Re: Narrow gauge - in 1905

Dave Eggleston

The SPC was a narrow gauge oddity from the start. Engineered more as a standard gauge to move commuters fast up the East Bay and to get tourists into, and long lumber drags out of, Santa Cruz and Felton on standard gauge grades and curvature.

When leased by the SP it was increasingly efficiency-ized; it was a big revenue generator but gauge break was still an issue. Lumber groves expanded, tourist travel increased, east Bay suburbs expanded and the situation just got more bottlenecked. It was a truly odd example and really shoulda started standard gauge but there were a few reasons it didn't. Costs and the lease may have impeded initial SP widening of gauge but by the early '90s it was inevitable and by 1900 things were under way. The effort was only slowed by the quake damage of '06. Already by 1901 cars considered excess by the SP were being transferred from the SPC to handle Tonopah traffic on the Carson & Colorado.

I bet the SP would have standard gauged it by 1886 if they could have...

Dave Eggleston

On Jun 17, 2021, at 5:37 PM, Nolan Hinshaw <> wrote:

Join to automatically receive all group messages.