of water, required by the stamps and necessary for the elimination of waste. A mines smelter and docks had to be located along a navigable water way – for a time the only method of getting materials to and from the region. All there of these were almost mutually exclusive, often separated by several miles of wilderness.

Connecting all these various stages of production was the railroad. While some mines were large enough to afford the construction and operation of their own short-line railroad, many relied on regional carriers which served several mines and mills at once. The demand was great, and with it came the establishment of more than a dozen railroads which criss-crossed the peninsula in a spider-of tracks and bridges.