Railroads

The following railroad companies operated or intended to operate some form of rail-based transport within Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Clara Counties. Paper railroads—those that never operated rolling stock on a line—are in italics.

Railroad Companies:
San Francisco & San Jose Railroad (incorporated August 18, 1860)
San Lorenzo Valley Railroad (incorporated May 20, 1861)
Central Pacific Railroad (incorporated June 28, 1861)
Union Pacific Railroad (incorporated July 1, 1862)
Southern Pacific Railroad (incorporated December 2, 1865)
California Coast Railroad (incorporated June 23, 1867)
Santa Clara & Pajaro Valley Railroad (incorporated January 2, 1868)
Monterey & Salinas Railroad (incorporated January 2, 1869)
California Southern Railroad (incorporated January 22, 1870)
Narrow-Gauge Railroad (incorporated November 15, 1870)
Santa Cruz & Watsonville Railroad (incorporated January 18, 1872)
Santa Cruz Railroad (incorporated August 4, 1873)
Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad (incorporated March 5, 1874)
Santa Cruz & Felton Railroad (incorporated November 9, 1874)
San Francisco, San Mateo & Santa Cruz Railroad (incorporated February 28, 1875)
San Benito Railroad (incorporated March 8, 1875)
Santa Clara Valley Railroad (incorporated October 4, 1875)
South Pacific Coast Railroad (incorporated May 24, 1876)
Felton & San Lorenzo Railroad (incorporated November 17, 1876)
San Francisco & Ocean Shore Railroad (incorporated September 1879)
Monterey Railroad (incorporated January 24, 1880)
Loma Prieta Railroad (incorporated July 10, 1882)
Felton & Pescadero Railroad (incorporated June 13, 1883)
Pajaro & Santa Cruz Railroad (incorporated June 3, 1884)
South Pacific Coast Railway (incorporated May 23, 1887)
Monterey Extension Railroad (incorporated  January 6, 1888)
Pajaro Valley Railroad (incorporated December 30, 1889)
San Francisco & West Shore Railway (incorporated March 9, 1892)
Monterey & Fresno Railroad (incorporated January 15, 1893)
West Shore Railway (incorporated July 11, 1895)
Pajaro Extension Railway (incorporated April 16, 1897)
Pajaro Valley Consolidated Railroad (incorporated December 9, 1897)
Bay & Coast Railway (incorporated June 26, 1899)
Monterey Transportation Company (incorporated 1903)
San Francisco & Southern Railway (incorporated September 26, 1903)
Coast Line Railroad (incorporated April 15, 1905)
Ocean Shore Railway (incorporated May 18, 1905)
Monterey, Fresno, and Eastern Railroad (incorporated December 28, 1906)
Ocean Shore & Eastern Railroad (incorporated February 11, 1907)
San Joaquin Valley Western Railroad (incorporated April 1907)
San Juan Pacific Railway (incorporated May 4, 1907)
San Juan Southern Railway (incorporated August 2, 1907)
Scott Creek Railway (incorporated June 18, 1908)
Fresno, Coalinga & Monterey Railroad (incorporated July 8, 1911)
Ocean Shore Railroad (incorporated October 9, 1911)
California Central Railroad (incorporated May 12, 1912)
Ocean Shore Railroad Company (incorporated November 16, 1934)
Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow-Gauge Railroad (incorporated 1959)
Southern Pacific Transportation Company (incorporated May 14, 1969)
Santa Cruz. Big Trees & Pacific Railway (incorporated February 1985)
Eccles & Eastern Railroad (incorporated 1988)
Sierra Pacific Coast Railway (incorporated January 1995)
Sierra Northern Railway (incorporated 2003)
Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway (incorporated October 12, 2012)
St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (incorporated August 1, 2018)

Unincorporated Private Railroads:
Zayante Creek Railroad (established 1880)
Valencia Creek Railroad (established August 1886)
Dougherty Extension Railroad (established 1888)
Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company Railroad (established 1905)
Molino Timber Company Railroad (established 1911)
Santa Cruz Lumber Company (established 1924)

Horse and Street Railroads:
City Railroad (incorporated January 12, 1877)
Front Street Railroad (incorporated August 31, 1877)
Pacific Avenue Street Railroad (incorporated October 1876)
East Santa Cruz Street Railroad (incorporated December 12, 1889)
Monterey & Pacific Grove Street Railway (incorporated April 28, 1891)
Santa Cruz, Garfield Park, and Capitola Electric Railway (incorporated May 21, 1891)
Santa Cruz Electric Railway (incorporated August 24, 1892)
Del Monte, Monterey & Pacific Grove Electric Railway (incorporated October 22, 1901)
United Railroads of San Francisco (March 4, 1902)
Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Watsonville Railway (incorporated September 14, 1902)
Monterey County Gas & Electric Company (incorporated October 10, 1903)
Watsonville Traction Company (incorporated 1904)
Union Traction Company (incorporated October 5, 1904)
Peninsular Railway (incorporated February 1906)
Monterey & Del Monte Heights Street Railway (incorporated June 26, 1909)
Watsonville Railway & Navigation Company (incorporated April 17, 1911)
California Consolidated Light & Powder Company (incorporated July 7, 1911)
Coast Valleys Gas & Electric Company (incorporated March 18, 1912)

Southern Pacific Divisions and Branch Lines:
Watsonville Branch (1871 – 1874)
Northern Division (1874 – 1897)
Santa Cruz Division (1887 – 1897)
Felton Branch (1887 – 1912)
Santa Cruz Line (1888 – 1892)
Loma Prieta Line (1888 – 1892)
Monterey Line (1888 – 1892)
Pajaro & Santa Cruz Branch (1892 – 1912)
Coast Division (1892 – 1964)
San Francisco Subdivision (1892 – 1987)
Loma Prieta Branch (1892 – 1930)
San Jose & Pacific Grove Branch (1892 – 1895)
San Jose & Santa Cruz (Narrow Gauge) Branch (1892 – 1909)
Castroville & Pacific Grove Branch (1895 – 1907)
Narrow-Gauge Subdivision (1897 – 1907)
Old Felton Branch (1907 – 1909)
Monterey Branch (1907 – Present)
Newell Creek Branch (1908 – 1920)
Santa Clara & Santa Cruz Branch (1909 – 1912)
Santa Cruz Branch (1912 – Present)
College Park & Santa Cruz Branch (1912 – 1936)
Boulder Creek Branch (1912 – 1934)
Davenport Branch (1917 – 1985)
Salinas Subdivision (1936 – 1985)
San Jose & Santa Cruz Branch (1936 – 1940)
Los Gatos Branch (1940 – 1959)
Gilroy Subdivision (1942 – 1964)
Vasona Branch (1959 – 1964)
Western Division (1964 – 1985)
Northern Region (1985 – 1987)
Western Region (1987 – 1996)
Coast District (1987 – 1996)

Miniature Railroads:
Bay Shore Limited Railroad (operating from 1904)
Sun Tan Jr. Railroad (operating from 1928)
City of Santa Cruz Streamliner (operating from 1938)
Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad (operating from 1943)
Santa's Express Train (operating from May 30, 1957)
Glenwood, South Park & Pacific Railroad (operating from 1959)
Cave Train to the Lost World (operating from June 1961)
R. M. Heinz Railroad (operating from 1962)
Sierra Nevada & Golden West Railroad (operating from 1968)
Swanton Pacific Railroad (operating from 1978)