Life Of The Ocean Shore Railroad (4)


From the San Francisco Call, December 7, 1912

“It is regrettable that the railroad commission found it advisable to permit the Ocean Shore railroad to discontinue the operation of a northbound train reaching San Francisco at 8:40 a.m. Morning communication is still maintained between Half Moon Bay and San Francisco, but at an early and inconvenient hour. Property owners who invested in homes along that railroad did so with the towns along the Ocean Shore would be actually suburban to San Francisco. The curtailed service will work serious hardship upon them during the winter months.

“Some day the Ocean Shore railroad will be a successful road. Natural conditions, the fertile land through which it passes, the scenic attractions of its route along the Pacific, the rapid transportation it will furnish, when completed, between San Francisco and Santa Cruz and the potential freight along its tracks and proposed route insure a remunerative traffic. But now it is in a bad way.

“Ultimately this road will be taken over by a bigger system, completed and made tributary to a continental line. California has room for the construction of new roads. The proposed line from Watsonville into the San Joaquin valley might make beneficial connnection with the Ocean Shore; the railroads now with San Francisco terminals might incorporate the Ocean Shore into their systems. The Ocean Shore has a future, but it deserves to have a present.”

Life Of The Ocean Shore Railroad (3)


From San Francisco Call, Nov. 6, 1912

“One hundred and thirty-six residents along the line of the Ocean Shore railroad petitioned yesterday to order the company to put on an extra train for the accomodation of those having business in San Francisco.

“They complain that the schedule the railroad proposes to inaugurate November 10 provides for insufficient service and businessmen living between San Francisco and Halfmoon Bay would be compelled to arise before sunrise in order to reach this city in the morning for work to take a train that would land them here at 7:40 o’clock.

“They ask that the schedule be arranged for arrival at 8:40.”

Life of the Ocean Shore Railroad (2)

longbridge.jpg (Photo: “Longbridge” at Tunitas Creek, courtesy Redwood City Main Library)

Cont’d from SF Call, Oct 17, 1908

“Contractors started to work yesterday on the bluffs between San Gregorio creek and Long Bridge [Tunitas Creek]. Several hundred men and teams are at work grading the right-of-way between these two points, and it is expected that this part of the route will be completed in about 90 days.

“Contractors are also preparing to grade the right-of-way between Pescadero and San Gregorio. Work will be rushed as rapidly as possible to open the line to Santa Cruz in time for next summer’s business.

“The earnings of the Ocean Shore are increasing monthly, and as soon as the rod is open to Long Bridge, a large increase will come from the fact that it will be more advantageous for shippers between San Gregorio and Pescadero to ship by railroad than over the mountains to Redwood City by team.

“The following statement of earnings during the past nine months shows a healthy state of business and indicates large profits for this railroad as soon as it is open to Santa Cruz and Watsonville. In March the road ran only to Pedro Valley, and since June to Granada.

“The earnings are as follows: January, $4,406.62; February, $5,325,33; March, $8,904.47; April, $8,392.32; May, $12,373.27; June, $12, 621.46; July, $18,558.76; August, $19625.35;Sept, $21,066.23.

…to be continued…

Map/Life of the Ocean Shore Railroad (1)

From the San Francisco Call, Oct. 17, 1908

“Ocean Shore Road Open To Half Moon
“Graders Are Working On Bluffs Between San Gregorio Creek and Long Bridge

“The Ocean Shore railway this week extended the running schedule of daily trains from Granada to Half Moon Bay proper and Arleta Park. The company is now operating at this end of the line 30 miles of railway, running four trains daily and eight trains on Sundays.
“The grading between Arleta Park and Long Bridge [Tunitas Creek] is about completed and this laying of rails will commence next week. Chief Engineer Rogers says the trains will run to Long Bridge, which is three miles north of San Gregorio, about Nov. 15.”

…to be continued


Caught Off Guard? You Are There…

Passengers & the Ocean Shore Railroad, possibly near El Granada

rr.jpeg (Photo Spanishtown Historical Society. Visit the SHS at the historic jail on Johnston Street in Half Moon Bay.)

Ocean Shore Railroad Stops At Montara

Ocean Shore Railroad at Montara in the early 20th century
rr.jpgPhoto: Marjorie Borda

Marjorie Borda, who sent me this photo, was born in the “Wheeler House” in Montara in 1912. Her father, Willard B. Scott, worked for the Ocean Shore Railroad as a “telegrapher”, first at Montara, later at remote Tunitas Creek where she recalled artichokes as the main local crop.

[Image below: The “Wheeler House” in Montara.]

wheller house


“Hi June…I ran into Burt the other day in Burlingame and he told me about
your site…Very Nice!

I have been metal detecting above Surfer’s Beach on the freshly mowed
bluffs and am constantly coming up with lead cargo seals in one area with
the letters O.S. on one side and A.O. on the other. I figure the O.S. is
probably for Ocean Shore (as in railroad), but I’m stumpted about the A.O.
I’ve found about 40 so far. I’m glad to share.

Any thoughts?


Tom Collins” [Montara]

I Hear From Ocean Shore RR Historian John Schmale

rbrandt.jpg“Rudy” Brandt

A while back I posted a three-part short history of the Ocean Shore Railroad based on a 1980 interview I did with the colorful Ocean Shore Railroad historian, Randolph “Rudy” Brandt (his father had been an original investor in the Ocean Shore).

I also posted this photo, believing that it was the Ocean Shore’s observation car.


Well, now I’m not sure what it’s of…I’m honored to share this email from Ocean Shore Railroad historian John Schmale:
“Hi June. I was struck with nostalgia at seeing the photo of Old Rudy Brandt in your article on the Ocean Shore Railroad. For over 30 years I exchanged Ocean Shore RY information, photos, documents etc with Rudy. He left me all of his OS RR material. Thanks…You have a scene of an observation car and water tank which I question is Ocean Shore RR. Do you know anything about it? Sorry, I am not being critical. The car is not Ocean Shore. I was wondering if the location is identified? Maybe Leased equipment? Regards, John Schmale”

John Schmale also emailed me this photo taken in Pacifica, 1940s (see below) rudypedro_1.jpg

At left, “Rudy” Brandt, center, E.H. Dannman, at right, Lorin Silleman (photo, courtesy John Schmale)
Hi again June, Yes Rudy was one of the last of the old time rail fans. He
drove his old 1950’s Plymouth all night and two whole days to photograph
some rotting narrow gauge trains down in the middle of the Arizona copper
mining region. He related running into unfriendly natives, as in “Native

…I was interviewed by the folks at the local Pacifica TV station regarding
the poor old Ocean Shore RR car which now lives at the Shamrock Ranch near
the South end of Linda Mar. I helped save it from getting a good bulldozing.
The car sat in a vine covered backyard 6 miles from my home in Sonoma Co.. I
have had this address for 20 years. Wow! one should get to know the

I found one photo, enclosed, showing Rudy on left, E.H. Dannman (Pedro
Saloon man) in center, and Lorin Silleman on right. Picture taken at Pedro
Station in the 1940’s…

I have really enjoyed your historical works on the Coastside and look
forward seeing to more.

Best regards, John Schmale