Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Railroad in San Juan Bautista

Until the Southern Pacific built the railroad in Hollister in the 1870s, San Juan Bautista was the bustling metropolis in this area. But, that's a story for another time. In 1907, a railroad did eventually come to the mission city. Originally run by the San Juan Pacific Railway, it became part of the California Central Railroad several years later.

An E Clampus Vitus plaque (the photo above) on Mission Vineyard Road (next to San Juan Inn) marks the southeast portion of the railroad. Here's what the marker states:

The San Juan Pacific Railway was incorporated May 4, 1907, becoming the California Central Railroad in 1912. Some of the locals referred to it as the San Juan Terrific. Built to haul the expected large quantities of Portland cement from the old Mission Cement Company Plant nearby, the mainline extended 7.94 miles from Chittenden to San Juan Junction. Ceasing railroad operations in 1930, the track was ripped up after the last locomotive, Ocean Shore No. 5 was steamed up and shipped to Nevada in 1937. A narrow gauge 'road' reached the limestone quarry up the San Juan Canyon.

February 25 to March 3 theme for Take 25 to Hollister: Trains and Railroads 

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