Southern Pacific's Majestic Coast Line Pictorial
Vol. 43: Los Angeles to Santa Cruz
By Jeff Ainsworth.
Stapled paperback, 11x8.5" horizontal format, 66 glossy pages. 2015.
"Imagine you're riding the Coast Daylight, train No. 99, as pictured on the cover. On this journey, we'll be traveling railroad west (north) along Southern Pacific's Majestic Coast Line.
"We’ll begin at SP's large main yard, Taylor Yard, just north of downtown Los Angeles. While still on the yard lead we pass through an area named Industrial before flying though Glendale and on to Burbank. At Burbank tower, the operator pulls a lever to throw the switch that will allow us to take the diverging route westward passing Lockheed Aircraft terminal & hangers - what is now Bob Hope Airport.
"As we approach the Santa Susana Mountains we'll pass through Chatsworth. Here’s the first GS-4, number 4430, leading train no. 70, the Coaster, with a very unusual consist. Onto Oxnard and Santa Barbara for a shot on the turntable there. Continuing along the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean, we pass Hope Ranch and head to San Luis Obispo. Here the tracks swing inland as we add a helper to climb Cuesta Grade up to Santa Margarita, where our helper is removed. It is fairly flat run the remainder of our journey.
"At Paso Robles, we'll meet a freight with a 'dec' (the nickname for SP's big 3600 & 3700 class 2-10-2 decapods) on the point. Our Daylight 4-8-4 zips through the valley to Salinas and on to Castroville. Here’s where the Monterey Branch joins the mainline. Now we'll leave the Daylight briefly, taking a smaller train - a spring special to Pacific Grove. Then, returning to the mainline, we'll take the Daylight to Watsonville Junction. Our ride on the Daylight ends here, though The Daylight continues west(north) on the mainline to San Francisco (covered in Vol. 41, Around the San Francisco Bay Region).
"We continue on the Santa Cruz branch from Watsonville Junction, moving rapidly along the beautiful Monterey Bay coastline to Santa Cruz. Now we'll see some of the last trains to leave Santa Cruz going over the Santa Cruz mountains to Los Gatos, as this line was torn up during WWII. Some of the rails are used today by the Roaring Camp & Big Trees scenic railway to bring guests to & from Santa Cruz to the narrow gauge railway located in the mountains east of Santa Cruz.
"Enjoy the journey!"