Train Service to SF (from Pennsylvania), 1877 : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread


I need to know more about the journey to SF from Pennslyvania in 1877. Specifically:

--where in Penn. would one board, and how long would the journey take? (7-10 days?)

--would the traveler have to disembark in Sacramento and take a different train to SF? How long would that journey take?

--what were the long-distance train trips like then? (where can I find more information?) Were they particularly hazardous or difficult?

Thanks in advance for any help.

-- Suzanne Rizzolo (, October 25, 1998


Dear Ms. Rizzolo, I really can't answer any of your questions exactly, but I can tell you that on Nov. 10, 1869, a railroad bridge across the San Joaquin River in Lathrop, Ca was dedicated opening the transcontinental route from the east coast to San Francisco. The rairoad line was the Southern Pacific. i hpope this will fill in a small gap of the information you seek.

Bernard C. Winn>
-- Bernard C. Winn (, November 20, 2001.

After completing the Central Pacific, the "Big Four" chartered the Southern Pacific RR and extended the railroad from Sacramento to Oakland via Stockton (Lathrop), and Niles Canyon. It terminated at the Oakland Mole where ferries would complete the trip to SF. The Mole was immediately adjacent to where the Bay Bridge approach is now. This is not a very direct route and I wouldn't be surprised if it took a good part of the day. There is a lot of good information on early railroad travel in the west in the books of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg. Good Luck-

-- Don Martinich (, November 22, 2001.

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