Biola Junction to Kerman

The Biola Branch

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(Forwarded from the Fresno Traction Company)

The abandoned Biola Branch heads west, passing under CA Route 99 in the distance. Photo by Mike Palmer, January 2009.

This Southern Pacific branch headed west from the former SP Fresno main line at Biola Junction and connected to the former SP West Side Line just east of Kerman, CA. The small town of Biola, CA, was just about at its midpoint. The line served vineyards and other agricultural businesses in the area.

The first 8.5 miles of the line between Biola Junction (north of Fresno) and Biola itself was first built by Fresno Traction Company in 1913, who then immediately leased the line to the adjoining Southern Pacific. The rest of the line, between Biola and Kerman, was completed in 1930.

The line was abandoned in 1985.

See also the The Kerman Branch.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: 20909 Date: 11/23/1959 Section: 1(18)
App. for auth. to aband. that portion of the Biola Line, Wn. Divn., betw, M.P. 194.094 at or near Kerman (junction point with Sn. Pac. Co. main line sometimes known as the West Side Line, betw. Tracy & Fresno) and M.P. 199.934 at or near Biola, a distance of approx. 5.840 mi. in the County of Fresno, State of Calif., together with all sidings, spur tracks and appurtenances.
Length: 5.84 miles Citation:  
SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: AB 12 Sub 45 Date: 9/17/1976 Section: 1a
Application filed for authority to abandon a line of railroad extending from MP 208.617 near Biola Junction in a westerly direction to the end of the branch at MP 199.934 near Biola, a distance of 8.683 miles in Fresno County, California. (This line includes the stations of Rayland. West Acres, Raco and Blola.)
Length: Unknown Citation:  
SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: AB 12 Sub 75 Date: 6/22/1984 Section: 10903
Application filed for abandonment of a line of railroad between milepost 208.300, at or near Biola Jct., to milepost 199.934, at or near Biola, a distance of 8.37 miles in Fresno County, California.
Length: Unknown Citation:  

This line went further than what it's depicted here. When the line reached Kerman, it turned northwest, continued along the western edge of the San Joaquin valley, and connected with the line in Los Banos. Southern Pacific used it as a secondary freight line.

Davdi Lindley
Bakersfield, CA
11/4/2013

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After further research, I found that the extension of the Biola Branch I mention earlier is not associated with the Biola Branch. It's a separate abandoned branch, from Fresno, which is not(or yet to be) mentioned on this web site.

David Lindley
Bakersfield, CA
11/6/2013

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