Coast Line (UP)

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Bridge at Gaviota State Park, seen from the beach

The Coast Line is a railroad line from Burbank, California (34°11′10″N 118°19′16″W / 34.1861°N 118.321°W / 34.1861; -118.321), north to the San Francisco Bay Area, roughly along the Pacific Coast. It is the shortest rail route from Los Angeles to the Bay Area.

The first version of the Coast line, via Saugus and Santa Paula through the Santa Clara River Valley, was completed by the Southern Pacific Railroad on December 31, 1900.[1][2] The Montalvo Cutoff crossed the Santa Clara River to serve the farmers in the Oxnard Plain and was extended to Santa Susana in Simi Valley. The Santa Susana Tunnel opened in 1904 connecting with the Chatsworth cutoff from Burbank (34°14′57″N 119°12′46″W / 34.24917°N 119.2129°W / 34.24917; -119.2129) and thereafter was the main line.[3] In 1907, the Bayshore Cutoff, a realignment directly south of San Francisco, opened from San Bruno to San Francisco; in 1935, another realignment near San Jose opened from Santa Clara to Seven Trees as the main line. Ownership is now with Caltrain north of Santa Clara, and Union Pacific Railroad, which merged with SP in 1996, from there to northern Moorpark and Metrolink south of there.

Union Pacific freight trains run on the route, although the San Joaquin Valley route is the preferred north–south California route. The route hosts passenger trains for Amtrak, commuter rail trains for Metrolink in Southern California, and Caltrain in Northern California. The Coast Line is located on one of the busiest routes in the nation that extends from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. Millions in enhancements to improve the reliability and safety of this 351-mile-long (565 km) railroad corridor have been proposed by Caltrans and federal railroad officials. Ventura County would get rail curve realignments near Seacliff, the Santa Clara River and Montalvo in the near term for an estimated $300 million. Future rail service could include a Ventura–Santa Barbara commuter rail service.[4] Long-range plans also including commuter service between Ventura and Santa Clarita along the original route through the Santa Clara River Valley. The Ventura County Transportation Commission purchased the route within Ventura County from Southern Pacific. While a portion of the line was abandoned after being washed out in Los Angeles County, the proposed Newhall Ranch development will provide for a route through the community.[5]

Passenger trains[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Institute For American Research. "Chronology of Goleta Depot" South Coast Railroad Museum website. Accessed 30 October 2013
  2. ^ Ryan, MaryEllen and Breschini, Ph.D., Gary S. "Railroads of the Central Coast--An Overview" Monterey County Historical Society Website Accessed 23 March 2014
  3. ^ "CHATSWORTH PARK CUTOFF LINE OPENS TODAY" Los Angeles Herald 20 March 1904. Volume XXXI, Number 173, page 2
  4. ^ Clerici, Kevin (January 9, 2011) "Camarillo meeting to address train projects" Ventura County Star
  5. ^ Lozano, Carlos V. (April 29, 1992) "SANTA CLARITA : Panel Says Rail Line to Cost $45 Million" Los Angeles Times