Union City to Oakland

The Oakland Subdivision

Picture Point of Interest

Map submitted by Paul Carr.

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

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) construction is evident in Hayward, CA, as it parallels the Oakland Subdivision (still active in this picture). (August 1967, submitted by Robert Talley)

The Oakland Subdivision was the westernmost route of the Western Pacific and the original route of the California Zephyr. The portion of the Oakland Subdivision between Union City and Oakland was relegated to industrial spur status after Union Pacific merged with Southern Pacific in 1996, as UP chose to operate on SP's parallel route, the Mulford Line, instead of the Oakland Sub.

Most of the line is completely abandoned; however, there may or may not be a few industrial customers left on isolated portions on the line. Some sections of the line are used as access roads, and the Oakland Intermodal Gateway has been built over the former yard at Oakland.

See also Oakland, California.

Thanks to Paul Carr for contributing information about this route.

The UP "San Leandro" local shunts a couple of boxcars (maybe reefers) and steel coil cars about 3 miles south of Oakland near the Coliseum complex now and again. There may be more occasional action further south in Hayward, I've seen block signals lit up but no action.

El Cerrito, CA


This line has not been relegated to an industrial spur, and the only portion that has been abandoned is the extreme west (geographically north) end between Melrose in East Oakland and Magnolia in West Oakland (including the street running in downtown Oakland on Third Street in front of the former Western Pacific depot, now converted for office use). East of Melrose the line is still in place, complete with CTC, but through trains do not operate on it. From Melrose (M.P. 10.5) to approximately M.P. 13 near 98th Avenue service to customers is provided on an as needed basis by a yard job out of Oakland. Service between Niles and Carpenter (in the Union City area) is provided as needed by a local out of Newark. On occasional, empty intermodal equipment or other cars is stored on portions of the main track.

Rich Sievers
Alameda, CA


What types of diesels are in the empty spur, are they Up engines or some other railroad?

Steven Ginkous
Sacramento , CA


Looks like the abandoned Diesels are no longer on the spur, unfortunately.

I'm wondering if there will ever be a time when this line will be re purposed.

Haywards, CA


I strongly believe the route has merit. In my opinion, the line could be used for a light rail service connecting Oakland and/or Richmond with Milpitas because that's where VTA terminates near I-880.

Jordan Lachoff
Oakland, CA


I spoke with a San Leandro city engineer today about a traffic situation on city streets near the tracks. He said said that the UP is currently in talks with Alameda County regarding full abandonment and conversion of the r-o-w to a bike and pedestrian greenway from Oakland to Hayward.

Kevin Walsh
San Leandro, CA


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/og1

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