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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

150 Years of Service on the Oldest Railroad in the West With Continuous Passenger Service

 
 
150 Years of Service on the Oldest Railroad in the West With Continuous Passenger Service Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 17, 2020
1. 150 Years of Service on the Oldest Railroad in the West With Continuous Passenger Service Marker
Inscription.  Until 1864, travel between San Francisco and San Jose was by stagecoach or steamship, a time- consuming and expensive trip. After three failed attempts to organize a railroad, construction began in May 1861 on the 49-mile San Francisco & San Jose Railroad. Upon completion to Mayfield (south Palo Alto today), daily passenger service from San Francisco began October 18, 1863. Thousands turned out to celebrate on January 16, 1864, when the railroad was completed to San Jose. By 1870, the SF & SJ was absorbed into the Southern Pacific Railroad, which owned and operated the railroad for more than a century.

Threatened in later years with declining ridership and the cessation of service, the railroad came under public agency management, first by the California Department of Transportation in 1980, when the railroad was renamed "CalTrain,” and then by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board in 1992. The JPB purchased the right-of-way in 1991. Caltrain is the oldest continuously operating passenger railroad in the West.

The first San Francisco terminal was near 18th and Valencia streets and San Jose's was off San Pedro and Bassett

150 Years of Service on the Oldest Railroad...Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 17, 2020
2. 150 Years of Service on the Oldest Railroad...Marker - wide view
The marker is visible here on the wall of the Caltrain Station to the right of the entrance.
streets. The San Francisco terminal has been at Fourth and King Streets since 1975. San Jose's Cahill Street terminal opened in 1935.


 
Erected 2014 by Native Sons of the Golden West. (Marker Number GPY 137-05.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West series list.
 
Location. 37° 46.607′ N, 122° 23.688′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is at the intersection of 4th Street and King Street on 4th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94107, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chutchui and Sitlintac (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rammaytush (about 600 feet away); Peter R. Maloney (4th Street) Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Steamboat Point (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jack London (approx. ¼ mile away); California Electric Building (approx. ¼ mile away); The Francis "Lefty" O'Doul Third Street Bridge (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
Also see . . .
1. Caltrain 150th Documentary - The San Francisco and San Jose Railroad (YouTube, 11.5 min.)

<i>Moonlight Excursion!</i> image. Click for full size.
Image courtesy of the California Historical Society, 1864
3. Moonlight Excursion!
. (Submitted on December 17, 2020.)
2. Caltrain (Wikipedia). (Submitted on December 17, 2020.)
3. San Francisco and San Jose Railroad (Wikipedia). "The San Francisco and San Jose Railroad (SF&SJ) was a railroad which linked the communities of San Francisco and San Jose, California, running the length of the San Francisco Peninsula. The company incorporated in 1860 and was one of the first railroads to employ Chinese laborers in its construction. It opened the first portion of its route in 1863, completing the entire 49.5-mile (80 km) route in 1864. The company was consolidated with the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1870. Today, Caltrain and the Union Pacific Railroad continue to operate trains over the company's original route." (Submitted on December 17, 2020.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 17, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 17, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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Mar. 3, 2021