San Jose in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The Flood of 1911 and Broad Gauge Rails
The flood damage led to a new broad gauge rail line into the park. The Alum Rock Railway had been sold in 1905 and, over time, joined with the Peninsular Railway (part of the Southern Pacific). The new owners were quick to see the benefit of rebuilding the line in broad gauge – now the standard for railroads. The new broad gauge railway into the park was also built on raised trestles to reduce the danger of another flood.
The broad gauge railroad continued to bring thousands of visitors to the park from all over the San Francisco Bay Area until the automobile became the favorite way to travel. The last train left Alum Rock Park on June 12, 1932 and the old rails were removed in 1934.
Today, visitors to Alum Rock Park can still see the old bridge supports and bits of rail along the road from the entrance to the Mineral Springs Area.
Alum Rock Park Interpretive Series
San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services.
Erected by San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services.
Location. 37° 23.657′ N, 121° 48.842′ W. Marker is in San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Penitencia Creek Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. This marker is on the Creek Trail, accessed from the Eagle Rock Picnic Area parking lot. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15188 Penitencia Creek Road, San Jose CA 95132, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Alum Rock Log Cabin (approx. half a mile away); Steam Dummies & 25 Cents! (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Natatorium (approx. 0.6 miles away); Electrification (approx. 0.7 miles away); Historic Alum Rock Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Welcome to Alum Rock Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Mineral Springs Grotto (approx. one mile away); San Jose High School (approx. 4.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Jose.
Also see . . . Cars Trump Trains and That Damned Creek is Dammed. Select article #7.
Steam shovels gouged their way through the narrow canyon creating an entirely new heavy-duty roadbed. The new line was built along a higher elevation out of reach of future floods. In one part of the canyon, construction of a two-mile stretch of track cost the enormous sum of $150,000. Five bridges with spans ranging from 170 to 260 feet were built over Penitencia Creek. (Submitted on March 17, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 17, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 412 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 17, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.