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This website is a constant work-in-progress, with articles updated regularly throughout the site. Much of the information comes from local railroad fans such as yourselves. If you have information regarding local railroads, photographs or railroad documents, or you feel a mistake has been made or information omitted from an article, leave a comment on the appropriate page or email me at This site would not be possible without your help and support. Thank you! – Derek R. Whaley

Friday, December 29, 2017

Maps: Lyndon to Summit Tunnel

The scenic ride along Los Gatos Creek between the southern end of Cats Canyon and the western portal of the Summit Tunnel (Tunnel #2) lacked none for aesthetic beauty. For 5.2 miles, the South Pacific Coast and, later, Southern Pacific meandered up the valley, primarily staying to the east of the creek but twice venturing to the opposite side. For such a short span, a surprising number of stations and stops appeared, both for freight and for passengers, and for the first thirty years of the railroad's existence, this stretch acted as the playground for Bay Area elites wishing to spend an afternoon in the redwood groves and grassy meadows of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Now, a third is inundated under Lexington Reservoir and the rest is situated within the lands of the San Jose Water Company.

Lexington School class beside a bridge
over Los Gatos Creek, c. 1890. [Bruce Franks]
Passenger train approaching Alma from the north, 1937. [Wilbur C. Whittaker]
Map of Southern Pacific trackage between Limekiln Canyon and Summit Tunnel west portal, c. 1905-1940

(according to the 1919 US Geological Survey map).
Children dressed in Halloween costumes outside
Alma Station, c. 1910. [Dale Phelps]
Track damage south of Alma, 1940. [Bruce MacGregor]
Union Oil Company well on Moody Gulch above
Aldercroft, 1953. [Bruce Franks]

Dam on Los Gatos Creek south of
Aldercroft, c. 1910. [Los Gatos Library]
Los Gatos Creek near Wright, 1905. Photo by
Frank Herman Mattern. [Greg De Santis]
Surveyors in front of the Summit Tunnel, 1907.
Photo by Frank Herman Mattern. [Greg De Santis]
Repair train crew at Wright, February 1907.
Photo by Frank Herman Mattern. [Greg De Santis]
A sawmill above Wright, 1893. [Bancroft Library]

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