T he Barnwell and Searchlight railway
S earchlight with a population of 500 in 1902 was researching the matter of connecting Searchlight with the main line of the Atchison, Topeka
and Santa Fe Railway. It would be either by a line northerly from Ibis ( formerly Ibex ) or from Barnwell east. The reconnaissance was made by R. B.
Burns, then the chief engineer of the Santa Fe Company.
B arnwell had three trains a week arriving from Goffs, where the connection was made to the Santa Fe Company. Searchlight had in operation
a stage line which met the trains with two stages, one left about 10:30 am at the arrival of the train and another at 1:00 PM handling chiefly freight.
This would be about a four hour trip to Searchlight. The majority of Searchlights freight came via Barnwell, although some hauling was done
from Ibis by a narrow gauge built by the Quartette Company to run seventeen miles down to the Colorado River, where shipments could be received
only during high water.
I n 1905 came the birth came of a stage line from Nippeno ( Nipton ) on the Salt Lake Line to Searchlight. Efforts were made by Colonel
C. A. Hopkins and his associates to secure funds to build a railroad over the same route. This led to the organization of the Barnwell and
Searchlight Railway Company on April 16, 1906. Being under the laws of the State of California, for the purpose of building this road, with a capital
stock of $500,000, having A. G. Wells ( general manager of the Santa Fe Company at Los Angeles), as President. At the same time Doctor
Hansen had already invested money for the purchase of the right of way, etc., for his projected Searchlight and Northern Line. The aforementioned
railway from Barnwell to Searchlight would make useless any outlet to the north, for this reason the Barnwell and Searchlight Company bought
all right of ways, station grounds, and property that the Northern line had acquired. The Transvaal Miner newspaper ran an article on this battle
featured April 14th, 1908, titled "To have two Railroads".
T he right of way not on Government land between Searchlight and Barnwell was donated, and the grading completed on November 1, 1906.
After all track was laid by the Searchlight and Barnwell Company, service between Barnwell and Mile 8 ( from Barnwell) was inaugurated Dec 6, 1906.
After severe cold weather and storms they open service on January 30, 1907, to Mile 11, and finally on April 1, 1907, up to a small settlement at
the edge of Searchlight completing twenty three miles of track. On April 7, 1907 the line was leased to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Company
for which they operated the line until December 28, 1911, when it was sold to the Arizona and Santa Fe Railway Company of California.
See Manvel; Manvel / Barnwell