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Friday, May 1, 2015

Gay

The Monterey Branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad's Coast Division had its fair share of obscure stops just as the Santa Cruz County sections had, but few are as obscure as Gay. Located only 1.1 miles south of Castroville along the branch, the station first appeared in the late 1940s and persisted for hardly a decade before quietly disappearing. It may have succeeded Nashua as a stop, which had been located about a mile to the south and disappeared in the 1940s (Nashua itself had replaced Morocojo at some point), but the distance between the two stops makes that assessment questionable. In all likelihood, Gay was an agricultural stop named after a local property owner. A long half-mile-long siding at the stop reinforces the assumption. USGS survey maps of the 1950s show such a siding on the north side of the tracks running the length between Tembladero Slough and an irrigation canal. There was never any passenger service at Gay and it seems unlikely that there was any permanent structure there except for a station sign. No evidence of a station or siding remains today and the now-abandoned tracks of the Monterey Branch peacefully pass through the fields without interruption.

Official Railroad Information:
Gay first appeared on the 1951 Southern Pacific Coast Division timetable and disappeared by 1963. It was located 111.5 miles from San Francisco via Castroville and San José. It maintained a spur and siding space for 73 cars (~3,650 feet).

Geo-Coordinates & Access Rights:
36.746511, -121.755179

The site of Gay is located along the Monterey Branch midway between Castroville Road and Nashua Road immediately prior to passing over an irrigation canal. The site today is in the middle of an agricultural field and is undoubtedly privately owned with an easement provided for the railroad tracks. Trespassing is not recommended.

Citations & Credits:
  • Southern Pacific Coast Division timetables, 1941-1963.

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