the state belt: san francisco's waterfront railroad

The line went into rapid decline, in the 1970s, after the City of San Francisco took control of the port from the State of California, and lost most of the shipping business to Oakland. Its function was to switch railroad cars from four major railroads to points along its system and vice versa. Union Pacific's Big Boys: The Complete Story from History to Restoration . Some frequently asked questions about the State Belt Railroad: 22 in front of the engine facilities on the Embarcadero. The San Francisco Belt Railroad was a short-line railroad along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. The Embarcadero Belt Railroad Engine House Lombard, Sansome and the Embarcadero According to the National Park Service: The State Belt Railroad of California was a shortline that served San Francisco's waterfront until the 1990s and played an important role in World War II. Consultants compiled the research and findings into a report titled Archaeological Investigation Report for the Marina Boulevard Track Removal Project. What roles did the Fort Mason-Presidio Belt Line extension play in supporting the war effort during World War I and World War II? Due to work on the Roundhouse, it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additional information. San Francisco Trains, Golden Gate National Recreation Area State Line & Indiana City Railway Company. Owner Alan Peglar ran out of funds and the locomotive spent most of 1972 stored at an army base in Stockton, California. The State Belt - San Francisco`s Waterfront Railroad quantity. San Francisco Municipal Railway's "E" Embarcadero line now traverses this route. The railroad ceased operation in 1993. As William H. Kaufman writes in “The State Belt: San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad,” the record of troop and hospital train movements offers a dark snapshot of the war. Browse the store. In 1975, the American Freedom Train pulled by ex-Southern Pacific Daylight locomotive #4449 visited San Francisco. San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad by William H. Kaufman and Michelle S. Kaufman This book explains the history of the railroad that served San Francisco’s waterfront for over a century. The State Belt Railroad of California was a shortline that served San Francisco's waterfront until the 1990s and played an important role in World War II. . Its tracks extended the length of the Embarcadero from south of Market Street to Fort Mason and the Presidio. In 1951, the Maritime Museum brought an early 4-4-0 steam locomotive and consist to the belt, as part of the museum’s grand opening. Route 66 Railway. Due to the lack of any proper city planning, San Francisco's waterfront grew haphazardly into a maze of wharves, piers and warehouses. This definitely is a book for rail historians and for anyone interested in rail-marine connections and in the operation of freight railroads. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for STATE BELT: SAN FRANCISCO'S WATERFRONT RAILROAD By Michelle S. Kaufman NEW at the best online prices at eBay! 1: Pier warehouse for the Alaska Packers Association. The need for the services of the State Belt just kept decreasing. The State Belt Railroad Of California (later San Francisco Belt Railroad) received 6 new ALCO S-2 between 1943-1945 numbered #20-#25. The locomotive itself remained on display at Aquatic Park near the foot of Hyde Street. photo courtesy of San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library, A Railroad to Improve San Francisco's Port, The California Gold Rush of 1849 dramatically transformed San Francisco into a bustling port town, exploding with new people and construction. Add to cart. The San Francisco Bay Railroad is the successor to the Belt Railroad and received approval to operate the remaining five miles of track in 2000.[4]. [1] The railroad ceased operation in 1993.[2]. When did the State of California take the State Belt Railroad out of service and why? Description. In 1948 the first Freedom Train made an appearance on the State Belt Railroad. 94123-0022. At first, rail spurs ran down the center of piers inside the sheds. In stock. To reach its northern terminus in the Presidio, the line passed through Fisherman's Wharf, Aquatic Park, and Fort Mason Tunnel. During World Wars I and II, the Fort Mason-Presidio Belt Line extension provided a crucial link between the Presidio and the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason. The railroad ceased operation in 1993. The State Belt Railway of California “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” – falsely attributed to Mark Twain. San Francisco, CA Army hospital ships, returning from the Pacific with wounded soldiers, also would dock at Fort Mason. Two of them survive today in San Francisco. I just wish I'd paid more attention to it when I live in San Francisco. The Board of State Harbor Commission laid out the Fort Mason-Presidio Belt Line tracks in 1913 to facilitate the construction of the Panama Pacific International Exposition. The state of California established a harbor commission to improve the waterfront's transportation systems. 4 - The Last Steam Engine from the Belt Line . Other than to residents and drivers in downtown San Francisco, The State Belt was a pretty obscure little railroad. The entire area of the waterfront was owned by the State of California, and therefore so was the railroad. State Belt's Alco S2 No. Bowker (2-4-0 locomotive) were on display. The railroad connected the Port of San Francisco to many waterfront docks and to industries and warehouses which were adjacent to the waterfront. Chicago & North Western, Milwaukee Road, Rock Island, and Union Pacific Interline Dining & Lounge Cars in Southern Pacific Passenger Trains. The Belt Line facilitated the army's construction of the new Letterman General Hospital by transporting building materials to the site. It began as the State Belt Railroad in 1889, and was renamed when the city bought the Port of San Francisco in 1969. The State Belt: San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad by William H. Kaufman & Michelle S. Kaufman provides a well-researched history of the State of California’s railroad that served the San Francisco waterfront from its earliest years through the 1906 earthquake, two world wars and other history defining events, until its final demise under private operation in 1993. A number of times during the movie we see diesel trains plying back and forth along the Embarcadero. Currently Locomotive #4 is being restored by the San Francisco Trains group, with larger plans to change the old Bayshore Roundhouse, originally owned by Southern Pacific, to a historic community destination. State Belt Railroad San Francisco’s waterfront once boasted a small railroad, known as the State Belt Railroad, that shuttled freight cars along the Embarcadero. The State Belt Railroad of California was a shortline that served San Francisco's waterfront until the 1980's. The Port of San Francisco operates the State Belt Railway in order to provide uniform access to all of the piers and shipping facilities. Its tracks extended the length of the Embarcadero from south of Market Street to Fort Mason and the Presidio. Most of the exhibition buildings were temporary construction on federal property. The entire area of the waterfront was owned by the State of California, and therefore so was the railroad. Roadname… Related products. As a state owned enterprise, the railroad asserted several unsuccessful claims to immunity from federal regulation. State Belt Railroad No. In 1987, the tracks along the Embarcadero just south of Sansome Street hosted Railfair ’87. The United States Government realized the benefits of a formal rail extension from Fort Mason to the Presidio. In an effort to encourage the deal, the army offered the Palace of Fine Arts building, the last remaining International Exposition building on federal property, to the City of San Francisco in exchange for a grant to operate and maintain a spur track railroad from Fort Mason to the Presidio. State Belt Locomtive #7 switching at Pier 43 near Fisherman's Wharf (c. 1940) The State Belt Railroad of California was a shortline that served San Francisco's waterfront until the 1980's. As freight traffic moved away from the city in the 1970s and gentrification took over downtown in the 1980s, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe’s base at China Basin remained the sole holdout of a once busy freight handling operation. The Belt transferred cargo between ships and main line railroads such as the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific and the Santa Fe. The army transported troops and supplies from the Presidio along the railroad lines to awaiting transport ships. The area has a fascinating history, and the railroad that served the wharves and warehouses along the waterfront was full of character. This photo of the Ferry Building shows the chaotic port traffic, which included steam trains, moving and parked cars, passenger trolleys and dodging pedestrians. Completed in 1968, the new high-rise state of the art hospital treated American casualties through the Vietnam War and later served as a regional medical center in the military community until 1994. Free shipping for many products! Why was the Fort Mason-Presidio Belt Line extension built and what role did it play in the Panama Pacific International Exposition? How was the Belt Line related to the new Letterman General Hospital? The State Belt Railroad began in 1889 for the sole purpose of handling freight traffic along San Francisco's waterfront. Thieves' Highway - State Belt Railroad March 04, 2011 / CitySleuth. This lasted until 1993. Unique because of its limited range and having engine facilities right downtown, it's unique and well-worthy of this "biography". I just wish I'd paid more attention to it when I live in San Francisco. Then medics would carefully transport the injured men to army hospital trains that delivered them via the Belt Line to the Presidio's Letterman Army Hospital. The entire area of the waterfront was owned by the State of California, and therefore so was the railroad. Streetcars & Cable Cars; Museum; Store; Blog; About; waterfront. 5% MwSt. SFDPW also coordinated with NPS on producing an interpretive element about the State Belt Railroad. In its early years, it operated dual-gauged track to accommodate the North Pacific Coast Railroad and South Pacific Coast Railroad. Series: Book. It's tracks extended the length of the Embarcadero from south of Market Street to Fort Mason and the Presidio. Use of the Belt Line decreased following World War II as Oakland surpassed San Francisco as the major Bay Area shipping port. State Belt: San Francisco's Waterfront Railroad - This book explains the history of the railroad that served San Francisco’s waterfront for over a century. At the height of the State Belt Railroad, 67 miles of track were in service. Signature Press. The tracks allowed large amounts of building materials to be hauled from the downtown shipping port to their installation sites at the Exposition's Esplanade, which corresponds with present-day Marina Boulevard. Read more. In 1890, the harbor commission built the State Belt Railroad, designed to improve the flow of goods and materials up and down the waterfront by serving the piers and linking them with the outlying commercial warehouses and railroads. From the California Historical Society's Digital Library. #25 sidelined waiting for future museum or display use. The San Francisco Belt Railroad was a short-line railroad along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California.It began as the State Belt Railroad in 1889, and was renamed when the city bought the Port of San Francisco in 1969. Building 201, Fort Mason The world's fair celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and invited the world to the rebirth of San Francisco after the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire. (A historical marker located in San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California.) In 1971, the Flying Scotsman concluded its American tour by shuttling back and forth on a stretch of track adjacent to the Embarcadero and near Fisherman's Wharf. [citation needed]. As a state owned enterprise, the railroad asserted several unsuccessful claims to immunity from federal regulation. Although locals nicknamed the line the Toonerville Trolley and the Wooden Axle Line, the State Belt had an illustrious career. It's tracks extended the length of the Embarcadero from south of Market Street to Fort Mason and the Presidio. In 1915, the government's army applied for permission to extend the Belt Line Railroad from the Fort Mason terminus to the general warehouses in the Presidio. In 1949, the California Zephyr was positioned near the Ferry Building for its inaugural ceremony. Manufacturer: Mixed Publishers Books . It’s difficult to imagine the sprawling railroad operations that once dominated San Francisco’s waterfront. In 2012, the San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFDPW) made accessibility improvements along Marina Boulevard, replacing 13 curb ramps and three crosswalks to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Other than to residents and drivers in downtown San Francisco, The State Belt was a pretty obscure little railroad. Number 4 is an 0-6-0 switching locomotive built by the Vulcan Iron Works (of PA) in July of 1911 for the State Board of Harbor Commissioners for use on the State Belt Railroad of California along the San Francisco waterfront. Steam trains on the State Belt Railroad helped improve the transportation of goods up and down the San Francisco waterfront. SFBR is the successor to the State Belt Railroad of California that began operations in San Francisco in 1889 and operated 45 miles of track along San Francisco's waterfront. This work required removal of tracks that lay beneath the pavement in those areas. The State Belt accepts cars from the SP for delivery as indicated. Our San Francisco Railway Museum will reopen after F-line streetcar service resumes. Operates the State of California, and was renamed the San Francisco as the major Bay area shipping.. To switch Railroad cars from four major railroads to points along its system and versa. 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