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Western Railroad Discussion > ATSF Elsinore Branch question

Date: 09/10/02 22:25
ATSF Elsinore Branch question
Author: PasadenaSub

Someone familiar with the old Santa Fe Elsinore Branch (CA) might know the answer to this question.

The branch, which joined the Santa Fe 3rd District mainline near Porphyry (at the east end of Corona) went south to Lake Elsinore (about 20 miles). I believe it was abandoned in the 60's or 70's.

I was curious if the line joined or came near the old California Southern (later Santa Fe) line in Elsinore? Or had this track, which reached Lake Elsinore via what is now Railroad Canyon Road (off the 15 fwy) alreay been pulled up by then?

This was the original line to San Diego
which ran through Riverside, Perris, Elsinore, Fallbrook and reached the water in Oceanside after running thru what is now Camp Pendelton. After many washouts in the early part of the 20th century, the Santa Fe chose to build the surfline to San Diego via San Juan Capistrano. As many know, the Orange Empire RR Museum in Perris is built on a segment of the old CS main.

By the way, at least two old bridges from the Elsinore branch are still in place (w/o track), just south of the Indian Truck Trail exit off the 15 fwy. And quite a bit of the branch's roadbed is still visible to the east of the 15 freeway between Southern Corona and Indian Truck Trail. I believe a small segment of the branch still exists as a spur off the BNSF mainline at Porphyry. I often see the engines from the Corona local sitting there in the afternoon.




Date: 09/10/02 23:12
Re: ATSF Elsinore Branch question
Author: px320

I followed this line and took slides of it about 1995, shortly before it was torn up. It didn't appear there was any old right of way connecting the California Southern line with the branch.

It's my understanding the CS line was gone before the branch was built.

Date: 09/11/02 00:37
Re: ATSF Elsinore Branch question
Author: myfordbrowning

The Elsinore Dist was built around 1927 to replace the flood damaged line between Perris and Elsinore Jct on the original Cal Southern line to San Diego. The new line connected with the existing track at Alberhill and ran via Elsinore to Temecula.
The line between Elsinore Jct and Temecula was abandoned in 1935. For more information on the history of these lines see Gustafson and Serpico's Coast Line Depots book.
The Santa Fe used the track to Elsinore Jct to use the wye for many years, but cut the line back to Elsinore some time before the Dist was abandoned in about 1985.
Traffic on the line was sand near the Corona end, clay products at Alberhill, other mineral traffic, a plastic user and a foundrey (carloads of coke)at Elsinore. Lumber and team track loads were hauled to Elsinore. There was a large building along the street running in Elsinore that had a spur but I don't what it was originally.
Mundo may be able to supply more info on this line.

Date: 09/11/02 07:59
Re: ATSF Elsinore Branch question
Author: px320

Just realized I posted 1995 as the date I took slides. Make that 1975.

Date: 09/11/02 08:02
Re: ATSF Elsinore Branch question
Author: LA2ndDistrict

Oops!!! hehehe.

Date: 09/11/02 09:45
Re: ATSF Elsinore Branch question
Author: mt19a

The date nails along the line used to be all 1926. They were the stamped and raised number kind.I have a timetable from 1918 and it shows the track at that time only going as far as Temecula to the south and Alberhill to the west. This guy I used to work for remembers taking the train from Corona to Elsinore in the 60's when he was in the Boy Scouts.

Date: 09/11/02 15:36
Re: ATSF Elsinore Branch question
Author: MUNDO

June of 1951, I arranged for a good 75 scouts to take the train on a Saturday to Elsinore from Corona. That was my first taste of arranging groups by rail. Still going, but in very low gear.

Date: 09/11/02 15:56
Re: ATSF Elsinore Branch question
Author: lahogger

The Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce occupies the old depot. Just south of the depot in a vacant lot, there is some old rail that can still be seen, looks like pretty light rail.

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