SMC Daniel Berkes Walking Tour Stop 1: Train Station
Congratulations! You have found the historical marker for the site of the old Saint Mary’s Train Station!
Trains played a large role in the development of Saint Mary’s College. Their connection with railroads started in September of 1863, when the first San Francisco/San Jose train passed in front of the campus, awing a large crowd of students and faculty. In 1913, Oakland and Antioch Railway laid track in the area, which was in turn was bought by San Francisco and Sacramento (1914), and then by Sacramento Northern (1929), an electric line. The line left Walnut Creek at what would eventually become Olympic Boulevard at Reliez Station, passing through Lafayette, Burton Station, and Las Trampas Creek before stopping at the college. The 1928 station was located on the west side of what is now the entrance road. Many students and faculty traveled to the college using the train, which was about a 25 minute ride from downtown Oakland and and under 15 minutes from Walnut Creek. In 1937 the popular tracks were extended to the East Bay Terminal in San Francisco. Eventually, passenger service declined, ending completely in July 1941. From then on, the track was only used for freight trains. Freight service on the track was terminated in February of 1957, and the tracks were pulled up. The empty train station was finally demolished in 1962.
Have you found the other two historical markers yet? If you want to learn more about the vibrant history of Saint Mary’s, try and find the other markers! Your hints are: Assumption Hall, and Rugby!
Swiedler, Stu., “Moraga East Bay Hills Project”
Saint Mary’s Digital Commons, “An Historical Guide to the Campus: Saint Mary’s College.”
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