South Pacific Coast Railroad - Southern Pacific Control

Southern Pacific Control

By 1887 SPC was a major California transportation concern; and Southern Pacific paid six million dollars to merge it into their California transportation system. An 1893 winter storm caused a landslide in the Santa Cruz Mountains requiring major reconstruction to restore service. The Alameda ferry terminal burned in 1902 and was replaced with the modern terminal which survived until ferry service was discontinued by the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge in 1939. The narrow-gauge line had 23 locomotives, 85 passenger cars and 500 freight cars before the conversion to standard gauge began. The transition to standard gauge was interrupted by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The line through the Santa Cruz Mountains suffered major damage including a lateral slip of 5 feet (1.5 m) in the tunnel where it crossed the San Andreas fault. The bridge across San Leandro Bay was damaged and abandoned. Conversion to standard gauge was completed in 1909. Narrow gauge locomotives numbered 9, 23, and 26 were eventually acquired by the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company. Other SPC narrow gauge equipment was transferred to the Carson and Colorado Railway, the White Pass and Yukon Route, the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad, the Pacific Coast Railway, the Lake Tahoe Railway and Transportation Company, and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad.

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