San Francisco and Northwestern Railway

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San Francisco and Northwestern Railway
Locale northern California, USA
Dates of operation 1903–1907
Successor Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 50 mi (80 km)

San Francisco and Northwestern Railway (SF&NW) was an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway subsidiary formed in 1903 to connect Humboldt Bay to the Santa Fe rail system.

The Eel River and Eureka Railroad had been built in 1884 to provide Humboldt Bay shipping access to lumber mills and farms of the lower Eel River. Subsidiary California Midland Railroad was formed in 1902 to extend the line up the Van Duzen River to Carlotta.

In 1885, Pacific Lumber Company built a rail connection from their Scotia lumber mill to the Eel River and Eureka Railroad at Alton. Logging branches extended 8 miles up the Eel River by 1902.

The California and Northern Railway was formed in 1900 to build north from Eureka. Rails reached Arcata by 1903.

SF&NW acquired the Eel River and Eureka Railroad, its subsidiary California Midland, and the Pacific Lumber Company rail lines in 1903. Purchase of the California and Northern Railway in 1904 gave SF&NW a 50-mile (80 km) main line from Arcata to the Eel River upstream of Scotia. Santa Fe's distinctive circled cross herald appeared on the Eureka Depot.

Southern Pacific Railroad had simultaneously secured control of the logging lines north of Arcata through their subsidiary Oregon and Eureka Railroad.[1] Both Santa Fe and Southern Pacific had ambitions of building their own connections to Humboldt County lumber mills; but SF&NW was merged into the jointly owned Northwestern Pacific Railroad in 1907.

Locomotives[edit]

Number Builder Type Date Works number Notes
1 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1883 7013 ex-Eel River and Eureka Railroad #1 became Northwestern Pacific Railroad #2
2 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1884 7400 ex-Eel River and Eureka Railroad #2 became Northwestern Pacific Railroad #1
3 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-6-0 1887 8776 ex-Eel River and Eureka Railroad #3 became Northwestern Pacific Railroad #151>#351
4 Pennsylvania Railroad 4-4-0 1886 1031 ex-Pennsylvania Railroad #452 then Chicago, St. Louis and Pittsburgh Railroad #452 then Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad #8298>#298>#343 then Pacific Lumber Company #3 then Eel River and Eureka Railroad#4 became Northwestern Pacific Railroad #16
5 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-6-0 1886 8092 ex-Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad #65>#314 then Santa Fe Railroad #0179 became Northwestern Pacific Railroad #152>#352
6 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1875 3831 ex-Santa Fe Railroad #45>#25>#07 became Northwestern Pacific Railroad #13
7 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1878 4416 ex-New Mexico and Southern Pacific Railroad #203>#503 then Santa Fe Railroad #103>#049 became Northwestern Pacific Railroad #15

References[edit]

  1. ^ Borden 1963 pp.9-12
  • Borden, Stanley T. (1963). Railroads of Eureka. The Western Railroader. 
  • Stindt, Fred A. (1978). The Northwestern Pacific Railroad Redwood Empire Route (3rd Edition ed.). Kelseyville, California: Fred A. Stindt.