The Redlands Branch

Redlands Junction to Crafton, California

This was the most noticable landmark on the SP Redlands branch -- the truss bridge near the interection of Redlands Boulevard and Texas Street. Tracks appeared to be "out of service" when this photo was taken. Photo by Mike Palmer, June 1984.
Same as the last picture, but taken almost 20 years later. Photo by Mike Palmer, April 2003.
Two abandoned lines in one photo: the out-of-service section of the BNSF (Santa Fe) Redlands branch is at left. The SP Redlands branch r-o-w is at right, note the cement bridge supports. This location is at Lincoln Ave. and Sylvan Dr. facing east. Mt. San Gorgonio appears over the BNSF crossbuck. Photo by Mike Palmer, April 2003.
Remnant of track at the end of the Redlands branch. This is at Crafton, facing west, near the intersection of Crafton Ave. and Colton Ave. This segment of track is in a driveway for an irrigation supply business. Photo by Mike Palmer, April 2003.
As seen from University Avenue in Redlands, facing East, abandoned remnants of two powerful railroads parallel each other. On the left is The Redlands Loop of the AT&SF; on the right is The Redlands Branch of the Southern Pacific. These two branch lines paralleled and were adjacent to each other in various places along their lengths. Photo by Mike Palmer, August 2011.

This branch line was originally constructed in the 1880s. The branch left the SP main line at Bryn Mawr, also known as Redlands Jct. and headed north for about a mile, parallel to what is now California Ave. It then turned east, parallel to Citrus Ave. It then made a broad S-curve across Redlands Blvd. into downtown Redlands. Just east of downtown it ran parallel to the Santa Fe's Redlands Branch for a mile or so and then headed east to Crafton, where the SP line ended. Most customers were orange growers' packinghouses. The line was gradually cut back starting in the 1960s. By 1984, the tracks ended just past the Orange Ave. grade crossing in downtown Redlands, but the entire line appeared to be out of service by then. As of 2003, some parts of the right-of-way were still traceable. The area near Redlands Jct. is being graded for a housing development.

—  ICC Abandonment Filings  —

Southern Pacific Railroad
Docket: 13881 8/10/1942 Section: 1
Application of Southern Pacific Railroad Company and of Southern Pacific Company to abandon portion of the Redlands Branch between Grafton and Greenspot a, distance of 1.795 miles within San Bernardino County, California.
Length: 1.795 miles Citation: 252 ICC 811  
Southern Pacific Railroad
Docket: AB 12 Sub 49 10/19/1976 Section: 1a
Application filed for authority to abandon a line of railroad extending from MP 547.86 near Redlands, 2nd street, in an easterly direction to the end of the branch at MP 551.5' near Crafton, a distance of 3.71 miles In San Bernadino County, Calif. (This Includes the stations of Redlands, 2nd street, and Crafton.)
Length: 3.710 miles Citation:  

—  User Comments  —

I believe this to be part of the old kite line from L.A to Redlands, used in the early 1900's starting out as a narrow gauge. there is history on this line on the internet as the Highland Kite line in San Bernadino, It give all the locations and train stops in San Bernadino, President Teddy Roosevelt used this line when he came to Redlands for a visit.

Glenn Holmes
Artesia , CA

i am looking for information about a packing house at the end of the crafton branch north of mentone . there was once a trestle across the river that carried s p tracks to a citrus packing house at rivers edge. can you please tell me the name of P H and any photo thank you 4 all!

sanbernardino, CA

@ Glenn Holmes, The "Kite Line" you refer to was actually ATSF, not SP. The "Kite Shaped Route" was a ATSF sales term referring to a excursion from L.A. via Riverside (L.A. Div./1st Dist.)to San Bernardino and east onto the Redlands Loop and to Highland and back to San Bernardino (via L.A. Div./3rd Dist.)than back to L.A. via Pasadena (L.A. Div./2nd Dist.)therefore forming a figure-eight or "kite shaped route"

George Angelini
Rialto, CA

I explored some of this line again last weekend. I am still amazed a segment of rail remains - way out in Crafton, at an irrigation supply firm driveway.

I don't have any packing house pictures; much of the area is slowly being taken over by expanded housing developments, although the right of way through town can still be followed.

Mike Palmer
Torrance, CA