Lodi to Sacramento

The Central California Traction Company

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Note: This line is being reserved for potential future use, and is not technically abandoned.

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This is near the northern end of the inactive tracks, just southeast of Sacramento, CA. Photo by Jerry Pinkham, May 2009.

The Central California Traction Company started out in 1907 connecting the towns of Stockton and Lodi to the north. By 1910, the line had continued further northward to Sacramento. It was considered a full-scale interurban operation, complete with overhead wire within Stockton, Lodi and Sacramento, and an electrified third rail in the rural areas in between. Thus, each interurban car had to be fitted with both trolley poles and third-rail pickups.

Over the years, however, passenger service declined until 1933, when it was decided to cease passenger operations. The line still had a lot of freight potential in the burgeoning central California area, though: the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads all wanted to purchase the line. By 1936, it was decided to give each of the three railroads a joint ownership of the line.

Freight operations (still under the name of CCTCo) continued on the line for a significant amount of time after, even after the electrical infrastructure (overhead wires and third rails) was removed in 1947 since only diesels were used on the line by that time. The CCTCo discontinued service along the line between Lodi and Sacramento in 1998; despite being in poor shape, the tracks remain, as the CCTCo hopes to revive them one day for future operations.

Today, the CCTCo itself is still in service around the Lodi area, serving a number of customers along former Southern Pacific trackage. It also continues to operate the original line between Stockton and Lodi.

I really enjoyed reading your article, as well as the link to "other sites and information." However, none of the articles say anything about the train stations and/or depots where the people got on and off the train. I realize these places do not exist any longer, but I sure would like to know their locations if at all possible.

Joseph
Sacramento, CA
10/4/2010

[I do not know where the depots were located; perhaps another visitor can answer Joseph's question?  —Greg Harrison]

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I would like to know when CCTCo is planning or hoping to revive the tracks. Right now it is just a waste of a lot of steel. So if you know of, or anyone with that information please contact me.

Heath
Sacramento, CA
2/15/2012

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Heath, I saw your comment above and perhaps I can help. The line is currently under the threat of being converted into a trail, or otherwise. However, cct would like to revive this line for freight service, if the opportunity presents itself, but obviously, it has not. Only time and fate will tell if the returns to active service or gets turned into i trail, which I personally hope not.

LEO GYRON
OXNARD, CA
7/5/2012

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I was given an old telephone. It is the hand crank type with the magneto and needs 2 batteries to operate. It is mounted in a wooden case and stamped in 3 locations are the letters C.C.T. Co. Inside is a list of the various locations where there were other telephones. This phone was definitely used by the Central California Traction Company. Any information would be appreciated

Jack Henry
Jackson, CA
8/18/2013

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I have many memories of the CCT street railway and freight operations in and around Sacramento in the 1930's and 1940's. My grandfather was a very senior motorman on CCT streetcars. He continued as a motorman and then a bus driver for Sacramento City Lines after street cars were taken off, until retirement in the 1950's. My father also was a CCT Motorman during the early and mid 1930's.

William E. "Bill" Moss
Sacramento, CA
9/27/2013

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