The Last Whistle (Ocean Shore Railroad)
Author: Jack Wagner
published by Howell-North Books
Hardcover with Dust Jacket
180 fine photographs, maps and drawings, equipment rosters
Rugged, soaring cliffs and ocean vistas made the California coast between San Francisco and Santa Cruz the obvious place to build a scenic railroad. So, at the turn of the century a visionary group of local men determined that here they would create a high-speed commuter line to serve the growing towns and fresh ocean beaches along this breathtaking route. A blue-blood board of directors, including J. Downey Harvey and Folger, the Coffee King, vigorously promoted the Ocean Shore Railway and related real estate schemes.
When the earthquake of 1906 tossed most of the grade into the sea, it upset their plans. The Ocean Shore never quite recovered from the blow. The dream of spotless electric cars gliding down a double-track line was dashed; instead, secondhand steam engines were acquired from older short lines. Bankruptcy foredoomed completion of the route, and so a northern division carried city crowds to the ocean while in the south logging trains brought redwood timber to Santa Cruz. For a decade this valiant short line fought falling rocks, lawsuits, strikes and Southern Pacific’s competition. The dream lived on until a final courtroom showdown gave the right of way to the Highway Department for the most scenic stretches of Route 1.
The Last Whistle is the story of a gallant failure, of practical men and dreamers who would do everything but quit. Its richly pictorial history (180 illustrations) shows disastrous landslides, holiday crowds at the unique depots, the exploded boiler of old No. 2 and views of the impossible right of way.
Product Condition: Used
Product Type: Book > Hardcover Book
Jack R. Wagner
Number of Pages: