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Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway Company
Logo
Reporting mark SCBG
Locale Santa Cruz County, California
Dates of operation 1985–
Track gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)
Headquarters Felton, California
Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway #2641 stops at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in the summer of 1993.

The Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway (reporting mark SCBG) is a freight and heritage railroad in Northern California.

It uses diesel locomotives to haul excursion trains over an 8-mile route between Olympia, California and an interchange with the Union Pacific Railroad (formerly the Southern Pacific Railroad) at the Santa Cruz Wye. From there, trains continue on to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on the UP Watsonville-Davenport branchline. The SCBT&P is one of very few railroads in North America with extensive operating trackage down the middle of city streets.

Contents

History

The railway began life as the narrow-gauge Santa Cruz and Felton Railroad, built between its namesake cities of Santa Cruz and Felton in 1875 to send lumber down from the Santa Cruz mountains to Monterey Bay. The South Pacific Coast narrow-gauge network absorbed the Santa Cruz & Felton, utilizing its Felton Junction to Santa Cruz trackage as their mainline. The Southern Pacific purchased the South Pacific Coast and standard-gauged it over the course of more than a decade, after the project was stalled by the great 1906 Earthquake. Washouts closed the majority of the line in 1940, and the Santa Cruz-Olympia section remained in operation to serve the timber and sand industries. In 1981, further washouts brought closure of the line from Eblis to Olympia, until the line was purchased by Norman Clark, operator of the narrow gauge Roaring Camp & Big Trees tourist railroad and adjacent 1880s-themed park in Felton. The name "Roaring Camp" is historical too, coming from the moniker that Mexican authorities gave to what was then, in the 1830s, the wild settlement of mountain man Isaac Graham. The first train from Felton to Rincon ran in 1985 (the year after Clark's death from pneumonia that he acquired in his work to reopen this line) and the entire line to Santa Cruz was once again reopened to traffic some time later. As of 2006, Clark's widow Georgiana continues to serve as the railway's Vice President of Operations.

Trains originate at the Roaring Camp depot in Felton, but the original South Pacific Coast depot at New Felton (built in 1880) still stands and serves as administrative offices for the company. The freight shed, constructed from boards salvaged from the Boulder Creek to Felton log flume, is still used by the SCBT&P as a workshop. The original Santa Cruz & Felton never crossed the San Lorenzo River and continued through the middle of the town of Felton.

Roaring Camp and its two railroads host numerous events throughout the year, and is also home to a Chuckwagon Bar-B-Q and events facilities.

Locomotives

The SCBT&P utilizes two former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe CF7 locomotives as its current motive power. These former F7 units were rebuilt by the Santa Fe at their Cleburne, Texas shops to their current, more practical arrangement following the end of passenger service. A third locomotive, a GE 45-ton diesel switcher which worked the yard at the Olympia sand pits, is currently out of service.

See also

External links








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