Check out this cool mountain home full of authentic railway materials.


The Components – Repurpose and up-cycle have become common practice in home renovation, but it takes more than pallets and barn wood to be truly innovative. A home on Alder Hill in Truckee is infused with the history of the Southern Pacific Railway, with reclaimed materials included in integral elements of the home. The stone fireplace is built with 14 tons of granite from a tunnel on Donner Summit while post and beam construction hail from the Kings River Bridge. Paneling came from a holding area in Deeth, Nevada and a derailed boxcar is used for storage.


The History – The home was built in 1980 by Jim Dobbas, who did salvage work for Southern Pacific Railway. Many of the materials used came directly from the source (rather than a salvage yard). The granite was procured when tunnel 41 in Truckee was expanded to accommodate larger freight cars. The beams are particularly large, and came from a bridge originally built in 1916 in Reedly, California. A train derailment that took place during the home’s construction fortuitously provided Dobbas with storage containers in the form of boxcars. He kept one near the home, where it still stands today.


The Home Today – The current owners have maintained the home’s livability and appeal with several upgrades and renovations. The four-bedroom/three-bathroom home sits on over nine acres and is equipped with a spiral staircase, hot tub, pantry, wine closet, attached greenhouse, and extensive (boxcar) storage.


This one-of-a-kind mountain home is now on the market for $1,250,000. For more information contact Trinkie Watson with Chase International at 530-582-0722 or visit


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Filed under: Lake Tahoe Lifestyles

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