|The lumber train heading to Monte Vista, 1891. (Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History)|
|Loma Prieta Excursion Train, c. late 1890s. (Paul Johnston Collection, MAH)|
Only one train was assigned to work between Loma Prieta and Monte Vista, but it worked constantly each weekday, shuttling lumber and split stuff to the sidings at Molino or transferring logs to the planing mill. It was forced to backdown the canyon since there was no turntable or wye at Monte Vista, but it always ran at the head of the train to prevent runaway cars. At least two spurs branched off at Monte Vista, as well as a water tower.
Monte Vista #2 suffered terribly from a winter storm in early 1899. Hell's Gate collapsed atop the railroad right-of-way and the costs to rebuild or repair the track were deemed too much. The lumber camp was abandoned and its salvageable parts removed. Loma Prieta, in turn, was also abandoned and the company looked elsewhere for timber. The Southern Pacific Railroad pulled all the useable track between Molino and the slide, leaving the right-of-way behind to return to a state of nature. The Molino Timber Company would later come and reclaim a portion of that right-of-way to the bottom of its incline grade, but Monte Vista was gone forever. A victim of nature. Both Monte Vistas are located within the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, at undesignated locations along Aptos Creek. The later mill site is likely no longer accessible to the public due to its remoteness.
- Hamman, Rick. California Central Coast Railways. Santa Cruz, CA: Otter B Books, 2002.