“The gravity railroad was primitive but it worked. The old timer was smart to use it as he logged all of his timber this way, before he could have shipped the machinery for a steam railroad around the horn. Also, the grade was too steep for steam.
By pulling the truck with a horse it was returned to the top of the grade. The use of a long rope from the horse, known as a read line, enabled the horse to use a towpath beside the road and allowed the truck to cross trestles.
The log shown is a Western Red Cedar, Thuja plicata. It was the most widely used timber at an early date. It is now used for posts and roofing usually.
This type of logging did not entirely disappear until the early 1900s. Gravity power was used often to return the empties by use of a section of double track for passing and cables to let the load pull the empties. This eliminated much of the braking.” – written by Howard B. Taylor