Sacramento Valley Railroad (1852-1877)

Sacramento Valley Railroad (1852-1877)

The Sacramento Valley Railroad was California's first railroad. It was organized on August 4 1852. The railroad's gauge was 7" wider than the standard 4'–8½" gauge and was laid with 60-pound Welsh iron "pear" rail.

Original route

the first train operated over the entire 22.9 mile line.

The first president of the Sacramento Valley Railroad was former American Civil War General William Sherman. Theodore Judah was the Chief Engineer of the Sacramento Valley Railroad. Judah would later become the Chief Engineer of the Central Pacific Railroad and the chief proponent of the first transcontinental railroad over the Sierra Nevada Mountains by way of Dutch Flat.

On April 19 1877 the Sacramento Valley Railroad was consolidated with the Folsom and Placerville Railroad to form the Sacramento and Placerville Railroad. In 1877 the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad was also deeded to the Sacramento and Placerville Railroad. The new railroad operated over 49.1 miles of track between Sacramento and Shingle Springs.

The railroad eventually came under the control of the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP); first under SP's subsidiary, the Northern Railway in 1888, and then ten years later under the SP on April 14 1898.

The route as it exists now

Today much of the original route still exists and was the former Placerville Branch of the Southern Pacific. Today it is used by Union Pacific Railroad and extends to the Aerojet facility just west of Folsom. Sacramento RTD "Gold Line" light rail parallels the route and uses the right of way between Sacramento and Folsom.

ee also

* California and the railroads


*cite book | author=Fickewirth, Alvin A.| title=California railroads: an encyclopedia of cable car, common carrier, horsecar, industrial, interurban, logging, monorail, motor road, shortlines, streetcar, switching and terminal railroads in California (1851-1992)| location=San Marino, CA | publisher=Golden West Books| year=1992| editor=| id=ISBN 0-87095-106-8

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