Burrell to Hardwick

The Riverdale Branch

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This line was orginally built in 1910 by the Hanford and Summit Lake Railway and was part of a larger line that ran between Ingle and a connection with the San Joaquin Valley Railway at Hardwick (see the Kerman Branch, also abandoned). Eventually, both lines came under the control of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

In 1938, SP abandoned a portion of the Kerman Branch from its connection with this line in Hardwick north to Caruthers. The SP decided to consolidate this line with the remainder of the Kerman Branch between Hardwick and Armona as the Riverdale Branch. In Armona, this branch left the Southern Pacific line (which ran from Goshen Junction to Coalinga) at the site of the SP's Armona passenger station.

This line was abandoned in 1951, with the rails being pulled up sometime between 1952 and 1960. The former Armona passenger station was converted into a lumber store sometime in the late 50s or early 60s.

Thanks to Danny Pearce for contributing information about this route.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: 17546 Date: 11/19/1951 Section: 1(18)
App. of Southern Pacific RR Co. (owner) and Southern Pacific Company (operator) for abandonment of that portion of the so-called Riverdale Branch between Riverdale and Armona, within Fresno and Kings Counties, State of Calif. approx. 15.409 miles.
Length: 15.409 miles Citation:  
SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: AB 12 Sub 50 Date: 10/19/1976 Section: 1a
Application filed for authority to abandon a line of railroad extending from MP 208.73 beyond Burrell in a southwesterly direction to the end of the branch at MP 214.85 near Riverdale, a distance of 6.12 miles in Fresno County, Calif.
Length: 6.12 miles Citation:  

About 1960, it was still possible to wander around what was a railroad yard for this branch along Railroad Ave in Armona and occassionaly and find old spikes, tie plates, etc by digging around in the dirt. This was a favorite occupation for this then 5 year old, especially since it was behind my grandparents house.

When Sting-Ray bicycles became popular, this was the preferred place to ride and jump the bicycles.

Danny Pearce
Tollhouse, CA
9/29/2010

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