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This website is a constant work-in-progress, with articles updated regularly throughout the site. Much of the information comes from local railroad fans such as yourselves. If you have information regarding local railroads, photographs or railroad documents, or you feel a mistake has been made or information omitted from an article, leave a comment on the appropriate page or email me at author@santacruztrains.com. This site would not be possible without your help and support. Thank you! – Derek R. Whaley

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Virginia

Virginia is one of the least-known stations along the mountain section. Located midway between Clems and Tank Siding, it was extremely remote. The site of Virginia was originally a tunnel construction camp in 1879 but the site was abandoned and did not revive again until 1906 when the Virginia Timber & Milling Company began harvesting timber there following the San Francisco Earthquake. It is not known how long the company harvested lumber locally, but the stop remained on timetables until 1930 when it quietly disappeared.

A wide right-of-way still exists at the site, but little else remains behind as evidence of the railroad's presence here. Virginia was never a busy stop and never had regular traffic.

Official Railroad Information:
Virginia was located 67.0 miles from San Francisco via the Mayfield Cut-Off and 13.0 miles from Santa Cruz. It included a 98-foot-long spur which was used by the Virginia Timber & Milling Company. The class-B status of the station implied that there was a siding at the stop, but no platform or other facilities were noted there.

Geo-Coordinates & Access Rights:
37˚N 6' 4.6", 122˚W 0' 3.7"

The site of Virginia as near the southern portal of the Mountain Charlie Tunnel (Tunnel #4) at the crossroads of the railroad right-of-way and a private driveway. It marks the northern boundary of the Santa Cruz Water Department land and the site itself is privately-owned.


Citations & Credits:
  • Clark, Donald Thomas. Santa Cruz County Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary. Scotts Valley, CA: Kestrel Press, 2008.
  • Whaley, Derek. Santa Cruz Trains: Railroads of the Santa Cruz Mountains: 123-124.

1 comment:

  1. Based on your description, it sounds like Virginia was a siding right outside the Clems south portal. We hiked there the other day and I have photographs on http://Panoramio.com. This clearing has an access road that crosses the old right of way, and there is a lumber dump that is kind of a mess. I'm not sure if this is Water District junk or not.
    Aside from this clearing, we saw three others between Zayante village and the Clems tunnel. One of them is pretty big, and is also at a crossroads-- a dirt road that leads down to E. Zayante. This is definitely SC Water District. Between E. Zayante Rd and the siding near the tunnel are two other clearings that were big enough to have a siding. One of these must be the famous "Tank Siding".
    That region is weak on cell service, so my locations of some photographs are a bit of an educated guess: http://www.panoramio.com/map/#lt=37.100235&ln=-122.012873&z=2&k=2&a=1&tab=1&pl=all (tick the "Show photos not selected for Google Earth" to see all of my photos)

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