The Flood of 1911 and Broad Gauge Rails

The Flood of 1911 and Broad Gauge Rails (HM17BZ)

Location: San Jose, CA 95132 Santa Clara County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 23.657', W 121° 48.842'

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Inscription
Heavy rains fell during March of 1911 causing rail service from the Penitencia Creek Entrance to the Picnic Grounds to close. The rains continued swelling Penitencia Creek until it overflowed its banks. On March 7 an 8-foot wall of water from the overflowing creek ran through the railroad tunnel. The flood collapsed the tunnel and wiped out most of the narrow gauge tracks.

The flood damage led to a new broad gauge rail line into the park. The Alum Rock Railway had been sold in 1905 and, over time, joined with the Peninsular Railway (part of the Southern Pacific). The new owners were quick to see the benefit of rebuilding the line in broad gauge - now the standard for railroads. The new broad gauge railway into the park was also built on raised trestles to reduce the danger of another flood.

The broad gauge railroad continued to bring thousands of visitors to the park from all over the San Francisco Bay Area until the automobile became the favorite way to travel. The last train left Alum Rock Park on June 12, 1932 and the old rails were removed in 1934.

Today, visitors to Alum Rock Park can still see the old bridge supports and bits of rail along the road from the entrance to the Mineral Springs Area.

Alum Rock Park Interpretive Series
San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services.
Details
HM NumberHM17BZ
Tags
Placed BySan Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 5:32am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 604977 N 4139272
Decimal Degrees37.39428333, -121.81403333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 23.657', W 121° 48.842'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 23' 39.42" N, 121° 48' 50.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)408
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 15295 Creek Trail, San Jose CA 95132, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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