dimanche 12 novembre 2017

A bit of history

(ATSF LA Division ETT-09/1953-My collection)
The San Jacinto Valley railway was born between 1886 and 1888 with the construction of a 20 miles line from Perris, on the then mainline of the California Southern between San Bernardino and San Diego through Temecula canyon, to Hemet and San Jacinto. From 1890 until the 1920's the railroad was the main transportation artery in the valley and most of the freight to and from the communities settled there used it. In it's heyday it was no less than two regular trains that plied the rails daily : one passenger train that  combined to and from San Bernardino at Perris and a mixed collecting merchandises along the line. 
All the stations, including San Jacinto, were built from standard plans of the California Southern, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railway umbrella in Southern California. The Santa Fe owned a web of  lines through many company in Socal to hide their presence from their Southern Pacific competitor. But the ATSF leased all of their California properties in 1904 and absorded them in 1906 and the masquerade was over. The line became known as the San Jacinto district of the Los Angeles  Division. Sometimes in the twenties, the passenger trains ceased operations due to automobile competition and only the mixed remains until april 26, 1952 when the # 505 & 506 were discontinued. The operations went freight only for some more decades. The station in San Jacinto was "modernized" in 1948 into the boxy structure dubbed by some as a "cracker box" and closed as an agency in 1978.In 1969, the track was upgraded with heavier rail and ballasting in an effort to reduce maintenance costs and raise the speed limit up to 40 mph. The district known amongst railroaders as the "San Jac" became a subdivision in the 1985 reorganization but the Santa Fe, probably, already had plans to sell the line or closed it as traffic have sharply declined over the years. In 1990, only 88 cars were shipped from Agri-Empire the major shippers in San Jacinto. The line was bought in 1992/1993 by the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) for a planned commuter line up the valley but the occasionnal freight trains were still operated by the Santa Fe and after the 1995 merger by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF). The trains runs on later years on an "as needed" basis, mostly seasonal potatoe traffic in summer, and it seems that those stopped running around the end of the last century. The San Jacinto Station was demolished by Agri-Empire, the major potatoes shipper in the valley and owner of the station ground, to make way for truck parking in 2002. However, the line still exist dormant between Perris and San Jacinto.The passenger trains re-entered the valley in june 6, 2016 when the Metrolink 91/Perris Valley line commuter trains began running to South Perris. An 2005 study of the RCTC stated that extending the line would be feasible up to San Jacinto.  So perhaps all is not lost for this little line.Time will tell...
We'll see later some more historical informations about the station, traffic, what kind of engines were used, etc...as this little blog grow up, so stay tuned.
See ya'

(Photographer and date unknown. All rights reserved )

(Photographer and date unknown. All rights reserved )

(Photographer and date unknown.All rights reserved )

(Photographer not known exactly. May be Jack Whitemeyer. But the original seemed to be black and White. 1947. All rights reserved)

(This photo is a scan from Mc Call book "Coach, Cabbage and Caboose", Kachina Press showing the last mixed train 505/506 in San Jacinto, 4/26/1952. Chard L.Walker photo. All rights reserved).


2 commentaires:

  1. Nice modeling on your blog. Keep me in mind if you need decals as S-scale ones are hard to find


    1. Thanks for looking at this blog and the compliment. I've already looked and at your decal range and probably buy some of your sets for future projects. All the best from France.