Santa Monica to Port Los Angeles, CA

This branch extended north from Santa Monica, along the shore of Santa Monica Bay, to a long wharf constructed in 1893. This wharf, west of Los Angeles, was quickly eclipsed by San Pedro to the south (which had a superior harbor).

According to a historic exhibit on Santa Monica Pier, the wharf and rail line were dismantled by 1911.

Other than this monument and old maps, no trace of the line remains. The rail line was standard gauge, but the segment at the historic marker was built at 5' gauge! Thanks to the Electric Railway Historical Association for identifying this marker.

Picture of abandonment.
Photo by Mike Palmer, 2002.
Picture of abandonment.
Photo by Mike Palmer, 2002.

—  User Comments  —

This is incredible, I just learned about the Long Wharf tonight and I can't believe there are no remnants of it visible from the sky nor on site, aside from this. I'm very thankful you have this page with a photo of the historical marker, otherwise I was going to spend a lot of time Googling to find one.

Josh Straub
Milwaukee, WI

Plenty views here. Found this while looking for information about Clover Field airstrip.

I. O'Neil

In 2001, I was living in CA and had visitors from Europe. Giving them my nickel-tour of Los Angeles, we stopped at a beach north of Santa Monica, but not too far, so we could frolicking in the waves. There were remnants of wooden pylons that were ragged and obviously old. I thought the presence of the pylons were peculiar, but gave it no further thought at the time. I was a resident of SM for eight years in the 80s and 90s and not ever heard of the Long Wharf....doing research for a book, I started putting the pieces together. I think what I came across that day were remnants of the Wharf...there were no other piers built and later destroyed to my knowledge...and they were too close to shore to be boat buoys.

Sabrina Nucciarone
Los Angeles, CA

At least SOMEONE cares about this. This line was abandoned when my great grand parents were probably 8 and a half, and sadly no body realizes that there was a railroad. See? This is what I hate. No remnants! Just another bone to be picked on.... I'm very upset. I even feel like a retard when I go to Santa Monica and I don't even know about this!!!!!

Alexi Lauto
Las Vegas, NV

You can see this on Calabasas, CA, 1:62,500 quad, 1903, USGS available at USGS topoView. Exact gps location is a little off, but you can adjust to topography. As Josh states I can see no remnants using Google Earth.

Chuck Jones
San Juan Capistrano, CA