niles canyon railway history
December 5, 2020
The rail line through Niles Canyon was amongst the earliest to be built in California and provided the first rail connection between San Francisco Bay and the rest of the nation. History Early history. 37029 Mission Blvd. Just click a picture to visit one of our projects. This secondary status was maintained until the early 20th century when the Southern Pacific Railroad (successor to the Central Pacific) came under the leadership of E. H. Harriman. The recorded history of the Fremont area began on June 6, 1795, when Mission San José was founded by the Spaniard Father Fermin de Lasuen.The Mission was established at the site of the Ohlone village of Oroysom. Presently, Niles Canyon Railway provides train rides to the public year-round between Sunol, California and Niles in Fremont, California. Freight traffic in and out of San Francisco had become too heavy for the ferries across the bay and across the Carquinez Strait to handle. The decline in San Francisco's status as a port with the advent of containerization, combined with the movement of produce traffic to the highways once again left the railroad through Niles Canyon with little business. History. The trip is a fun 5 miles each way through the beautiful canyon, past historic railroad equipment and all narrated by … It built twenty miles of track that reached into Alameda Creek canyon in 1866. We arrived at the Sunol Station about an hour before scheduled departure time. By Bill Kirchner, October 8, 2013. Trains could then continue to San Francisco via the San Francisco & San Jose Rail Road which was completed in 1864. Two trains were run today from Sunol to Niles and return, one leaving Sunol at 4 PM and the other at 7 PM. A photo of the marker showing that the rock base has been broken and the marker is knocked over. The NCRy features public excursions with both steam and diesel locomotives along a well-preserved portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.  Central Pacific named the depot in 1870 for their railroad attorney and stockholder, Addison Niles, who became two years later associate justice on the California Supreme Court. The Pacific Locomotive Association, Inc. operates the Niles Canyon Railway as a living history museum interpreting the importance of our heritage railroads in the development of … An all land route via San Jose and Niles Canyon was available, but was overly circuitous. The tracks in the canyon became a secondary main line. Learn more. On December 1, 1985, Mallet Number 4 had the honor of handling the last passenger movement on the Castro Point Railway. Niles Canyon Railway is one more organization that has suspended activities due to COVID-19, and it saddens me to think there are no clackity old trains chugging from Sunol to Niles through the beautiful ravine. Date … The train was full of happy people. Southern Pacific ceased its operations through the canyon in 1984, and deeded the land to Alameda County; the portion over Altamont Pass was briefly reopened in 1985 for "scab trains" to train management crews ahead of a possible union strike. Its first passenger excursion entered the canyon on October 2 of that year. Association volunteers worked for over a year on the first part of the track reconstruction between Sunol and Brightside. The Period of Significance was identified as spanning from 1865 to 1958. The Niles Canyon Railway operates along a portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad constructed in the 1860s. About Niles Canyon Railway A Railroad Museum Where the Exhibits Come to Life! As a result, the original line became less used due to its longer route and its steep grade over Livermore Pass (known today as Altamont Pass). The first Western Pacific Railroad Company (formed in 1862) started construction in San Jose towards Sacramento. Especially given that 2019 is the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental railroad, the excitement is building to a crescendo, with many events planned throughout the year. In late 1986, along with Heisler 5 and Shay 7, the Number 4 was moved out of Castro Point to Niles via a special train movement. The first Western Pacific Railroad Company (formed in 1862) started construction in San Jose towards Sacramento. Previously, the Golden Gate Railroad Museum moved its collection from San Francisco to the NCRy in 2007 for storage and limited operations after their home at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard was shut down for redevelopment. PLA Steam. Clover Valley #4 operates on the Niles Canyon Railway. It built twenty miles of track that reached into Alameda Creek canyon in 1866. The town was named for Addison C. Niles, a prominent judge and former railroad attorney. The little old railroad town of Niles, CA, is a hidden gem well worth exploring if you are looking for a nearby weekend adventure. Fremont, CA 94536, Sunol Station [Map] During the Christmas period, special "Train of Lights" trips run. Read more. and their Niles Canyon Railway. In September, 1869, four months after the famous golden spike ceremony at Promontory Summit, Utah, the Central Pacific Railroad completed the transcontinental rail link between Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay, finishing the track through the canyon.The CP had acquired the Western Pacific and other local railroads and built track to connect them at a waterfront terminal at Alameda Point. The mission of the Pacific Locomotive Association is to be an operating railroad museum for standard gauge railroading, past, present, and future. It has been part of the Pacific Locomotive Association collection since 1973. For various reasons, the Central Pacific Railroad reached an agreement with the first Western Pacific Railroad (1862-1870) (not related to the later company of same name) to build the westernmost portion of the line connecting the Central Pacific in Sacramento to San Jose via Stockton and Livermore. The organization continues its work to extend and maintain the track along the line; restore its collection of railroad equipment; and operate historic demonstration trains for the benefit of the public. The history of trains in Niles Canyon dates back to the building of the original transcontinental railroad. Group charters are also available, from a single caboose to an entire train. Construction was halted shortly thereafter, however, because of disagreements between the railroad’s contractors and its financiers. You are in the home of the Steam Locomotives of the Pacific Locomotive Association. Niles Canyon Railway Virtual Program Thursday, December 17 at 11:30 am . At the mouth of Alameda Cañon was an important junction of two rail lines: the new Central Pacific line that went to Oakland and the original Western Pacific line to San Jose. This is a route-map template for the Niles Canyon Railway, an Alameda County, California, heritage railroad. Sierra Railway #30. The next is in the canyon. The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 authorized the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad to build the transcontinental railroad between the Missouri River and the waters of the Pacific. Hear about the amazing railroad history of our valley. In June 1869, J. H. Strobridge and crew began to lay out a new rail line from Vallejo Mills (now Niles) at the west end of Alameda Cañon northward towards Oakland, while Turton, Knox & Ryan dispatched workers to continue the railroad in Alameda Cañon eastward from the point where the 1866 Western Pacific rails abruptly stopped. Steel bridges replaced the covered timber bridges at Farwell and Dresser and the small railroad town of Niles became an important junction as freight from the San Francisco Peninsula and produce from the Santa Clara and Salinas Valleys traveled through the canyon to points east. We arrived at the Sunol Station about an hour before scheduled departure time. The Pacific Locomotive Association, Inc. operates the Niles Canyon Railway as a living history museum interpreting the importance of our heritage railroads in the development of … The first Western Pacific Railroad Company (formed in 1862) started construction in San Jose towards Sacramento. Check below and also see our Map of best things to do for their precise physical locations.. Niles Canyon Railway, a “Museum on Wheels”. History. These ferries continued to be the final link for passengers to San Francisco until 1958. These unique constructions can still be seen today. Henry Baum, President of Niles Canyon Railway, will cover a variety of topics about the railroad and the role it has played in the development of our community. The Central Pacific eventually became part of the Southern Pacific railroad system. The Pacific Locomotive Association operates the Niles Canyon Railway, and has railroad artifacts on display in the Niles Depot Museum in Fremont, California. Robert Dollar #3. It has been part of the Pacific Locomotive Association collection since 1973. Since 1988, the Niles Canyon Railway has continuously operated a tourist railroad to preserve the history of the Western Pacific Railroad (1862–1870), on the route that completed the first transcontinental railroad to the Pacific coast. Quincy Railroad #2. The Pacific Locomotive Association, Inc. operates the Niles Canyon Railway as a living history museum interpreting the importance of our heritage railroads in the development of … It built twenty miles of track that reached into Alameda Creek canyon in 1866. Niles Station [Map] The marker and rock base have been repaired. Future plans for restoration of the historic Sunol Depot include interpretive educational displays. Our mission is to develop and operate a working railroad museum for the benefit of the general public. The first Western Pacific Railroad Company (formed in 1862) started construction in San Jose towards Sacramento. History: Built new for Western Pacific Railroad (WP) # (Unknown); Western Pacific (WP) #MW276; Levin Metals, scrap dealer, Richmond, CA, 1983; Acquired by PLA, June 1983; Rebuilt as Niles Canyon Railway (NCRY) open-observation car #276, 1992; Retired from passenger service 2009. Instructing the public in railroad history, tradition, and the evolution of rail transportation technology. Many of these stonework built by Chinese laborers in the late 1860s can still be seen today.:87. The railway is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad Historic District. History. See also The train runs between Fremont and Sunol as an excursion train. The Niles Canyon Railway (NCRy) is a heritage railway running through Niles Canyon, between Sunol and the Niles district of Fremont in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, United States. , When built, the rail line through Niles Canyon was the primary route for overland traffic to and from the San Francisco Bay. 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