Brea to Yorba Linda

The Yorba Linda Branch

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Last active grade crossing of the Yorba Linda Branch at Berry Avenue, Brea, CA. This view faces east; CA Route 57 bridge is visible in the distance. Photo by Mike Palmer, January 2010.

This line was originally constructed by the Pacific Electric in the early 1910s, and served the citrus groves and oil fields in northern Orange County. It crossed the AT&SF Olinda branch at grade at a station called Carlton. This PE line paralleled the south side of Imperial Highway for the easternmost three miles. Eventually the oil fields closed and the citrus groves were replaced with houses, schools, churches, businesses, etc. The line was cut back to a freight customer, Brea Chemical, during the PE days (before the SP formally merged the PE in 1965).

In the 1990s, after SP was merged into the UP, the line was cut back another mile and a half, to Brea. The line currently ends just west of State College Boulevard in Brea. In Yorba Linda, at the corner of Imperial Highway and Lemon Drive, a yellow caboose is on display along with some baggage carts. (The caboose's identifying information has been painted over.) Until 2009, a stretch of track was visible at the intersection of Imperial Highway and Rose Avenue, but that remnant has now been removed.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: 26960 Date: 12/20/1971 Section: 1(18)
Applic. for authority to abandon the end portion of its Yorba Linda Branch in Orange County, Calif., betw. M.P. 510.29, at or near Brea Chem, and the end of the branch at M.P. 513.35, at or near Yorba Linda, a distance of 3.06 mi., together with all sidings, spur tracks and appurtenances.
Length: 3.06 miles Citation:  

The Orange County Railway Historical Society provided this info in its December 2008 newsletter:

Initial construction, 1909-1911

Abandoned Stern-Yorba Linda segment, 1941

Abandoned Yorba linda-Brea Chem segment, 1971

Abandoned Brea Chem-Brea segment, 1996

Abandoned short segment in Brea, 2008

Mike Palmer
Torrance, CA
6/10/2010

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Originally this line was projected to continue through Santa Ana Canyon to connect with the PE line in Corona. This would give PE another way to reach Corona and Riverside. Alas, never built.

Tom Baker
Upland, CA
7/10/2014

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