|A train passing near the historic site of Bermingham, March 11, 1939. Photo by Wilbur C. Whittaker. (Jim Vail Collection)|
|Portrait of Captain John Bermingham.|
Official Railroad Information:
Very little is listed for Parr's Spur Track. It first appeared with no facilities listed in the 1888 Southern Pacific Railroad station book. By 1890, the spur was gone (unfortunately all copies of the 1889 station book appears to have been lost). The spur was located approximately 53 miles from San Francisco via Alameda Point.
Bermingham is better recorded, first appearing in the January 1901 station book. In 1902, it was listed as a B-class station, implying a spur or siding and a freight-loading platform. It was also in a section of track that was dual-gauged. The station was added to an employee timetable as "Bermingham (Spur)" in June 1907, listed at 53.0 miles from San Francisco via Alameda Point and 27.1 miles from Santa Cruz. The length of the spur at the station was 677 feet. No other facilities were listed there and the station did not receive any regularly-scheduled freight or passenger traffic, implying it was for private use only. In 1909, the distance from San Francisco was altered to match the new Los Altos Branch and was now only 52.1 miles from San Francisco, this time via Mayfield. The spur was also lengthened to 827 feet. The station disappeared from timetables in 1909 and from station books in January 1910.
Geo-Coordinates & Access Rights:
Parr's Spur and, presumably, Bermingham were located approximately at the modern-day location of the Vasona Reservoir dam. The site itself is either under water or buried beneath the earthen fill. In context, University Avenue is the right-of-way, so it would have been directly to the east of the road, south of the Creekside Turf Sports Park field and before crossing Los Gatos Creek.
Citations & Credits:
- Conaway, Peggy. Images of America: Los Gatos Generations. Arcadia Publishing, 2007.
- Southern Pacific Railroad documents, California State Railroad Museum Archives.
- Whaley, Derek. Santa Cruz Trains: Railroads of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Self-published, 2015.