About the Author

Santa Cruz Trains was created in early 2012 as a project to gather in one place the history of local railroading around the Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was the brainchild of Derek R. Whaley, who began writing his first book on the subject in 2014.

Derek was born and raised in Felton, California. He attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, where he graduated with a BA in History. He later traveled to the United Kingdom where he earned an MA in Early Modern European History at the University of Wales, Swansea (now Swansea University). He now lives in Auckland, New Zealand, after having received a doctorate in History from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. His thesis is entitled The Wilted Lily: Representations of the Greater Capetian Dynasty within the Vernacular Tradition of Saint-Denis, 1274-1361.

Derek currently works as a Research Library for Auckland Libraries and serves as editor-in-chief of Zayante Publishing. Before then, he served as a teaching assistant for several medieval and early modern Europe courses. When he lived in Santa Cruz, he served for three seasons as historical interpreter at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and volunteered at the San Lorenzo Valley Museum for four years and on the publications committee of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History for two years. In 2013-14, he worked as a host at the San José Tech Museum of Innovation for the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit. He also worked for nine seasons at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as a line operator and supervisor in the Arcades & Games Department. He is an avid board gamer and loves LEGO trains.

  • "The Lost Horse Tramway of Devonport," NZ Memories (forthcoming Oct-Nov 2021).
  • Santa Cruz Trains: Reflections on the Mountain Route. Santa Cruz: CreateSpace, 2016.
  • "The End of the Line: The Abandonment of Passenger Services in Santa Cruz County, California," Railroad History 215 (2016).
  • Book Review: Zita Rohr, "Yolande of Aragon (1381-1442) Family and Power: The Reverse of the Tapestry," Royal Studies Journal 3:2 (2016).
  • Book Review: Jeremy Black, "British Politics and Foreign Policy, 1744-57: Mid-Century Crisis," Parergon 33:1 (2016).
  • Santa Cruz Trains: Railroads of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Santa Cruz, CA, 2015.
  • "The Battle of the Giants: The Proposal to Rename the San Lorenzo Valley," Redwood Logging and Conservation in the Santa Cruz Mountains—A Split History. Santa Cruz History 7 (2014), 170-175.
  • "Two States, One King: Six English Kings and their Continental Domains". Unpublished masters thesis, 2009.
  • "Charting Our Destiny—US Coast Survey in the Pacific 1807-2007," Mains'l Haul—A Journey of Pacific Maritime History, 2006.
Contact Information:
Derek R. Whaley

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