Central Coast Railroad Case Study

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After its 1869 debut, the Central Pacific’s Altamont Pass route provided the shortest all-land connection from Sacramento to the Bay Area. It remained, nonetheless, a long detour compared with a direct-line route between the two points. From the start, the Central Pacific’s principals recognized its faults and sought alternatives. In the mid-1850s, two businessmen—DeWitt C. Haskins and Doctor D. W. C. Rice—proposed a railway from Marysville south to Knight’s Landing on the Sacramento River. From there, the track would continue to Davisville [Davis], Suisun City, and Vallejo. Ferries would join the railroad with San Francisco and Oakland. The promoters chartered their scheme as the SAN FRANCISCO & MARYSVILLE RAILROAD COMPANY in November 1857.…show more content…
The Associates had formed the NORTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY on 19 July 1871. The Northern Railway would build north from Oakland to Port Costa, where a ferry would carry trains across Carquinez Strait to Benicia. It would then build from Benicia to a CAL-P connection at Suisun City. The railroad between Oakland and Port Costa opened on 9 January 1878. Trains between Benicia and Suisun City began during autumn 1879, and ferry service commenced on 28 December 1879. Although this route needed a boat transfer, the CAL-P was seventy-five miles shorter than the path via Altamont Pass. On the same July 1871 day, the Associates also incorporated the SAN PABLO & TULARE RAILROAD COMPANY. The Associates intended to circumvent the need for slow, expensive helper engines, and their attendant crews, imposed by the Altamont Hills. The water-level route they proposed diverged from the Central Pacific tracks three miles from Ellis and headed north to meet the Northern Railway at Port Costa. Grading on the forty-mile bypass began near Ellis in September…show more content…
This route—the Mococo Line—was eleven miles longer than the line via Niles, but it avoided the steep grades across Altamont Pass. With this new route, the railroad had sown the seeds for several lasting West Side communities— Brentwood, Byron, and Tracy. J. L. Stewart, the construction engineer responsible for the San Pablo & Tulare Railroad project, chose the junction’s name. Lathrop Josiah Tracy (1825–1897), an Ohio grain merchant, was part owner of the SANDUSKY, MANSFIELD & NEWARK RAILROAD where Stewart had once worked. The young Stewart held Mister Tracy in such high respect that Stewart named the new town for his mentor. Sadly, Lathrop Tracy never saw the faraway California town. Although the San Pablo & Tulare Railroad stayed independent and not directly controlled by the Central Pacific, it did share owners. Governor Leland Stanford served as president for both companies. Nevertheless, the SP&T never ran trains under its own banner. From its début until 31 March 1885, the Central Pacific managed the property. The next day, the Southern Pacific took over responsibility for both Tracy lines under a lease. Three years later, on 14 May 1888, the Associates merged the San Pablo & Tulare Railroad into the SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY. Wheat Farming

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