Buttonwillow to Olig

The McKittrick Branch

Picture Point of Interest

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

Showing of

The "last" road crossing of the McKittrick Branch is still guarded by a lone crossbuck. This is in Buttonwillow at Buttonwillow Drive. Photo by Bill Steck, October 2005.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: 12633 Date: 11/7/1939 Section: 1
Application of Southern Pacific Railroad Company to abandon operation of portion of so-called McKittrick Branch owned by Southern Pacific Railroad Company, near McKittrick, Olig, Kern County, Calif, a distance of 2 miles, together with all sidings, spur tracks and appurtenances.
Length: 2 miles Citation:  
Docket Number: 20965 Date: 1/6/1960 Section: 1(18)
App. for auth. to aband. that portion of the McKittrick Branch (San Joaquin Div'n) betw. M.P. 347.000 at or near Buttonwillow, and the end of said branch at M.P. 361.048 at or near McKittrick, a distance of approx. 14.048 mi. together with the wye track at McKittrick, all sidings, spur tracks and appurtenances, all in Kern County, Calif.
Length: 14.048 miles Citation:  

I drive though Buttonwillow to McKittrick every day notice where the track ends in Buttonwillow heading towards McKittrick just kinds disappears in a mount of dirt on the west side of town. Trying figure out if the abandoned track followed State highway 58 present day (State highway 178 pre 1964). I found renants of an old RR bridge and track bed due south of Hwy 58 on an old dirt road about 3 miles from Lokern road. I cannot find any maps of this abandoned track.

Robert Edgar
Bakersfield, CA


For maps of the McKittrick Branch, go to the USGS historic topographic maps website and look up the "McKittrick" quadrangle and a portion of the "Buena Vista Lake" quandrangle west of Buttonwillow. In addition, the map room of the Kern County Engineering and Survey Services Dept. in Bakersfield has railroad maps of the branch.

John Sweetser
Bakersfield, CA


I might go out there this summer to see the line myself.

Josh Rodriguez
Bakersfield(Wible Orchard), CA


The McKittrick was still operating in the early '50s, usually with a "valley malley" (and ancient Mogul) usually with a boxcar or two. There was an "armstrong" turntable AND a wye at the end of line at McKittrick. I have an 8mm film of just such a "valley malley" being turns on that table. The pit might still be there.

Lancaster, CA


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/uo1

Do you have any pictures or information about The McKittrick Branch? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.