The Pacific Coast Railway

Port San Luis to Los Olivos, CA

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I have just completed a written tour of the route of the narrow gage Pacific coast railway through SLO county, with computer generated maps of the location of the line which are referenced to existing roads. This tour differs from other known info because it references existing county roads. It specifies stopping points of interest which include Hadley station, the Arroyo Grande warehouse and the famous horseshoe curves. My goal is to append this information to a more complete set of info so that if someone wants to take the auto tour they can down load the text and maps and then conduct their own guided tour to visit those sites excessable by county roads. Am I on the right track?

Elliott Marshall
San Luis Obispo , CA
7/22/2014

I'd love to see your work Mr. Marshall! How do we do this?

Jimmy Young
Ventura, CA
9/30/2014

I am in the final stages of completing the tour. It contains pictures, maps and verbiage.

My concern is how to distribute this information to interested persons. The maps and pictures are stored as jpegs. The total size of all is 72 Mbytes. I don't think email could handle that much. I was hoping to use some sort of cloud, such as Wikipedia, to link to the subject of "Pacific Coast Railroad"

Do you have experience with a situation such as this?

Do you have suggestions?

I like your little cross bar.

Elliott Marshall
San Luis Obispo , CA
10/1/2014

Hello Jimmy. Did you get my comments??

Elliott Marshall
San Luis Obispo, CA
10/20/2014

I too would love to get to see this project of yours. I would love to take my friends on a road trip over the original lines and show them significant spots where the train went through. You could use MegaUpload's website to store information of your project and just provide a download link to the file/s for free. Here is MegaUpload's website html: https://mega.co.nz/

Justin Swabash
Solvang, CA
7/13/2015

I also found a website recently with files containing maps of the entire route. It even shows degrees and grading. http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/PW/County_Surveyor/Pacific_Coast_Railway_Right_of_Way_Maps.htm

Justin Swabash
Solvang, CA
7/13/2015

Sorry I missed your comment last Oct. Elliott. Dropbox.Com would work well also. Best, jy

Jimmy Young
Ventura, CA
7/13/2015

Jimmy and Justin send me your email addresses and I will send you the path to the auto tour and a word doc study I did on the incline up to the quarry on Bishop's peak. email me at

elldon@charter.net

If that doesn't work call me at 805 781 9918

elliott Marshall
San Luis Obispo , CA
7/16/2015

I have mapped The route using early 1900's USGS overlays on Google Earth available at https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/maps/TopoView/viewer. Older maps get you in the ballpark. Looks like some of the alignments might coincide with the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, but cannot confirm. USGS maps clearly identify lines as being PCR. Interesting that NW termination is on the pier at Bay St Luis. The Avila Beach website has an old picture of the pier with track.

Chuck Jones
San Juan Capistrano, CA
2/13/2017

Great work rail fans!

My email is jimboyoung@aol.com

Jimmy young
Ventura, CA
2/19/2017

Not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere but you might be interested in this site: historicaerials.com. They have old topos and you can even toggle or dissolve old topos over old aerial survey images or newer survey images. The SLO County section of the PCRR is mapped out in great detail with the 1947 and 1949 topo maps!! SB county-you're on your own! However, I found a 1943 aerial survey map from the USCB image library here: (http://mil.library.ucsb.edu/ap_indexes/btm1943/supplemental/btm-1943_5.jpg). With that and the RoW maps and Photoshop I was able to locate some of the old Roadbed just South of Los Alamos. You can see it using google street view from Southbound 101!!

Smokey Joe
Arroyo Grande, CA
5/14/2017

I just got a message from Elliott Marshall who has commented on this site. I have been doing research on the PCRy since 1970, on and off. I am a retired history teacher, and am part of a group of people , Elliott included who have just finished work on The Bishop Peak Spur of this Ry. I have a time line I can send you...and depending if you can open Google Docs can send you some information on the spur. I would recommend you buy Curtiss Johnson's & Kenneth Wetcott's book "The Pacific Coast Railway" through the San Luis Obispo Rail Road Museum; and through Amazon.."Ships and Narrow Gauge Rails" by Gerald Best because it may be out of print. They are your best resources for information. Rail Road Days is coming up..maybe even this coming weekend at the museum..and I may be there for a short time as will other members of our group. Go to the museum's website. let me know how you want me to send the timeline... best MB

Michael Burrell
San Luis Obispo, CA
5/15/2017

OK here is how I think this should pan out.

1] I will post my auto tour on either icloud or onedrive.

2] anyone wanting to view it, just send me your email address which I will use to send you an invitation to view. If your iphone is capable you can just view the tour as you drive it.

3] Mike Burrell and I have power point briefings on other parts of the PCRY namely:The PORT and The Bishops Peak spur. Because of copyright considerations we cannot post them but if a group of you can get a place we will present.

ELLIOTT MARSHALL
SN LUIS OBISP, CA
1/27/2019

Look forward to your info.

Jimmy Young
Ventura, CA
1/29/2019

I would like to walk some of the road bed leaving Los Olivos along 154.

HOWARD ALLMON
Buellton, CA, CA
2/21/2019

JimmyJazz332@hotmail.com please send me the info!

Justin Swabash
Solvang, CA
2/26/2019

The auto tour from the fire station # 1 in Slo to AG is about two weeks away. So far Jimmy Young and Justin Swabash are the only on my distribution list.

Should I add other names ???

ELLIOTT MARSHALL
SN LUIS OBISPO, CA
2/26/2019

The PowerPoint slide show of the AUTO Tour has been sent to selected requesters. Anyone else interested??

ELLIOTT MARSHALL JR
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
3/8/2019

Yes Elliott you are on the right track !! Looking forward to seeing the south end in Los Olivos area.

Howard ALLMON
santa ynez, CA
3/8/2019

I agree Howard. Since he has the most familiarity with the area,RJ Hansen would be to one to make that show. I guess we just need to encourage him to put some of what he has gathered together into a presentation.

I specialize in SLO county.

M Burrell is developing shows for specific locations along the route starting at the station on South Street.

ELLIOTT MARSHALL JR
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
3/9/2019

Gentleman, the Holy Grail has been found!

I give you "The Iron Mule" (1925) Filmed entirely on the PCRR (Mostly between Los Olivos and Zaca Station and Avila Beach) feat. Al St. John and directed by Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle with a cameo by Buster Keaton(?).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDiXZGP9LOg

I found this a few months ago. This weekend I noticed an even higher res. version in 1080p that was around 19 min. long and had a lot more scenes that made the movie a lot more coherent and showed a lot more landscape around Los Olivos. I was going to give you that YT link but it has been taken down! The Holy Grail has been lost again! Fortunately I made some screenshots in hi-res. But it might be back up in the future. IIRC, the uploader's first name was Andy and he had a slavic sounding last name.

Smokey Joe
Arroyo Grande
7/2/2019

Gentlemen

I am a historian who is interested primarily in the Santa Maria to Los Alamos area. I was looking for information on how the PCRy obtained its right-of-way through the ranchos in La Graciosa canyon between Orcutt and Los Alamos. I'm also interested in any photos of the 1883 May Day celebration all along the line.

Thank you all for maintaining this message board. BTW, I have a small pamphlet published by the Arroyo Grande Historical Society called "The Pacific Coast Railway comes to Arroyo Grande" by Charlie H. Johnson - if anyone knows of him?

Thanks for maintaining this message board and have a great 4th of July!

Jim Harris
Palmdale, CA
7/4/2019

From RJ Hansen, rrrjulius@charter.net, our guru on the southern portion of the PCRY. Forward any additional comments on that part of the line to his email.

The scene where the horse is holding back the train and the front drive wheel is used for gambling was shot right on the West end of the present day "Big Cut" for the 154 between the trestle and Los Olivos. Mike and I have identified the track ROW curve where the train disappears as it takes off by itself.

Just before the "Indian Attack" there is a scene where the tracks parallel a dirt road and that appears to be about the area of Caulkin Station Flag Stop and also where the indian scene was shot.

Question? - Any guess where the "Tunnel" scene was shot????

Ref the Avila - "San Luis Creek Crossing. Most likely the camera car was up on the trestle.

Just a great historical record.

Additionally, ref the blogger/historian from Palmdale. anyone know how to contact him? I checked the 1916 Survey and at the top of each page they list who the land was purchased from by "deed" and the dates. All the parcels of land between Orcutt and Harris Station was bought from Hartnell in 1882 and the land and the ROW for Harris Station was bought from Harris.

Hartnell (an English business man who help translate documents from Spanish to English and worked for the Mexican Governors of Alta California - also founded California's first college in Salinas and California's first library) married into the De la Guerra/Carrillo families of Santa Barbara and was granted a small Rancho of his own - Rancho San Antonio. It was on that land that the PCRY ran from Orcutt to Harris.

elliott Marshall
San Luis Obispo, CA
7/7/2019

Mr Marshall

Thanks for your rundown on the property ownership along Graciosa Cyn. You mentioned that the property was bought from Hartnell (heirs) in 1882? Do you know of a record of that? Would it have been a 50 ft easement or more?

Thanks, Jim Harris cobrapatrol@verizon.net

BTW, I am not related to the Harris involved with Harris Station.

Jim Harris
Palmdale, CA
7/7/2019

Jim,

Unfortunately I do not know the details as they are most likely recorded in the land records of Santa Barbara County. The information on the survey only shows notes that the parcels along the route were "deeded" in 1882 (when the PCRY was first planned out in that area). Some parcels would be wider and larger than 50 feet as there were sidings and warehouses at all the stations - Orcutt (had a depot with short spur lines crossing Clark Road and going into town along the East side of the station), Gracisoa, Divide, and Bicknell.

Best of luck locating the land records at the Santa Barbara County Recorders Office….

Please direct further comments to RJ at R.J. Hansen rrrjulius@charter.net

Elliott Marshall
San Luis obisop, CA
7/9/2019