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Nostalgia & History > Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.


Date: 04/21/17 00:10
Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: stash

Eighty or so years ago Walnut Creek, California, was a small country town. This SN train is at the Walnut Creek depot probably in 1940. The passenger trains ended in 1941 and electric freight service was dieselized in 1957. But at one time it was possible to ride a train from San Francisco to Walnut Creek, Sacramento, on onward to Chico in the Sacramento valley. The SN has an interesting history but too much to cover here. This is a snapshot of Walnut Creek; then and now.

Thanks to Google, I don't actually have to snap a photo on California Blvd., which is a major street that runs where the trains used to be. The street view shows where the depot would be today (on the left side of the picture).

Walnut Creek is a large city now. The Broadway Tunnel (now Caldecott) made the city more accessible from Oakland. SN trains took a long, slow route between Oakland and Walnut Creek. Interstate 680 and Highway 24 meet in the middle of town and on good traffic days Oakland-WC is 20 minutes. BART took over part of the SN right of way and their station is blocks from where the little SN depot once stood. Walnut Creek is big time now, a grown up city. BART is the railroad serving the town today.






Date: 04/21/17 05:55
Re: Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: rob_l

Thanks, Stash. Is Locust Blvd (the street in your modern-day scene) the cross street of California where the SN depot was once located?

Rob L.



Date: 04/21/17 07:10
Re: Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: stash

Cross streets are Civic and Trinity. Civic on the east side and Trinity on the other side.


rob_l Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks, Stash. Is Locust Blvd (the street in your
> modern-day scene) the cross street of California
> where the SN depot was once located?
>
> Rob L.

Posted from Android



Date: 04/21/17 12:35
Re: Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: rob_l

OK, thanks.

So the SN station was right at Civic and California, site now occupied by the Lesher Center for the Arts. Inside, I think they should put on the wall the photo you posted.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 04/21/17 13:32
Re: Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: Pullman

The station would have been in what are today the northbound lanes of California Blvd, south of Civic Drive.

The walnut processing plant, that became the Civic Arts Theater, would have been located where the Lesher Center For the Arts sits today.



Date: 04/22/17 05:32
Re: Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: atsf121

Never realized where the SN line went. SP is easier to see because of the trail. I used to live just a few blocks from the Lesher.

Nathan

Posted from iPhone



Date: 04/22/17 23:17
Re: Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: rob_l

Pullman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The station would have been in what are today the
> northbound lanes of California Blvd, south of
> Civic Drive.
>
> The walnut processing plant, that became the Civic
> Arts Theater, would have been located where the
> Lesher Center For the Arts sits today.

Thanks. If you turn around from Stash's contemporary view, California Blvd goes up a hill to a crest that is a block or so north of Ygnacio Valley Road. Did the SN tracks go up and over that hill? Or was there a cut for the railroad that got filled in after abandonment? Or did the tracks curve away from what is now California Blvd in order to go around the hill?

Thanks in advance,

Rob L.



Date: 04/23/17 08:04
Re: Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: stash

Rob, while I was aboard that BAERA ceremonial last run from Walnut Creek to Pittsburg, details are a fuzzy memory now. Check this site:

http://www.eastbayhillsproject.org

Well researched and updated as more information is learned.
---stash




rob_l Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pullman Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The station would have been in what are today
> the
> > northbound lanes of California Blvd, south of
> > Civic Drive.
> >
> > The walnut processing plant, that became the
> Civic
> > Arts Theater, would have been located where the
> > Lesher Center For the Arts sits today.
>
> Thanks. If you turn around from Stash's
> contemporary view, California Blvd goes up a hill
> to a crest that is a block or so north of Ygnacio
> Valley Road. Did the SN tracks go up and over that
> hill? Or was there a cut for the railroad that got
> filled in after abandonment? Or did the tracks
> curve away from what is now California Blvd in
> order to go around the hill?
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
> Rob L.

Posted from Android



Date: 04/23/17 08:31
Re: Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: TCnR

Wow, serious number of interesting photographs. Very recognizable landmarks. I can almost feel the breeze looking at the Clyde area photos. That line of cars at the road crossing is reminiscent of all that you typically see now, except that somebody would have pulled out to pass.

stash Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
... Check this site:
>
> http://www.eastbayhillsproject.org
>
> Well researched and updated as more information is
> learned.
> ---stash
>



Date: 04/23/17 18:44
Re: Traction Action in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Author: stash

The owner of that site, Stu, does presentations now and then at the Western Railway Museum. See wrm.org to find out the schedule. He has done a lot of research on SN and the programs are on Saturdays at 2 p.m. But off hand, I'm not sure of when he'll do the next one.



TCnR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wow, serious number of interesting photographs.
> Very recognizable landmarks. I can almost feel the
> breeze looking at the Clyde area photos. That line
> of cars at the road crossing is reminiscent of all
> that you typically see now, except that somebody
> would have pulled out to pass.
>
> stash Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> ... Check this site:
> >
> > http://www.eastbayhillsproject.org
> >
> > Well researched and updated as more information
> is
> > learned.
> > ---stash
> >



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