Arlington to Corona

The Riverside 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

Facing east at Porphyry. Photo by Mike Palmer, March 2003.

This route was originally a Pacific Electric line; PE was a subsidiary of SP and was merged into SP in 1965. It ran in the median of Magnolia Avenue, a major arterial street that runs southwest from Riverside to Corona.

This line crossed different lines of the AT&SF at two locations. The AT&SF mainline (now called the "Transcon") was crossed in the median of Magnolia Avenue, near Buchanan Ave. Separately, the AT&SF The Lake Elsinore Branch was crossed at Porphyry, also in the median of Magnolia Ave.

Most traces of this line are gone; much of the Magnolia Ave. median east of Porphyry has now been landscaped, and all former grade crossings have long been repaved and reconstructed. Near Porphyry the median is still mostly dirt.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: AB 12 Sub 5 Date: 12/5/1972 Section: 1(18)
Appl. filed to abandon end portion of the Riverside Branch from MP 552.40 at Arlington, to the end of the line at MP 559.51 at Corona a distance of 7.11 miles in Riverside County, Calif.
Length: 7.11 miles Citation:  

Would it be possible to add a Point of Interest marker to the above map at the point where the Riverside Branch crossed the Lake Elsinore Branch?

Kevin M. Smith
Cicero, NY

[Kevin, the Picture marker shows a picture of the crossing of the Lake Elsinore Branch. Hope this helps!  —Greg Harrison]


Don't look now, but the rest of the Riverside Branch, now called the "Riverside Industrial Lead", is being abandoned from the 9th St. wye in Colton all the way to downtown Riverside, except for a section near the diamond with the BNSF "SanJac" branch. UPRR plans to eliminate the diamond and just connect its customers to BNSF, and contract with BNSF to serve them. The rest of the branch is going to be history soon, account of the "Colton Crossing" project. The STB has already given approval for the abandonment, pending the BNSF connection. When I worked for SP in the '70s, the local was called the "Riverside Rocket" by crews, and there was daily service to at least Kansas Ave. at the Bridgeport Brass plant and the A&M Lewis grocery wholesaler warehouse spur.

Lancaster, CA


I'd love to see/hear info about when the northernmost section of the Riverside/Corona line down Magnolia was first abandoned. I grew up in the area and actually saw the tracks through town as late as about 1959. I don't know if they were active or the ATSF Riverside Jct.-May bypass was in effect. I was never lucky enough to see street operations. In Aug 1974, I walked the section that ran east west from the lumber yard (end of line)to "Riverside Jct". I do know that SP and PE had separate lines from Colton to Riverside Jct. The bridge across onetime US 395 was still in place and the fixed staff signal warning of an approaching interlocking was illuminated with a permanent yellow.

Gary Hunter
San Berdoo as a kid, CA


The entire branch is history. In answer to the above, there was still street running once a week at night, usually an S-6 and a couple of car headed for Joy in Corona, usually just the S-6 or SW900, to fulfill CPUC requirements. I saw it running at night as late as 1960 down Magnolia with a small string of reefers in tow. After that, the Riverside Jct.-May runaround was done with ATSF, and the branch was eventually cut back to 1st and Market at Suverdrup Lumber, then when A.M. Lewis closed, cut back west of Kansas Ave xing, then to the industrial park on Massachusetts Ave, the only remaining business on the whole line. Now, BNSF handed those businesses off of the SanJac.

Lancaster, CA


Shortened Link:

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