Railroads of Los Gatos (Images of Rail)

By Edward Kelley

The picturesque city of Los Gatos stands among the as soon as verdant orchards of the Santa Clara Valley and the forested slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The narrow-gauge South Pacific Coast Railroad arrived in 1878 and, inside years, laid music over the mountains to hold passengers, redwood, and a whole lot ripe produce. below a decade later it was once bought by means of Southern Pacific, and fully switched over to straightforward gauge by way of 1909. Invigorating enterprise and undefined, the railroad remained an essential component of the financial system of Los Gatos for over eighty years. even though the period of business rail resulted in 1959, Billy Jones and his scaled-down Wildcat Railroad nonetheless provided weekend rides at his ranch to visitors, together with Walt Disney. The Wildcat nonetheless operates in neighborhood parks this day.

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Many folks have ridden the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad in Oak Meadow Park, yet they might not pay attention to the real volume of his striking tale. This ebook preserves the names and deeds of Jones and others who contributed to the wealthy heritage of the railroads of Los Gatos. For greater than 8 a long time, the railroad used to be crucial to lifestyles during this city. those that witnessed the railroads of Los Gatos won't ever omit the points of interest, sounds, and undying romance of the steam locomotive. For all others, it truly is truly was hoping that the images and tales provided right here will show why Los Gatos’s railroads have been so nice. One THE RAILS achieve LOS GATOS Horse-drawn “hacks” meet a narrow-gauge educate presently after 1900. In 1877, city forefather, John Lyndon, deeded the land for the depot website to the railroad with the stipulation that his inn be relocated throughout Santa Cruz street. The 1899 inn Lyndon, obvious at correct, supplied the heritage for plenty of railroad pictures. (Courtesy Los Gatos Public Library. ) Heading south via Cats’ Canyon, the rails crossed Los Gatos Creek 3 times, passing during the settlements of Alma, Lexington, and Wrights. 8 tunnels, with greater than a mile in size, have been blasted in the course of the mountains. so much tunnel exertions used to be played by means of chinese language workers who, dealing with cave-ins and lethal gasoline explosions, risked their lives to put the Santa Cruz Mountains on target. (Courtesy Santa Clara urban Library. ) In 1854, James Alexander Forbes outfitted a stone mill on Los Gatos Creek, which ultimately flourished after 1870 because the Los Gatos production corporation. On its first access into city, the South Pacific Coast used to be equipped earlier the mill on a grade alongside Los Gatos Creek, a plan quick foiled by means of the invention of risky clay deposits. the ultimate mainline alignment was once validated up the hill among college and Santa Cruz Avenues, however the continues to be from this primary try served as an nearly half-mile commercial spur that cut up close to college and Bentley Avenues. (Courtesy Los Gatos Public Library. ) The branchline that served the Los Gatos production corporation prolonged way past the outdated mill, working to a limestone quarry verified to construct Forbes’ Mill greater than twenty years prior. Narrow-gauge trains introduced the stone to a kiln, positioned on Loma Alta road, and later retrieved barrels for cargo in the back of what's at the present time previous city. while the president of the Los Gatos production corporation, William McMurtry, realized of the railroad’s crowning glory, he ordered 10 boxcars to the spur the place they have been speedily loaded with luggage of flour. The spur, by no means broad-gauged, used to be got rid of through the Nineteen Twenties. (Courtesy Los Gatos Public Library. ) Wrights Station, south of Alma and Lexington, was once a big transport aspect for neighborhood farmers. On July four, 1885, Wrights burned to the floor. A boxcar served as a makeshift shop and submit place of work until eventually the cost might be rebuilt. during this c. 1893 picture, growers are obvious shifting their product from wagon to narrow-gauge boxcar.

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