Route 66 Times header image
Home > CA > Ludlow >

Ludlow Cafe

6835 Ludlow Rd., Ludlow, CA
Phone: 760-733-4501

East < GO > West

The Ludlow Cafe has a modified A-Frame design. It formerly was called the Friend's Coffee Shop. There's a couple of interesting displays and markers in front of the cafe. One is a marker for the long gone T& T Ralilroad along with a couple of mine cars and the other is a Project Carryall/Plowshare marker.


Grab a seat in the cafe for a meal or a snack and enjoy this cool window. I love to just sit here and gaze out this window while enjoying a sandwich for lunch when we pass thru Ludlow.


This marker commemorates the standard guage Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad whose maintenance shops were located somewhere just to the south of this marker. The railroad was built to haul borax from the mines on the east side of Death Valley to the processing plants near Los Angeles.

Apparently that was easier said than done, construction started in 1905 and lasted until 1907. The railroad also offered passenger service and operated until it closed up about 1940. By then the track from Ludlow to Crucero 23 miles to the north had already been abandoned in 1933.


This little ore car reminds us that the Ludlow Mining Company founded the town around 1882.


An Atomic Highway?
Well not exactly, but according to the marker seen here, in the 1950s and 1960s there was a proposal by the Atomic Energy Commision (AEC) to use nuclear explosions to excavate a path through the Bristol Mountains east of Ludlow. It was to be a huge project creating a trench up to 350 feet deep and something like two miles long to accomdate the highway and the Santa Fe Railroad tracks.

They figured it would take 23 explosions totaling 1.8 megatons to move 60 MILLION cubic yards of rock out of the way. Today it's hard to imagine the kind of project that this marker commemorates. It's probably a good thing that it was abandoned during the planning and study phase.


The ruins of a former Ludlow Cafe building still stands a block or so east on the north side of Route 66.

Photo(s): 2009 - 2013

x About Us We started traveling Historic U.S. Route 66 as a destination in 2009. It's like a 2,400 mile long drive back in time from Chicago to Santa Monica! more
xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.