Ludlow was founded in 1883 as a water stop along the transcontinental railroad. When railroad activity ceased in the 1940s, the town survived supplying the needs of travellers of the national old trails road, the future route 66. The opening of interstate 40 in the 1970s meant the end for businesses as people didn’t need to stop here anymore in their faster cars on the faster system. As a result the town was abandoned. Today, only some supplies for interstate travellers remain at the exit ramps.
The trains still pass though. They are a reason for some people to visit Ludlow. The surrounding hills provide a great view on the town, and the surrounding desert.
On this first view in Ludlow, we see a westbound train approach the ghost town. This image shows why Ludlow was abandoned after interstate traffic on route 66 fell down: there’s really nothing else here.
In the 1960s there exited even a project to remove part of the mountains in the background. “Operation Carryall” was supposed to blast a path through the Bristol mountains for the ATSF railroad, using 23 nuclear bombs for a total of 1.8 megatons of explosive power. The operation was part of a bigger project to use nuclear explosives for construction purposes. Fortunately, the operation was cancelled due to environmental concerns, among others. Interstate 40 in the Mojave desert was thus carved out using conventional bombs. The railroad line curves south here, running around the mountain range.