Pajaro Valley Consolidated Railroad (Narrow Gage) - Monterrey County, California
The Pajaro Valley Consolidated Railroad was a narrow gauge line that ran from Watsonville to Salinas, California. It also served the Spreckels sugar mill West of Salinas. In addition to just general interest in this railroad, our reason for seeking it out had some to do with proving to ourselves that hunting abandoned railroads is possible outside the Northwest. Obviously, there are abandoned railroads everywhere, but going through the process of locating abandoned track on a map and then actually finding it, just as we do at home, removes any doubt about running out of old railroads to explore.
Also, this area of the California coast is scenic and spotting the weed covered grade crossing the coastal lowlands was very exciting. After short hike across the dry beach grass we followed the grade to where it crosses a tidal inlet. Here, concrete abutments and some remains of bridge pilings can still be found. This was the first time we had explored a railroad that was a narrow gauge for its entire existence, unlike others we’ve visited in Oregon that were originally narrow gauge but later converted to standard. As usual, we were only able to explore a short section of this railroad due to time constraints, but it was well worth the visit.
Copyright 2004, 2005 Garrett J. Keeton.
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