Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oakland mole: Were trains transported from the Oakland pier across the bay to the SF Ferry Building?

From: "Michael Grace" mlpgrace@gmail.com

Great site ... but you have a major fact wrong regarding the Oakland mole. The trains were not transported from the Oakland pier across the bay to the San Francisco Ferry Building. The trains terminated in Oakland and the passengers were transported by ferry to San Francisco.. Has anyone been to the ferry building? The trains would have been sticking through it and going about two blocks into San Francisco?

This is incorrect ...

"Oakland Mole" California Railroad Terminal Postcard
"A rare glimpse of the busy Southern Pacific Railroad's busy waterfront terminal in Oakland, Calif., where trains [sic] would be loaded onto giant railroad-operated ferries for a short trip across San Francisco Bay and into the San Francisco Ferry Building. Prior to the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in the late 1930s, this was the way train passengers (and freight trains) [sic] got from one side of the bay to the other. Use of the facility actually traces back to the late 1860s when the Central Pacific Railroad began transporting freight cars across the bay from what was then known as the Oakland Long Wharf, located at the western end of Seventh Street. The area around the pier was filled in in the early 1880s, and the Southern Pacific Railroad, which had taken over the Central Pacific Railroad, expanded and enclosed the facility into the scene pictured here. Use of the Oakland Mole declined after completion of the Bay Bridge, but some service continued there until about 1957. The Oakland Mole was demolished in the mid-1960s to allow for an expansion of the Port of Oakland cargo facilities. This postcard was published by the Newman Post Card Co. of Los Angeles, although it says it was printed in Germany. It features the longtime Southern Pacific slogan of being 'On the Road of a Thousand Wonders.' " Caption courtesy Jeffrey Aberbach.
—Michael Grace, Editor, Cruising the Past