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Friday, April 25, 2014

Mora Street Flag-Stop

The Mora Street crossing off of River Street in Santa Cruz. (Google Maps)
Even while the Southern Pacific Railroad was shutting down its operations over there Santa Cruz to Los Gatos route, it was also expanding some of its local freight operations. Sometime after May 29, 1927, the spur at Eblis heading into the Santa Cruz Lumber Company warehouse shut down. Whether this was seasonal or not is not known (it was certainly temporary). What is known is that by September 25, a new flag-stop had been established just outside of the Eblis stretch of siding under the name Mora Street. The name is derived from the street that was undoubtedly adjacent to the stop. Unfortunately, the origin of the name "Mora" is not known at this time.

Although never established as a formal stop, Mora Street acted as a flag-stop for locals wishing to embark or debark prior on the northern side of Mission Hill in the Potrero District. By May 1928, Eblis was back in operation but Mora Street's flag-stop remained, showing its budding significance as a stop. The importance of the stop may also have been heightened by the sash mill and other local industries that required access to freight and may have used the siding and now-absent spurs to load and store goods for shipment. Spurs to the sash mill and Poultry Products of Central California butchery (the current Slakely Brothers building) clearly existed at some time in the past and one may have been related to this period, though neither are directly on Mora Street. Other now gone facilities may also have used the stop in times past. Unfortunately, available atlases of the location in the 1930s do not show any spurs or sidings within this area.

Mora Street was removed as a flag-stop on employee timetables in mid-May 1931, though Eblis remained as a formal stop. The flag-stop never appeared in any agency books nor was it mentioned by Donald Clark in his Places Names of Santa Cruz County book. Today, the tracks still pass across Mora Street and are maintained by Roaring Camp Railroads for its seasonal Santa Cruz Big Trees & Pacific Railroad, as well as for infrequent freight use.

Citations:

  • Southern Pacific Railroad Company, Employee Timetables Nos. 127 to 133 (Courtesy California State Railroad Museum archives).

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