|Seaside, as shown on the 1947 USGS Map.|
The railroad conveniently passed directly through the heart of East Monterey. The composition of the station structure is not currently known to this historian but records show that a station was present for the town. Beside the tracks, a siding of variable length—no longer than 500 feet—paralleled the mainline on the west side. A short spur running to the freight platform and station, meanwhile, sat on the east side of the mainline, just beyond the northern end of Hillsdale Street.
|Seaside subdivision plan, c. 1908. This map shows the extension of East Monterey into the "Seaside Addition",|
which marked the community's transformation. (Fine Art America)
|The railroad tracks in Seaside, 1917. (City of Seaside Archives)|
Railroad service to the station increased through the 1930s and 1940s, probably reaching a height in the 1950s before declining rapidly as regular passenger services ended. Freight service to Seaside remained intermittently, although what it serviced is not entirely known. Numerous small freight concerns existed in the area but changed frequently. Which, if any, of them used the Seaside freight platform after 1954 is unknown currently. The station became the end-of-track when the branch was truncated in 1979 and remained on timetables until the abandonment of the branch by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1999. When the station structure was removed is currently unknown.
Official Railroad Information:
East Monterey probably first appeared around 1889 with a class-A freight platform. It was renamed Seaside by 1899. In the 1920s, the station's platform was downgraded to a C-class freight stop, meaning it had a platform and siding but no other facilities. The stop was located 123.3 miles from San Francisco via Castroville, Gilroy, and San José. It was also 6.7 miles from the Lake Majella end-of-track. Initially, it offered both passenger and freight service and included a 10-car (~500 foot) siding at the stop. The siding shrunk down to ~450 feet by 1940 and then ~250 feet by 1951. Regularly-scheduled passenger service, except for specials such as the Del Monte Express, ceased in 1963 and the siding disappeared from timetables at the same time. In 1979, the Monterey Branch was cut back, with Seaside becoming the new end-of-track. The station remained on timetables until the closure of the branch in 1999.
Geo-Coordinates & Access Rights:
The site of Seaside is beneath the Cardinale Nissan dealership on Del Monte Blvd. The parking lot marks the extent of the spur and station property while the siding ran from the end of Holly Street to just southwest of where the right-of-way passes over Contra Costa Street. Access to the right-of-way is largely open in this area, except for the Nissan dealership.
Citations & Credits:
- McKibben, Carol Lynn. Images of America: Seaside. Arcadia Press, 2009.