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Flying into Tehachapi!

Tehachapi is rich in Railroad history

Best time of the year to go? All year
Flight time in a Super Viking from KAJO? 0.8
Food on the airport? Within walking distance, very good.
Fuel on airport? Yes, usually a good price
Comments about arriving and departing  Departing at night watch for hill off end of RWY 29.
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Tehachapi has a lot of Rail Road History.

At an elevation of 3998 feet, Tehachapi's Municipal Airport is known as the corridor to Northern and Southern California! Located at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Tehachapi is an ideal spot to stop not only to fuel, but to enjoy an old fashion mountain town with good food and great prices.

The Apple Shed Restaurant is an easy walk from the flight line. Originally the shed was used to pack and ship potatoes and potato seed. Thousands of tons of potatoes were shipped to the U.S. Navy during World War II. Later, certified Merion bluegrass seed was packed and shipped to growers all over the world.

Not Disneyland but Tehachapi has a few things to see and the maps placed around town make everything easy to find. The city has a rich railroad history with the Tehachapi Loop near by. The Tehachapi Loop is one of the few places in the world where a train passes over itself which is necessary to climb the grade.

Pictures from Tehachapi !
After landing walk to the fuel island where you will find this sign (these signs are all over town). Just west of the fuel island is the gate which leads to town. As you head out the gate walk south on the dirt path. Cross the RR tracks and turn right and you're on the main drag! You can follow the paved road but the walk is about 4 times as long.
The first business you'll see is the Apple Shed which is only about one half mile from the airport. As you can see in the picture this used to be a loading dock for trains.
The Apple Shed from the street. http://www.appleshedonline.com/
No town would be complete without......
The area around its east and south is also home to one of California's larger Wind farms, generating electricity. The turbines have been in place since the early 1980s and have been upgraded through the years. The original wind turbines were much smaller than the much taller and larger new version turbines now sited for use. They are easily seen from California State Route 58 and from Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road.
The biggest engineering challenge was an area just east of the current town of Keene. Here, the need for an increase of almost 80 feet elevation demanded a unusual solution. Engineer William Hood, in a 19th century example of out-of-the-box thinking, designed what has become one of the Seven Wonders of the Railroad World: the Tehachapi Loop.
This single track line, essentially unchanged, is still in constant use today, 122 years after its completion. It passes an average of 36 freight trains each day. This attests to the superior job of both engineering and construction done by the two civil engineers and the Chinese laborers.
The trackage from Caliente to the Tehachapi Pass was completed in July of 1876. As you can see in the aerial photo above, the tracks loop around a hill and cross over themselves, gaining (or losing) 77 feet of elevation in the process. Trains more than 4,000 feet long circle over themselves, a rare phenomenon that brings rail fans from all over the world to the Loop.

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Last Updated
October 25, 2008

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Frank Holbert
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