Soon after the town was established, a flag-stop under the same name opened alongside the Southern Pacific Railroad's Monterey Branch near the intersection of Del Monte Boulevard and Reservation Road under the name "Paddonville". Locke-Paddon didn't like the name and changed it to "Marina' in 1918, with a post office under that name being registered in April 1919. Curiously, the town did not have, nor ever has had, a marina, but the name stuck all the same. The primary purpose of the flag-stop was to attract Bay Area vacationers to move into the seaside settlement, but Locke-Paddon still had little success. He parcelled out land for a school and church, attracting some of the military staff officers from nearby Fort Ord began moving into some of the lots. The post office expanded into a general store in 1920 with petroleum service installed soon afterwards to attract the increasing automobile traffic.
|Comparison photograph of Marina station in 1948 and the station site in 2005.|
(Top photograph by Paul Loyola Henchey, bottom by Pat Hathaway)
The town finally incorporated as a city in 1975. However, railroading had ended by this time. Passenger service on the Monterey Branch ended in May 1971 and freight service became infrequent. From 1963 to 1996, Marina remained on the freight schedule but the siding went into disuse and may have been removed. Fort Ord closed in 1991 but in 1994 California State University, Monterey Bay, opened on a part of the former base and the city evolved into a college town. Today, the area around Marina is still largely undeveloped swampland and sand dunes, but a small commercial center and thriving residential population has turned it into a safe and popular area for families.
Official Railroad Information:
Nothing appears in railroad timetables or agency books until the 1910s regarding Marina. The station first appeared in Agency Books as "Mile Marker 117" in 1916 and then became "Paddonville" the following year. From 1919, the station was named "Marina". It was located 117.3 miles from San Francisco via Castroville, Gilroy, and San Jose. It was 11.0 miles from the Lake Majella end-of-track. A 9-carlength spur was associated with it since at least 1937 and that spur was extended into a 13-carlength siding by 1951. Curiously, in 1940 and 1954 Marina was listed only as an Additional Station. In 1954 the siding was reduced to 8 carlengths, although it remained a siding, and from 1963 no siding or spur were associated with the stop. The station remained on timetables until the end of Southern Pacific ownership of the line in 1996. Whether it appeared on Union Pacific Railroad timetables afterwards is unknown, but the branch was spiked at Castroville in 1999.
Geo-Coordinates & Access Rights:
The site of Marina station is beside the tracks between Del Monte Boulevard and Marina Drive, approximately at the latter road's northern terminus. A Starbucks is across the street from it and there are no access restrictions to the location. Nothing remains of the stop except the tracks.
|The site of Marina Station at the northern end of Marina Drive. (Google StreetView)|