Ocean Shore Railroad (Images of Rail: California)
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With one of the world's most scenic backdrops as a brilliant seascape for passengers, the Ocean Shore Railroad skirted northern California's coastline to service communities south of San Francisco for the first two decades of the 20th century. As impressive as it was idealistic, the line was held prisoner by natural forces that eventually took too much of a toll to keep its striking route churning. Today's Highway 1 traces the passage once paved with tracks, and points to the few remnants of one of California's most well-known excursion lines.
accurate railroad model to show the public how unique this historic railroad that hugged the Pacific Coast and Devil’s Slide really was. “But before doing what we enjoy most, creating miniature wonderlands to view, we wanted to model the Ocean Shore as accurately as possible, so historians could enjoy from a bird’s eye view how incredible it must have been to ride the train along the cliffs of the coast,” Danilo recalls. “Armando and I owe all of our inspiration and drive to complete our dream
to Ted and Betty Wurm for the way they embraced us in friendship and trust, giving us Ted’s lifelong dream of an Ocean Shore Railroad book featuring his photos, and inspiring the public to learn about the Ocean Shore Railroad.” The Vargas brothers, Armando and Danilo, are twins with a passion for making accurate historical railroad models. Their enthusiasm for the Ocean Shore has done a lot to restore public awareness of this early railroad. Danilo and Armando work as “Images of the Past Model
and the Pacific Ocean, reached by way of the Ocean Shore Railroad, was no different. Salada Beach was hardly anything when the Ocean Shore arrived to build up its image. These buildings, including the castle in the background, were some of the only structures in Salada Beach in the mid-1910s. It was hoped that commuters and tourists would flock to the shore, as they did in Long Island, New York. This 1907 postcard depicts the area south of Devil’s Slide, eventually reached by the Ocean Shore
potential for development on the other side. Being so close to San Francisco seemed, at first, to guarantee the railroad significant financial success. The Salada Beach Station seems a substantial edifice, but it did not live up to the dreams many had for the area. Small cottages such as these were promoted as inexpensive vacation homes along the Ocean Shore route. The tiny 25-foot wide lots created at the time have caused planning and zoning headaches for present-day cities such as Pacifica.
dissolution of the railroad that hugged the coast. A crew poses in front of an engine equipped with a special testing device used to discover problems with the track and determine why engines were having trouble along specific areas. Mori Point, now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, was avoided by the Ocean Shore, which passed on the eastern edge of it. Nonetheless, it was close enough to be considered part of the natural vistas enjoyed by rail passengers. Wooden trestles