From the Pages of the

Southern Pacific's Bayshore Yard
Bayshore Yard was the maintenance home for Southern Pacific's Fairbanks/Morse H24-66 Train Master fleet, used on the railraod's Peninsula commute service. Lined up along the whisker tracks at Bayshore Roundhouse in 1974 are four of these classic passenger locomotives. Click to enlarge (Ken Rattenne Photo)

by Don Douglas
Photography by Ken Rattenne
hen the San Francisco & San Jose Railroad built Its line between the two cities of its name in 1864, the original route out of San Francisco started at Market Street where the first passenger station was located near Valencia. It went out Valencia, turning southwestward at 26th and going over the hill by way of Bernal Cut, past Colma and into the present route at San Bruno. After the station was moved from Market Street, the route began at Townsend Street then went out along Harrison to 22nd and then through Bernal Cut. This route over the "hill" was so steep that extra engines were needed to assist trains up and over the grade.

The SF&SJ was acquired by the Southern Pacific Railroad in March 1868. Sometime between March and September 1868 the Southern Pacific came under the control of the Central Pacific, and on October 12, 1870 the "Big Four" caused the second Southern Pacific Railroad to become Incorporated as a consolidation of the San Francisco & San Jose, the first Southern Pacific Railroad and  the California Southern Railroad. From out of this merger grew the present day Southern Pacific Railroad.

In March 1901, E. H. Harriman acquired 37% of Southern Pacific's stock and in August of that year became president of Southern Pacific. Under Harriman control a number of improvements were undertaken, all along the Southern Pacific. One of the first improvements was to find a better entrance into San Francisco.

The Bayshore Cut Off

A new water level route was located between San Bruno and San Francisco which would eliminate the steep grade through Bernal Cut. In October 1904 construction was started on the Bayshore Cut Off.. The work was done under the name of Bayshore Railway, an SP-held company. This line was one of the most expensive pieces of railroad ever built, costing almost a million dollars a mile for its 9.81 miles between San Francisco and San Bruno, including five double track sidings with a total length of nearly 10,000 feet. After the April 

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This article and all associated pages are Copyright ©1998-2011 by the Central Coast Railway Club and Donald Douglas. Photographs are Copyright ©1998-2011 by Ken Rattenne. Article and/or photos may not be reproduced without prior written permission from the CCC Board Of Directors and Ken Rattenne.