From the Mission District to the Pacific Ocean - "Reaches the Beaches" Ocean Shore Railroad

When Steam Ran on The Streets of San Francisco

Part - IV

By Walter Rice Ph.D. and Emiliano Echeverria

According to legend, the Ocean Shore Railroad obtained its San Francisco franchise by providing his Honor Mayor Eugene Schmitz with a Turkish rug and an undisclosed sum of money. Bribery was not unusual in the San Francisco of 1905. What was extraordinary was the scope of the franchise. The 50-year franchise consisted of two parts - the main line that was to commence at Vermont and Army Streets and traverse the southern part of the city to the county line and a branch line to the Richmond District serving the then major recreation areas of the northern part Ocean-Beach and Golden Gate Park. This branch was to run from Eleventh Avenue, down Fulton Street next to the Park to the beach joining the mainline about three miles south of the Cliff House. In return the railway was to haul free of charge a maximum of 40,000 cubic yards of Park waste per year. The Park branch never became a reality.

OS Stock Certificate
As planned the Ocean Shore was to be a double-track electric railway running from downtown San Francisco to the resort town of Santa Cruz. After the earthquake of April 18, 1906, economic realities forced the company to downgrade to that of a cheaper single-track steam line. This early 30-year gold bond implied the Ocean Shore would be an electric interurban. Bond holders never got back their principle and earned very little of the promised 5% interest. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

"Reaches the Beaches" was the advertising slogan of the Ocean Shore. The original plans called for the railway to be powered by a 1500-volt A.C. overhead insulated catenary system. After leaving the Mission district of San Francisco the line would run toward the Pacific Ocean, and then along the bluff tops of the San Mateo County coastline south to Santa Cruz, then, as now, the most important resort between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. The coastside would become a sought after location for San Franciscans to build homes and raise their families. Speedy Ocean Shore commuter trains would provide coastside residences with fast, efficient transportation into San Francisco. For the more affluent families, the plans were to construct weekend get-away-homes. San Francisco holiday makers would arrive coastside every weekend to enjoy the beach and the slower-paced resort atmosphere. Waiting for them would be a company built amusement park at Granada on Half Moon Bay. The railway would create a real estate boom, which in turn would generate a considerable amount of new traffic.

By November 15 of 1905 eminent domain had been completed in San Francisco to assure a right-of- way on what is today Alemany Boulevard (Islais Creek grade). Early in December the Ocean Shore purchased a piece of property fronting Twelfth and Mission Streets for its San Francisco terminal. Promoters of the Ocean Shore envisioned a large Union Station at this site serving not only its trains, but also those of the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe and Western Pacific railroads. They argued this location for the City's Union Station was ideal, since it was near the intersections of San Francisco's two most important streets - Market Street and Van Ness Avenue.

OS San Francisco station
Ocean Shore’s San Francisco’s main station was neither large nor grand. As shown in this post abandonment photograph it consisted of two single-story dilapidated clapboard boxes. The main building carried the slogan “OCEAN SHORE RAILROAD” painted across its top. It consisted of an office, waiting room and freight shed, all of which were small. The other building was a “shed.” Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

However, like the Ocean Shore's electrification and through train service to Santa Cruz, the proposed Union Station never became a reality. In fact, the Ocean Shore's San Francisco's main station was neither large nor grand, but two single-story dilapidated clapboard boxes. The main building carried the slogan "OCEAN SHORE RAILROAD" painted across its top. It consisted of an office, waiting room and freight shed, all of which were small. The other building was a "shed."

OS San Francisco station
Looking eastward at the side of Ocean Shores’ unimpressive 12th and Mission Streets main station in the early 1910s, the second source of company revenue is in evidence, namely freight. Southbound from San Francisco a major revenue generator was manure for the coastside farms. Northbound the railway was a hauler of produce. The horseless carriage and its companion the truck, by 1920, had largely eroded these sources of critical revenue. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

Later in November, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors amended the Ocean Shore franchise allowing a branch line running from Army (Cesar Chavez) and Vermont via York, New Hampshire, Mariposa, Florida, and Twelfth Street to the Mission Street terminal. Before the line was built the route was changed to run on Potrero Avenue in lieu of York and New Hampshire Streets.

April 18, 1906 proved to be a fateful date in the then short history of the Ocean Shore. The great quake of that date caused the cliffs to crumble into the ocean, taking ties, rails, rolling stock and the construction equipment of the then building line. The effect of the quake was to cause the line's financial backers to reevaluate the scope of their planned enterprise. The planned double-track electric railway gave way to a cheaper single-track steam line. Desperate for income, the Ocean Shore began service before the completion of the line to Santa Cruz. Passengers would leave San Francisco; travel to Tunitas a distance of 38.14 miles; and then take a Stanley Steamer bus for the 26-mile trip to Swanton where they would again board a train for Santa Cruz. Construction was undertaken simultaneously both from San Francisco on the north and Santa Cruz on the south. The gap was never completed.

Its first passenger cars, Nos. 1401-1403, best reflects the Ocean Shore's early concern for conserving cash. These 50-foot Holman built cars were acquired in 1907. In 1913, a California Railroad Commission Field Inspector cited them as "the cheapest type of construction which we have yet noticed on any of the railroads in this State."

OS 51
San Francisco franchise restrictions required that all trains north of Army Street (Twelfth and Mission “branch”) be hauled by electric locomotives. The City’s Supervisors had acted to blunt continuous complaints about the soot, dirt and noise attributed to steam power. Pictured is Ocean Shore No. 51, a home built 1907 product, that was one three electric motors the railway operated. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

The Twelfth and Mission "branch" provided some of the most unique operations on the entire Ocean Shore - a line that featured the unique and spectacular. Franchise restrictions required that all trains on the branch be hauled by electric locomotives. The Supervisors had acted to blunt continuous complaints about the soot, dirt and noise attributed to steam power.

OS 9
Returning from a Sunday coastside outing, on a six car Ocean Shore Sunday passenger train, are more than two hundred San Franciscans. The soon to depart train, from the Half Bay Moon station, is pulled by engine No. 9, a 1908 Baldwin product the Ocean Shore had purchased new. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

The Supervisors were correct. In June of 1912, a very late San Francisco mail carriers' picnic special arrived at the San Francisco Shops - 2.5 miles short of the Twelfth and Mission Streets depot - only to discover that the shops were locked up for the night and no electric locomotive was available. The crew decided to haul the twelve car train under steam power up Potrero Avenue to the terminal. This steam operation on the "electric only" line triggered vigorous protests to the Supervisors demanding the franchise be revoked.

The Ocean Shore's promoters readily rejected the original electrification plans of 1500 volts A.C. in favor of a more orthodox and economical system - a 600-volt D.C. line. The company's first electric locomotive, No. 51, a home-built product, went into service in April of 1907, followed in September of that year by No. 52. Ultimately, the electric locomotive fleet would total three. The third locomotive, No. 53, was built by the railway in 1910 to meet an expanding San Francisco freight business.

In 1906, the company had purchased forty sets of electric car trucks from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Even after the Ocean Shore failed to meet its interest payment due on outstanding bonds on November 1, 1909, and was placed into receivership on December 7 of that year, the company informed (January 1910) the "American Street Railway Investments," a supplement to the Street Railway Journal it had "40 passenger cars ordered." Other than the three sets used for the Ocean Shore's electric locomotives, the railway used none under electric powered equipment. For two years, starting in 1911, the Ocean Shore sold twenty-three sets of trucks to the Oakland, Antioch & Eastern. Today, four sets of Ocean Shore electric trucks are in use at the Western Railway Museum under Sacramento Northern cars 602, 1005, 1019 and 1020.

On June 26, 1907, the Ocean Shore invited city officials to tour the electrified line. The tour had gone a little over a half-mile when No. 51's trolley pole broke at Division Street, striking the head of one Sidney Sprout, the Ocean Shore's electrical engineer. Sprout received severe lacerations of the scalp. The inspection tour was aborted until the following day. Fortunately, the next day's trip was made without incident. Presumably, the city officials liked what they saw.

The selection of the 600-volt D.C. system later allowed the Ocean Shore to share its Potrero Avenue trackage from Mariposa Street to 25th Street with the Municipal Railway's (Muni) "H-Van Ness-Potrero" cross-town line. Muni's contractor Eaton and Smith rebuilt, in 1914, the Ocean Shore's single-track Potrero Avenue portion as double-track. One track was owned by the Muni, the other by the Ocean Shore. This arrangement continued to the end of the Ocean Shore in 1920. Joint Ocean Shore / Muni Potrero Avenue service began on September 17, 1914 when the southern half of the "H" line opened. Through "H" line service to Army Street began December 21, 1916. However, the trackage south of 25th Street was not joint trackage. The single track Ocean Shore line was on the east side of Potrero Avenue. All Muni streetcars operating the shared trackage carried red markers on their rear ends, to meet regulatory requirements.

Although the Ocean Shore had yet to start passenger service, the railway nevertheless was active in San Francisco's post-earthquake and fire cleanup. The City took advantage of the ruins to eliminate the "unsanitary condition" of the basin lying between Potrero Avenue extended, Army street, Alabama street and Serpentine Avenue - commonly known as the "Precita Valley Swamp." The Ocean Shore was awarded the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) by the Board of Supervisors to rid San Francisco of this "public nuisance." By Resolution of the Supervisors the railway was to remove debris from the burnt districts to fill-in the swamp. Tracks were laid by the Ocean Shore Railroad to the swamp and wetlands of the Bay for the fill operation. Decades later houses in the old swamp area had to be reinforced. Rubble was also dumped along Seventh Street near Channel - an area that became known as "Dumpsville."

OS Hauling Debris
Ocean Shore engine No. 2, a 4-4-0 built by Hinkley in 1881, is about to haul south of Market earthquake debris to eliminate the “unsanitary condition” at a basin known as the “Precita Valley Swamp.” Late April 1906. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

Finally on October 2, 1907, the first north-end revenue passenger train (south-end service had started by June 15, 1906) left Twelfth and Mission Streets for Tobin - subsequently known as Pedro Valley. The inaugural train consisted of two cars, 125 passengers hauled by engine No. 2, a 4-4-0 built by Hinkley in 1881.

After leaving the Twelfth and Mission Street Terminal, Ocean Shore trains coupled behind one of the line's three home built electric locomotives entered Twelfth Street at Howard. They traveled down Twelfth Street for two blocks before, at Division Street, the train climbed a wooden trestle to cross over the Southern Pacific's original San Francisco main line. With opening of the Bayshore Cutoff in 1907, traffic on the Southern Pacific's now "Ocean View Branch" fell to levels that allowed for an at grade crossing. This occurred by 1911. All Ocean Shore trains were required to "come to a full stop at the crossing of Southern Pacific Railroad ... and proceed only after the derail has been closed and hand signal given by Signal Man."

The trestle indexed the Ocean Shore's promoters' enthusiasm for their enterprise. It was constructed with the provision for two tracks. The fact only a single track was constructed, illustrating the harsh economic realities the Ocean Shore experienced.

Descending the trestle, the Ocean Shore line headed south down Florida Street for four blocks. Florida Street was a subject of complaints lodged against the Ocean Shore by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The Society claimed that the Ocean Shore's failure to pave between its rails (as required by its franchise) at the 16th and Florida Streets crossing made it unsafe for horses that were pulling wagons.

After turning eastward onto Mariposa Street, the line ran again for four blocks before heading south on Potrero Avenue. After 1914, the Ocean Shore ran in front of Muni's new Potrero Division on Mariposa Street. South of 25th Street the single-track Ocean Shore line ran the eastern side of an easterly curving Potrero Avenue. Crossing Army Street the route ran for one block on Old San Bruno Road before entering the Ocean Shore's San Francisco Shops.

OS Shops
Ocean Shore’s main shops located at Army Street were as unimpressive as was the line’s main San Francisco station. North of the shops trains – both freight and passenger – were pulled by electric power; south of the shops steam powered Ocean Shore trains. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

The basic track pattern of the Shop trackage was that of a triangle. The upper leg of the triangle connected the Twelfth and Mission branch with a freight only branch, called the "Industrial Lead." This line ran (east of Evans) parallel and immediately south of what was called by some "Army Creek," later to be part of Army Street, to Illinois Street. The "Industrial Lead" provided the Ocean Shore interchange with the Western Pacific and Santa Fe railroads. (The Ocean Shore to connect with the Southern Pacific Railroad constructed a transfer track in southwestern San Francisco, just beyond the "SP crossing" (mp. 7.4), that joined together the Ocean Shore's main line with the Southern Pacific's Ingleside Branch to Lakemer.) The eastern leg of the Shop triangle connected the "Industrial Lead" with the mainline to San Mateo County. The western leg connected to the Twelfth and Mission branch just west of San Bruno Avenue at Marin Street. At the south end of the western leg connections were with the mainline to San Mateo County.

OS Cut
An Ocean Shore electric motor is waiting while earth is being loaded into an attached dump car. The location is the first block south of Army and the cut is being widened to accommodate the United Railroads No. 25 streetcar line. The electric motor is the western leg of the railway’s shop triangle. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

Until 1914 the Ocean Shore shared one block San Bruno Avenue south of Army Street with the United Railroad's "San Bruno Avenue Terminal" line. This line that ran from various terminals in the Mission, notably Mission and 22nd Streets, to Dwight and San Bruno Avenue. On San Bruno Avenue it was a single-track line with passing sidings. In 1914, the now No. 25 line was largely double-tracked on San Bruno Avenue and extended on the north to Fifth and Market Streets. The Ocean Shore helped with the required street widening, notably the first block south of Army Street.

It was here at the Shops, that many a novice Ocean Shore train rider would receive an unpleasant surprise. Since the Ocean Shore was noted for its spectacular Pacific Ocean scenery, passengers would sit when they boarded at Twelfth and Mission Streets on what they believed to be the Pacific Ocean side of the train. Upon arriving at the Shops, outbound trains would take upper part of the Shop triangle to the "Industrial Lead," stopping only after the train had cleared the eastern leg trackage. Steam engine(s) facing south would backup from the eastern leg coupling up to the train. The electric locomotive would be uncoupled. The train, now reversed, would proceed south along the eastern leg of the triangle and onto the mainline. For inbound trains the operation would be reversed.

OS Alemany Gap
A coastside bound (southbound) three car passenger train is nearing Mission Street while traveling through San Francisco’s Alemany Gap. Often the coastside wind and fog would make enjoying the observation car platform impossible. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

After leaving the Shops Ocean Shore trains would start their steam train journey on the streets of San Francisco. Trains on a single track line would run down the middle of Barneveld and Loomis Streets before they began a private-right-of-way journey, across southern San Francisco, following today's Alemany Blvd. The route passed under the Southern Pacific's "Ocean View" branch north of what day is Alemany Blvd. and San Jose Avenue at Palmetto Avenue just west of Capitol. The line ran north of Palmetto Avenue before the Ocean Shore again crossed that street at St Charles. Soon the Ocean Shore left San Francisco. Ocean Shore San Francisco stops were as follows:

Ocean Shore San Francisco Stops
StopType of StopDistance From Twelfth & Mission
Twelfth & MissionScheduled Stop-
S.P. Crossing (Ocean View Branch)No Stop0.6 miles
Sixteenth StreetUnscheduled Flag Stop0.8 miles
Twenty-Fourth StreetUnscheduled Flag Stop1.9 miles
ShopsScheduled Stop2.5 miles
Onondago (See Note)Scheduled Flag Stop5.4 miles
Palmetto (Palmetto & St. Charles)Scheduled Flag Stop7.1 miles
S.P. Crossing (Lakemer Branch)No Stop7.4 miles

Note - "Onondago" was the name the Ocean Shore used for their stop at Onondaga and what is today Alemany Blvd.

The Municipal Railway Runs Ocean Shore Trains

United Railroads Strike of 1917

Since its inception in 1902, San Francisco's large streetcar company the United Railroads of San Francisco (URR) had terrible labor relations. From May 5, 1907 until November 5, 1907 the URR had a bloody strike that ultimately the railway won. During the strike, thirty-one people had been killed (including twenty-five passengers) and more than 1100 had been injured (including approximately 900 passengers). The strike cost the URR more than the devastation of the earthquake and fire the year before. The legacies of the strike were increased public support for a city-owned railway system, and a continued and increased antagonism by the public, and notably labor, toward the United Railroads.

A decade later, on August 12, 1917, one hundred carmen of the United Railroads walked off their jobs to emphasize their demands for wage parity with Municipal Railway carmen (The Municipal Railway had started service in December, 1912). At 9:45 p.m., part of the "gang of one hundred" abandoned their streetcars near the corner of Market, Valencia and Haight Streets, rapidly tying up many of the main lines in and out of the city center. Within a few days 1,500 men had joined the walkout, badly disrupting service. With the importation of strike-breakers, service was partially restored, and this caused 25,000 shipyard workers to threaten to walk out in sympathy with the carmen. In addition, the U.S. Maritime Commission was greatly concerned (this was war time) over the slowdown in the ship building program caused by the strike.

In desperation, Mayor Rolph and the Board of Supervisors appealed to the Southern Pacific and the Ocean Shore railroads to permit the Municipal Railway to run emergency service over their lines to Daly City and other points. The S.P. declined to permit its Ocean View line (former San Francisco main line) to be used, but the Ocean Shore agreed to cooperate with the City in every way. Of course, the Ocean Shore envisioned a cash infusion. Whereas, the S.P. was concerned with their own labor relations. The S.P. finally agreed to let Ocean Shore trains operate directly into the Union Iron Works over an S.P. spur track. Trains would use the Ocean Shore's "Industrial Lead" to connect with the Southern Pacific Union Iron Works spur on Third Street.

At 5:00 p.m. on August 30, 1917, the first Municipal Special, consisting of eighteen coaches pulled by two steam locomotives, left the Union Iron Works with 2,000 homeward-bound workers. Upon arrival at the Shops, the train was split. One section of nine coaches was hauled north by an electric motor to the 12th and Mission Streets depot. Stops were made at 24th and Potrero, 18th and Potrero (not a regular stop), and at 16th and Florida Streets. The other section of the train, hauled by a steam engine, went to Daly City. Stops were made at San Bruno Avenue (not a regular stop), Mission Viaduct (not a regular stop), Onondaga (name had been changed from "Onondago"), Sickles (not a regular stop), and Palmetto Avenues. Municipal Railway Superintendent Fred Boeken, and Assistant General Manager of the Ocean Shore I. N. Randall, were in charge of the train. Placards on the sides of the cars showed the destination of respective train cars. Municipal Railway conductors collected the standard Muni five cent fare and issued and accepted transfers from connecting Municipal lines.

When the 12th Street section arrived at Mission Street, 1000 iron workers disembarked from the train and proceeded in a body to Market Street. While waiting for their cars, they passed the time by bombarding passing United Railroads' streetcars with rocks, iron bolts and bricks. Some of the cars ran the gauntlet, with passengers huddled on the floors to escape the barrage, while others were deserted by passengers and crew alike. The arrival of a police riot squad broke up the demonstration and the workers dispersed.

The next evening following the arrival of the Iron Works Special at Mission Street the workers again began stoning the URR trolleys, despite intervention by twenty-four police officers who had been stationed in the area to prevent a recurrence of the previous evening's bombardment. The iron workers pressed their attack on the URR trolleys so vigorously that nine cars were halted and deserted by their crews. Two of the crews were set upon and badly beaten before being rescued by the police who charged the mob with drawn clubs. When the police finally quelled the disturbance, four police officers required hospital treatment and ten of the iron workers were jailed for rioting.

It would be a mistake to draw the inference that the Municipal government supported the URR. The opposite was true. When Mayor "Sunny Jim" Rolph was criticized by a company supporter for not providing the United Railroads adequate police support, the Mayor published an open letter including the following remarkable statement:

The world is changing all around you, and you and your kind don't know it any more than the Czar knew what was happening . . . Doubtless you are disappointed because the police have not yet turned machine guns on the crowds in our streets, and killed a few dozen strikers, including the customary number of innocent bystanders.

On September 18, the shipyard workers left their jobs demanding a wage hike. The shipyard trains were discontinued. Soon however in answer to insistent public demands, the Municipal Railway commenced steam train operations over the Ocean Shore tracks from Army and Potrero to Daly City. The United Railroads had a monopoly in the southern part of San Francisco. Non-shipyard workers had taken advantage of the Muni Specials. A five cent fare was charged and transfers issued to and from the "H" line. A staggering total of 42 trains were operated daily from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., at a net cost of $270 per day to the City. On October 1, the shipyard workers returned to their jobs, and the next day the shipyard trains resumed.

As in the strike of 1907, the URR was prepared to hold out for months at almost any cost. They employed more than 1,000 strikebreakers; many of them blacks hired in Chicago and brought in by train. Finally, in late November the URR defeated the carmen. The Muni Ocean Shore Specials were discontinued. During these few short months of 1917, the Ocean Shore was an important San Francisco passenger carrier.

The Last Whistle Soon Would be Sounded

OS Motor Car
By 1917, the Ocean Shore’s regular passenger traffic, other than summer Sundays and holidays, was both marginal and sharply declining. To reduce operating costs, in 1918 the company purchased a low-end 31-passenger gas-mechanical motor from Sacramento’s A. Meister. Pictured at Meister’s Sacramento plant is the Ocean Shore’s second and last motor car No. 62, 1920. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

By 1917, the Ocean Shore's regular passenger traffic, other than summer Sundays and holidays, was both marginal and sharply declining. Something had to be done to cut operating costs. The solution was to add a motor car to its roster. After testing a White product from Arizona's Verde Tunnel and Smelter Railroad, the Ocean Shore in early 1918 added motor car No. 61. True to its penny-pinching character, the Ocean Shore's No. 61 was a low-end product, a 31-passenger gas-mechanical A. Meister & Co. built product. The chassis of No. 61 was built by the Commercial Cars Construction Co., whose business offices were on Montgomery Street. Management had rejected more expensive and durable motor cars by manufactures such as Hall Scott. A second similar Meister motor car, No. 62, was purchased in 1920.

The Ocean Shore's motor cars were single-ended and lacked couplers. Consequently, they could not operate directly into the Twelfth and Mission Streets stub terminal without backing up in one direction - a distance on city streets of 2.5 miles. It has been suggested they did just that, with a high school track team "Nimrod" running ahead of the Meister, waving a red flag as it backed down San Francisco's streets in its one, rather slow, reverse gear. This is undoubtedly great fiction. In addition, there was the franchise restriction against anything other than by electrically powered vehicles north of the Shops. At the Shops the motor cars could be wyed. The motor cars, in fact, originated and terminated at the Shops. The very few passengers were forced to switch to Muni's "H-Potrero" or the United Railroads' "25- San Bruno Avenue" or "30-Eighth and Army Streets" streetcars without even a free transfer ticket

Much of the Ocean Shore's revenue traffic was other than carrying people. Southbound a major revenue generator was manure for the coastside farms. Northbound the railway was a hauler of produce. The horseless carriage and its companion the truck, by 1920, had largely eroded these sources of critical revenue.

On August 16, 1920, a combination of mounting losses and a strike ended the Ocean Shore Railroad forever. At its inception, the Ocean Shore promoters believed they could convince San Franciscans that the Pacific shore south of the City was "The Riviera of Northern California." In reality, the cold, foggy coastside weather mitigated significantly against the Ocean Shore's success. The Ocean Shore's employee time tables recognized "dense fog" conditions. The time tables carried the rule, "During the prevalence of dense fogs, or violent storms, Engineers will sound the whistle at intervals before rounding curves, or approaching obscure places, using the crossing signal." The cold and foggy coastside summers, a weak passenger and freight base, a right-of-way under constant siege from an encroaching ocean, crumbling cliffs, and increasing competition from motor vehicles conspired successfully against the Ocean Shore Railroad.

Although the Ocean Shore timetables carried no prohibition for passengers to ride between San Francisco stations, such ridership was probably near nil (except for periods of streetcar strikes). Within the City, the streetcar system had a decided competitive advantage with respect to journey time, frequencies, and price.

Map of the Ocean Shore Railroad Company's San Francisco Trackage. Credit Harold Cox. All rights reserved.

Ocean Shore Steam Locomotive Roster

No.Type Cyl. Dr. Weight BuilderDate Notes
14-4-016x24 57" 68200 Baldwin 1880 Purchased from OR&N; Acquired Sept. 1905, Scrapped 1915
24-4-016x24 57" 71400 Hinkley 1881 Purchased from OR&N; Acquired Nov. 1905. Scrapped circa 1910
34-6-018x24 57" 89100 Schenectady 1881 Purchased from Southern Pacific; Acquired April 1906, scrapped 1915
42-6-018x24 54" 91000 Baldwin 1903 Arrived Nov. 1907 from the Ouakestown & Eastern as No. 1; Sold 1922 to San Vicinte Lumber Co.; Operated at Cromberg, CA 1923 to 1928 by Nibley-Stoddard Lumber Co.; Sold 1928 to Fruit Growers Supply Co. as No. 34; Renumbered to 3, scrapped 1942.
52-6-018x24 48" 124000 Baldwin 1908 Purchased new. Sold to Pacific Portland Cement Company as No. 2 in 1920; Operated at Pacific Portland Cement (PPC) plant, San Juan Bautista, 1927-1929, as No. 5; Operated at PPC plant Gerlach, Nevada as No. 5.
62-6-018x24 48" 124000 Baldwin 1908 Purchased new. Leased by San Vicinte Lumber Co., Swanton, CA 1920-1922; sold 1922 to Sierra Railway as No. 26; Sold in 1924 to the Davies-Johnson Lumber Co. Calpine, CA as No. 26; scrapped Oct. 1939.
74-6-018x24 48" 71250 Schenectady 1868 Originally Central Pacific No. 57 "Bison;" Became SP 1533-2020; Purchased by OSRR Jan. 4, 1907; Sold 1910-1912 to Mammoth Copper Mining Co. Kennett, CA (a copper smelting center, the remains of which lie beneath the waters of Lake Shasta).
84-6-018x24 57" 89100 Schenectady 1881 Purchased from E.B. & A.L. Stone Co., Jan 1906; Also OSRR No. 50
92-6-220x24 48" 115000 Baldwin 1908 Purchased new; Sold to Warren Spruce Co., became No. 13, lettered "Spruce Production Division;" sold 1919 to Pacific Great Eastern Ry., became No. 4, scrapped 1952.
102-6-220x24 48" 115000 Baldwin 1908 Purchased new; Sold to Warren Spruce Co., became No. 14, lettered "Spruce Production Division;" sold 1919 to Pacific Great Eastern Ry., became No. 5, scrapped 1952.
212-6-021x28 56" 135000 Baldwin 1913 Purchased new; Sold to The Pacific Lumber Co. 1921, became No. 34; Became Fruit Growers Supply Co. second No. 34, scrapped 1956.
222-6-021x28 56" 135000 Baldwin 1913 Purchased new; Sold to Arkansas & Louisiana Missouri Ry.(Frost Lumber Co.) 1921, scrapped c1936.
312-6-020x26 57" 132000 Baldwin 1914 Purchased new: Sold c1921.
322-6-020x26 57" 132000 Baldwin 1914 Purchased new; Sold to Fruit Growers Supply Co. retains No. 32; sold to Red River Lumber Co. No. 32; returned 1944 to Fruit Growers Supply Co., scrapped 1956
422-6-020x26 57" 141900 Baldwin 1915 Purchased new; Sold to Imperial Irrigation District, 1922; sold 1941 to Comsion National de Irrigacion became Nos. 221 & 229, presumed Scrapped.
50------ See OSRy No. 8

Ocean Shore Electric Locomotive Roster

No. Type H.P. Builder Date Notes
51 B-B 350 OSRy April, 1907 Rebuilt 1919; Sold in 1921 to Petaluma & Santa Rosa (P&SR). Electrical equipment and trucks used in 1923 by P&SR to build their No. 506.
52 B-B 500 OSRy Sept., 1907 Sold in 1921 to P&SR. Became P&SR No. 504
53 B-B 500 OSRy March, 1910 Sold in 1921 to California Wine Association, Winehaven, CA. Last used 1925. In storage as of May, 1938. Later scrapped.

Sources: Randolph Brandt, "Ocean Shore Railroad 'Reaches the Beaches,"' Western Railroader, Issue No. 151; compiled by G.M. Best, 1947. Electric locomotive roster reflects the research of Stanley Borden, "The Petaluma & Santa Rosa," Western Railroader, No. 244. Photograph by late Art Alter verifies No. 53 was the OSRR electric locomotive sold to California Wine Association.

Ocean Shore Motor Car Roster

No. Type Builder Date Notes
61 Gas-Mechanical 31-Passenger A. Meister & Co. 1918 Purchased new; Sold to Long-Bell Lumber Co., scrapped 1955.
62 Gas-Mechanical 31-Passenger A. Meister & Co. 1920 Purchased new; Sold to La Cross & Southeastern Ry., scrapped c1934.

Published: Live Steam & Outdoors Railroading, May/June 2005. Originally published as two chapters in When Steam Ran on the Streets of San Francisco by Walter Rice PhD and Emiliano Echeverria, published by Harold Cox., 2002. A limited number of copies are available of this title for $18.50. Please e-mail for details.

Ocean Shore Car 1403 Restoration

The only surviving Ocean Shore passenger car, 1403, is currently undergoing restoration in Pacifica, California. Volunteers are welcome.

OS Coin
This commemorative coin, designed by Mike McCoy, is being sold to support the restoration project. Walter Rice Collection. All rights reserved.

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