Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Question: Rail route south through the San Joaquin Valley and Fresno County to Los Angeles

From: "Heather Craig" heatherhyarmory@frii.com

I am a History graduate student at Colorado State University and I am doing research on Fresno County, California. I have come across several soft sources that say the Central Pacific was the first railroad into this county in 1872. Could you confirm this for me? Some cities in this county are: Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, San Joaquin. Thanks for your assistance.

—Heather Craig


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


"From Trail to Rail — A History of the Southern Pacific Company:
Chapter XXX. Birth of Southern Pacific Railroad Company; Building of Line In San Joaquin Valley, and
Chapter XXXI. Los Angeles and San Francisco Connected by Railroad." Southern Pacific Bulletin, June-July, 1928


8/16/2005 7:54 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

The Central Pacific built south down the San Joaquin Valley in the early 1870s to a junction with the (projected) Southern Pacific (land grant) alignment at Goshen, just north of Tulare. South of that point the Southern Pacific was the owning entity, although the line was leased to the Central Pacific for operation (until 1885, when the owners of the Central and Southern Pacific reorganized and realigned their controlling structures).

The junction is well south of Fresno, so the Central Pacific was, indeed, the first railroad in Fresno County.

For a scholarly reference, check Stuart Daggett: "Chapters in the History of the Southern Pacific," old but still good.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

My work address is: kwyatt@parks.ca.gov
My personal address is: kylewyatt@aol.com

8/16/2005 11:32 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: littlechoochoo81@netzero.net

The Central Pacific Railroad opened their line in the San Joaquin Valley from Lathrop, originally called Wilson Station, to Goshen, originally called Goshen Junction, between 1870 and 1872. Lathrop to Modesto November 8, 1870 – Modesto to Merced January 25, 1872 – Merced to Herndon, originally Sycamore, April 1, 1872 Herndon to Fresno May 28, 1872 and Fresno to Goshen August 1, 1872. These dates are the official dates opened for traffic to the public. Work trains would have been there earlier.

—Lynn Farrar

8/19/2005 1:14 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Also see the FAQ: "What did the Chinese do when they finished working on the Transcontinental Railroad?"

2/12/2007 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... Getting from Los Angeles to [the skiing area, Mammoth Mountain in the Sierras,] involves driving parallel to some current rail lines, and some "ghosts."

From Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley (most of which is part of the city of Los Angeles) over the mountains to Palmdale, the former SP line to Mojave (and Tehachapi) is visible. Southern California's commuter rail "Metrolink" system utilizes this right-of-way all the way to Lancaster.

The LA-Lancaster Metrolink line is nearly 80 miles (78), making it one of America's longer commuter lines. Not as long as LIRR's line to the Hamptons, but not shabby for a Johnny-come-lately.

At Mojave the former SP/AT&SF main line to the Tehachapi Loop, and Bakersfield, veers off to the northwest. My Highway, 14, which will merge with US 395 further north, heads northeast with the former SP Jawbone Line off to the right, heading for Searles, and its connection with the Trona RR to Trona.

At one time the Jawbone went all the way north to Owenyo, 95 miles from Searles, where it connected with the SP narrow gauge line through the Owens Valley. ...

—Russ C. Davies

[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]

2/20/2007 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Steve Donaldson" stevedonaldson@mindspring.com
Question: S.P. GroundBreaking in Los Angeles

In mid Feb., 1873 W.B Hyde informed C.P. Huntington that he had just broke ground on the Southern Pacific Los Angeles Division, but failed to specify exactly where. Is the place known, and on which line or branch? TIA

8/06/2019 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Steve Donaldson" stevedonaldson@mindspring.com

Think I've found it was on San Fernando branch twd SJV, but will be happy to see any confirmation. Many thanks.

8/08/2019 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Larry Mullaly" lmullaly@jeffnet.org
Subject: S.P. GroundBreaking in Los Angeles

The track in question runs parallel to Valley Blvd. railroad-east of North Soto Street/Lincoln Park in Los Angeles. Today’s North Soto Street runs along what was the eastern boundary of Los Angeles City in 1873.

The source of this information is a letter from W.B. Hyde to George E. Gray dated Feb. 24, 1873. It is found n the WB Hyde letter book at Stanford University (portions of which were published in 1988 under the title of William Birelie Hyde: Letters of a California Engineer and Lobbyist of the Eighteen Sixties and Seventies). The letter reads:

"This day I broke ground on the main line of the Tehachapi and Los Angeles RR line. The point I selected ... was a piece of tangent upon the eastern line of the city. The city proper not in a condition to give me undisputed possession of a right of way, I deemed it wise to make my commencement on that portion of the line which would be outside the jurisdiction of the city ... "

[Here] is a map showing this area.

—Larry Mullaly

8/08/2019 9:11 PM  

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