Santa Cruz County has had over 80 railroad stations and stops. (Not all in service at the same time.) Many were temporary and lasted only a year or less.  In most cases, the original buildings were torn down though a few were actually moved and re-used.

The major Railroad hub was actually in Pajaro, just across the county line in Monterey County.  It had a roundhouse, and a maintenance yard. Originally known as Pajaro Junction, the depot was the hub of agriculture freight transport in the region. When the Watsonville passenger station closed, the Pajaro location was renamed Watsonville Junction. Virtually all railroad buildings at the Pajaro location were removed by 2011.

In 2011 a time capsule was uncovered at the Pajaro railroad office.  According to an article in the Register-Pajaronian newspaper of Jan. 5, 1949, the President of Southern Pacific  A. T. Mercier and Watsonville Mayor C. H. Baker put the time capsule into the wall of the train depot, behind a plaque showing the  year 1949.  The capsule was remembered by Jane Borg of Watsonville.  She helped organize the recovery.  It was recovered in February 2011. Contents included  business  cards, a quarter from 1945 and three Southern Pacific Bulletins.  They are now part of the historical collection of Union Pacific railway. Union Pacific purchased the line in 1996.

Railroad Companies in Santa Cruz County

Historic Railroads:

  • San Lorenzo Valley Railroad
  • Santa Cruz Railroad
  • Santa Cruz & Felton Railroad              
  • South Pacific Coast Railroad
  • Felton & Pescadero Railroad
  • Loma Prieta Railroad
  • Pajaro & Santa Cruz Railroad
  • Southern Pacific Railroad
  • Dougherty Extension Railroad
  • Pajaro Valley Consolidated Railroad
  • Coast Line Railroad
  • Ocean Shore Electric Railway
    (Ocean Shore Railroad)

Modern Railroads

  • Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad
  • Big Trees & Pacific Railroad
  • Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway
    (Iowa Pacific)
  • Union Pacific Railroad
  • Sierra Northern Railroad
  • Golden Gate Railroad Museum
  • Swanton Pacific Railroad


Existing Railroad Buildings
Roaring Camp has the only operating railroad station.

Old railroad station in Watsonville. Now owned by Granite Rock for offices and storage.


Capitola Station is now "Inn At Depot Hill" 250 Monterey Ave., Capitola, The freight station in Santa Cruz has been moved to the site of the old Santa Cruz train depot. This building is now part of Depot Park. The train depot building burned in 1998. 
This office at Roaring Camp was once the Felton Train Station. You can see the former freight office in back.

There might be a private home that was a former

Railroad station. It is also likely, the home was

built in the same location as the former station.


Aptos Station shopping center is where a train station was located.

This entry is a seed - a starting point for writing a full entry. You can help the Santa Cruz Wiki by expanding it! Simply click on the "Edit" button.


Related Links