Keddie Wye

The Western Pacific Railroad (now part of the Union Pacific Railroad) built the tracks along the Feather River in 1909 to complete a San Francisco Bay Area - Salt Lake City, Utah, route competing with the Southern Pacific's route over
Donner Pass.

The Feather River route was preferred over the Donner Pass route (elevation about 7,000 feet / 2,133.6 m) over the Sierra Nevada Mountains because the Feather River route's pass (Beckwourth Pass) is at a lower elevation (about 5,221 feet / 1,591 m) and most of the route follows a more gentle grade along the Feather River.

In 1931 the branch running east and then north to Bieber, California was completed, along with the north and southeast legs of the wye.
This allowed the Western Pacific to diverge from its east-west route (along the west leg of the wye) and go north to Bieber, California, where it interchanged with the Great Northern Railway (now BNSF Railway) and its traffic from the Pacific Northwest.

Jim Pendley’s Passion & Jason LaLanne’s ramblings