Abandoned Rails of Stockton

Picture Point of Interest

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Greg Harrison

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Single-track WP crosses the double-track SP at El Pinal, north of downtown. Facing north. Photo by Mike Palmer, August 1982.

Stockton, California was the location where the main lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific and Santa Fe all crossed at grade, all within several blocks of each other in the downtown area. The ATSF ran east-west, while the SP and WP ran north-south. The WP and SP ran parallel through the city, although those two lines crossed on a diamond at El Pinal on the north edge of downtown.

The Union Pacific acquired the WP in 1982, and later the SP in 1996. At some point after 1996, UP abandoned the former WP line from the ex-SP diamond to a point south of the former ATSF diamond. The former WP-SP diamond is now a junction. Some rails in between the former diamonds are still in use for car storage and interchange with local shortline Stockton Terminal & Eastern. The abandoned segment passes by the former WP passenger station (still standing).

Mike Palmer adds: I visited Stockton in 1982, a couple months before the WP disappeared into the UP. The pictures enclosed here are a mixture of those from 1982, and a recent Amtrak journey through the area.

Spur to Port of Stockton: A short spur line once offered access the Port of Stockton, served by the Western Pacific Railroad. It branched from the WP mainline at a location named "North Channel", and served the port. It was abandoned under Union Pacific's control.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: 21185 Date: 6/28/1960 Section: 1(18)
App. for auth. to (1) abandon approx. 1.072 miles of its so-called Hazelton Ave. Line of RR in the City of Stockton, County of San Joaquin, Calif., (2) to construct and operate approx. 0.12 miles of solely-owned track and approx. 0.333 miles of joint Western Pacific RR. Co. - Southern Pacific Co. track in Stockton, Calif.; and (3) to acquire additional trackage rights over approx. 0.666 miles of main track and approx. 6.632 miles of Track No. 4 of The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. in Stockton.
Length: 1.072 miles Citation:  

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