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Although locals nicknamed the line the Toonerville Trolley and the Wooden Axle Line, the State Belt had an illustrious career. To learn more about San Francisco railroads, please visit: Golden Gate Railroad Museum It began as the State Belt Railroad in 1889, and was renamed when the city bought the Port of San Francisco in 1969. As a state owned enterprise, the railroad asserted several unsuccessful claims to immunity from federal regulation. 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. Its name is derived from the fact that waterfront property at the time was owned by the State of California, and not the City of San Francisco. [citation needed]. Building 201, Fort Mason It's tracks extended the length of the Embarcadero from south of Market Street to Fort Mason and the Presidio. [1] The railroad ceased operation in 1993.[2]. Status: Short Term. The Belt transferred cargo between ships and main line railroads such as the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific and the Santa Fe. Steam trains on the State Belt Railroad helped improve the transportation of goods up and down the San Francisco waterfront. The United States Government realized the benefits of a formal rail extension from Fort Mason to the Presidio. The railroad ceased operation in 1993. This work required removal of tracks that lay beneath the pavement in those areas. 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. "The Belt Line is part of San Francisco's history," said Bill Kaufman, a retired Contra Costa schoolteacher who is fascinated by the railroad. SFDPW also coordinated with NPS on producing an interpretive element about the State Belt Railroad. Use of the Belt Line decreased following World War II as Oakland surpassed San Francisco as the major Bay Area shipping port. This photo of the Ferry Building shows the chaotic port traffic, which included steam trains, moving and parked cars, passenger trolleys and dodging pedestrians. Abandoned Rails In 1949, the California Zephyr was positioned near the Ferry Building for its inaugural ceremony. Some frequently asked questions about the State Belt Railroad: The State Belt - San Francisco`s Waterfront Railroad quantity. Series: Book. The San Francisco Belt Railroad was a short-line railroad along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. During its years of operation the railroad had 12 steam locomotives and 6 ALCO diesel engines:[5]. The area has a fascinating history, and the railroad that served the wharves and warehouses along the waterfront was full of character. State Belt Railroad (San Francisco Belt Railroad) - 1889-1969 - California - See - Railway List. The state of California established a harbor commission to improve the waterfront's transportation systems. In coordination with the National Park Service (NPS), the City undertook extensive efforts to document and record the history of the State Belt Railroad, including conducting archival research for the Belt Line and the extension. 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. Color: Hardcover, 180 pages, 242 photos. 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. The State of California-operated Belt Line was not in used during the nine months of festivities. The railroad connected the Port of San Francisco to many waterfront docks and to industries and warehouses which were adjacent to the waterfront. In 1969, the railroad was renamed the San Francisco Belt Railroad after the state sold the waterfront property rights to the city. The State Belt Railroad begain in 1889 for the sole purpose of handling freight traffic along San Francisco's waterfront. Unique because of its limited range and having engine facilities right downtown, it's unique and well-worthy of this "biography". The State Belt accepts cars from the SP for delivery as indicated. 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. 22 in front of the engine facilities on the Embarcadero. 4 - The Last Steam Engine from the Belt Line . It's tracks extended the length of the Embarcadero from south of Market Street to Fort Mason and the Presidio. How did the Fort Mason-Presidio Belt Line extension help the City of San Francisco preserve the Palace of Fine Arts? Four vintage San Francisco waterfront photos from the 1950s and one free prize . The State Belt Railroad Of California (later San Francisco Belt Railroad) received 6 new ALCO S-2 between 1943-1945 numbered #20-#25. At the height of the State Belt Railroad, 67 miles of track were in service. San Francisco Trains, Golden Gate National Recreation Area 1: Pier warehouse for the Alaska Packers Association. By 1917, the state extended the railroad out to the Presidio army base. 72-82 Western Pacific's Final Decade. I’m building the State Belt Railway of California, which served parts of the waterfront of San Francisco, mainly the parts in the “older” parts of town (there were extensive docks & shipyards further south, served by the SP, SF or the WP, but I’m not worried about those). SFBR received federal STB approval as a short line in 2000. In stock. A standard methodology was adopted for excavation, documentation, data collection, and removal for each project intersection or section of crosswalk. The entire area of the waterfront was owned by the State of California, and therefore so was the railroad. Overtime, however, the use of the railroad dwindled as Oakland surpassed San Francisco as the major Bay Area shipping port. 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. Thieves' Highway - State Belt Railroad March 04, 2011 / CitySleuth. Description. The Belt Line facilitated the army's construction of the new Letterman General Hospital by transporting building materials to the site. Browse the store. 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. . In 1975, the American Freedom Train pulled by ex-Southern Pacific Daylight locomotive #4449 visited San Francisco. Free shipping for many products! How was the Belt Line related to the new Letterman General Hospital? This definitely is a book for rail historians and for anyone interested in rail-marine connections and in the operation of freight railroads. Why was the Fort Mason-Presidio Belt Line extension built and what role did it play in the Panama Pacific International Exposition? San Francisco Municipal Railway's "E" Embarcadero line now traverses this route. The State Belt – San Francisco`s Waterfront Railroad. Read more. Book, A Negotiated Landscape by Jasper Rubin $ 29.95 + CART; Book, The State Belt by William Kaufman & Michelle Kaufman $ 60.00 + CART; Search for: Archives. (A historical marker located in San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California.) 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. The entire area of the waterfront was owned by the State of California, and therefore so was the railroad. 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. 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. Streetcars & Cable Cars; Museum; Store; Blog; About; waterfront. Other than to residents and drivers in downtown San Francisco, The State Belt was a pretty obscure little railroad. Signature Press. At the southern portion of the line, a track along King Street (passing the location now occupied by Oracle Park) connected with the Southern Pacific. Most of the exhibition buildings were temporary construction on federal property. San Francisco movie locations from classic films. State Line & Indiana City Railway Company. 2: The stern of a strange-looking wooden boat … "The State Belt Railroad - Switching Freight on San Francisco's Embarcadero", "San Francisco Bay Railroad Company SFB #543", Abandoned tracks of the San Francisco Belt Railroad, San Francisco Trains - State Belt Railroad, "History of the San Francisco Belt Railroad", Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway, California Trolley and Railroad Corporation, Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad, List of United States railroads by political division, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=San_Francisco_Belt_Railroad&oldid=977934661, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 September 2020, at 21:22. 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. The Inventor And The Tycoon. For public viewing, the train's cars were switched to the Presidio by the belt line. It’s difficult to imagine the sprawling railroad operations that once dominated San Francisco’s waterfront. The State Belt: San Francisco's Waterfront Railroad. The army transported troops and supplies from the Presidio along the railroad lines to awaiting transport ships. 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. 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; San Francisco's Waterfront Railroad By William H. Kaufman & Michelle S. Kaufman Wilton, CA: The Signature Press 2013 Sole Edition Scholarly, well illustrated 100+ year history of San Francisco's waterfront railroad contains 242 photos, many previously unpublished, including maps and index. 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. San Francisco, CA As a state owned enterprise, the railroad asserted several unsuccessful claims to immunity from federal regulation. Its tracks extended the length of the Embarcadero from south of Market Street to Fort Mason and the Presidio. 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. Our San Francisco Railway Museum will reopen after F-line streetcar service resumes. In 1969, the City of San Francisco finally acquired title to its Port and to the State Belt; they soon contracted with Kyle Railways in 1973 to operate the railroad. This is Vulcan's first oil burning locomotive. By 1993 the railroad company had gone out of business and the much of the tracks abandoned. Bowker (2-4-0 locomotive) were on display. 5% MwSt. Chicago & North Western, Milwaukee Road, Rock Island, and Union Pacific Interline Dining & Lounge Cars in Southern Pacific Passenger Trains. I just wish I'd paid more attention to it when I live in San Francisco. 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). 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. The original purpose of the State Belt Railroad was to serve the waterfront's commercial shipping activities but as the city's needs changed, so did the length and scope of the railroad. From the California Historical Society's Digital Library. 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. A train ferry slip at Pier 43 allowed interchange with the Northwestern Pacific, the Western Pacific, and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroads. 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 tracks extended the length of the Embarcadero from south of Market Street to Fort Mason and the Presidio. 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. 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. 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! 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]. Manufacturer: Mixed Publishers Books . 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. 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. Due to the lack of any proper city planning, San Francisco's waterfront grew haphazardly into a maze of wharves, piers and warehouses. Add to cart. 94123-0022. To reach its northern terminus in the Presidio, the line passed through Fisherman's Wharf, Aquatic Park, and Fort Mason Tunnel. Roadname… Related products. 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. The State Belt Railroad of California was a shortline that served San Francisco's waterfront until the 1980's. What measures did the City of San Francisco and the National Park Service take to preserve and record the history of the State Belt Railroad during the 2012 Marina Boulevard accessibility improvement work? [3] It would eventually have 67 miles (108 km) of trackage and general offices in the Ferry Building. The State Belt Railway of California “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” – falsely attributed to Mark Twain. It’s August of 1953, and the San Francisco waterfront is a beehive of activity as the nation’s premier West Coast export port. In 1948 the first Freedom Train made an appearance on the State Belt Railroad. The transfer was ratified in 1927 and since then, the Palace of Fine Arts and its grounds continue to be a popular destination for visitors and local residents alike. This lasted until 1993. A number of times during the movie we see diesel trains plying back and forth along the Embarcadero. 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. It began as the State Belt Railroad in 1889, and was renamed when the city bought the Port of San Francisco in 1969. The former roundhouse has been converted to commercial business but exists in a recognizable form on the Sansome St, Lombard St, The Embarcadero, and Chestnut St block.

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