Friday, January 24, 2020

The Partially-Built Ocean Shore Railroad (San Francisco to Santa Cruz, CA)

The Ocean Shore Railroad was planned to connect San Francisco with Santa Cruz, CA, with construction beginning in 1905 at both ends of the route.

Image and History

Just one year later, the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 occurred, and caused major damage to the route, and forced the line to become two separate projects; San Francisco-Tunitas Creek, and Santa Cruz to Swanton.

Within San Francisco, the right of way was electrified, and portions of the route are still in service as part of the BART System. Outside of San Francisco, the right of way ran along the Pacific Ocean, paralleling the modern-day CA-1 (Pacific Coast Hwy).

The Swanton line found partial use by a logging company, but by 1920, the San Francisco-Tunitas Creek line was abandoned, outside of portions of the route that were incorporated into Rapid Transit lines. Both the inability to connect San Francisco and Santa Cruz, and increased competition from automobiles and roads were contributing factors in the line's abandonment.

Between Davenport and Santa Cruz, the line is still in service, having been passed down to Union Pacific Railroad.

Right of Way via Abandoned & Out-of-Service Railroad lines map.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Chicago, IL

Originally named Grand Blvd, and later S Park Avenue (or S Park Way), Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Chicago, IL became the first street named after the civil-rights leader, following his assassination in 1968.

Image: Wendell Huston, DNAInfo
Today there are over 700 streets named in his honor. Not every name change has been without controversy, however, as Kansas City, Missouri attempted to rename a historic street name, The Paseo, after MLK Jr., to which voters overwhelmingly objected.