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Santa Cruz Branch Line (davenport-watsonville)

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by LativaBoy, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. LativaBoy

    LativaBoy Active Member

    Mar 17, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Here's another proposal for a west coast route for Train Sim World that I have in mind, and that is the Santa Cruz Branch Line. Being a Santa Cruz native, this idea for a route in TSW would bring me so much joy that I just have to make a proposal for it.
    Map of the Santa Cruz Branch Line (yellow)
    Route Summary
    The Santa Cruz Branch Line stretches approximately 32 miles from Davenport to Watsonville, the line has a long history of rail transport. The Santa Cruz Branch Line was originally owned by Southern Pacific and was used for both freight and passenger service, Southern Pacific's Del Monte coming from Monterey would make stops along the line including Watsonville, Aptos, Capitola, Santa Cruz and up to Felton then cutting past the Santa Cruz Mountains through multiple tunnels up into San Jose. In terms of freight service, a cement factory in Davenport was the lead industry of the county as trains would transport cement and other construction materials along the line over to the mainline.

    In 1996, Southern Pacific had been taken over by Union Pacific making the branch line now under ownership of Union Pacific. Freight service between Davenport and Watsonville had continued up until the cement factory closed down around the turn of the 2010s causing the line to become disused. Union Pacific would eventually sell the Santa Cruz Branch Line to the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC).

    Ever since the line was purchased by the county, it became heavily dilapidated with tracks shifting and plants consuming the tracks. Despite this, SCCRTC has made plans to revise the branch line for uses such as a light rail system and/or freight service. Although the future of the line is uncertain, SCCRTC still has hope for the line and reviving it back to its old glory.

    Rolling Stock
    Now there are multiple ways that this route could go in terms of time period, the route could be set in the 1980s when Southern Pacific owned the line, or it could be based in the early to mid 2000s after Union Pacific's acquisition of the line (personally I'm more into having the route set in the 2000s). Most of the rolling stock that operated on the branch line were mainly geeps including GP9s, GP40-2s and GP60s. GP9s were exclusively Southern Pacific on the line up until Union Pacific's acquisition. SD40T-2s were also present during the line's operation both Southern Pacific and Union Pacific.
    SP GP9s (photograph copyright & courtesy of Drew Jacksich)
    GP40-2s (photograph copyright & courtesy of Matthew Griffin)
    GP60 (photograph copyright& courtesy of John T. McGriff)

    My Opinion
    The Santa Cruz Branch Line offers a scenic drive along the California coast with so many sights to see including the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and many more. I strongly believe that this route would be an excellent addition to TSW, because it is very breathtaking and it hits close to home for me.

    Thanks for reading my proposal!
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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