- Southern Pacific Railroad’s Montalvo Depot -

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    In 1886 the construction of a line branching off the Southern Pacific’s mainline at Saugus was commenced west through the Santa Clara Valley’s extensive citrus groves with the intention of reaching Santa Barbara. The line reached San Buenaventura in 1887 resulting in a real estate boom all along the line. In 1887 Montalvo was established as a town site and the depot pictured here was built.

   

    From Montalvo a three mile branch was built to the new sugar beet factory in Oxnard with connections to the Ventura County Railway. This line later became the beginnings of the “Montalvo Cutoff” which reached Burbank junction via Santa Susana Pass and the San Fernando Valley. Immediately after its completion in 1904, the cut off was upgraded to main line status for SP’s Coast Line.

   

    The depot is one of SP’s common standard designs, but predated the colonial yellow paint scheme. Most SP depots of this era were painted in two tones on the sides and Montalvo’s was a combination of dark and light slate grays. Of note in the picture is the very early refrigerator car at the far left, the station agent in his sleeve protectors, and the station jitney driver being dressed in long coat and leather gloves for protection from the “hazards” of early motoring as was the norm. 

 

- Southern Pacific Railroad’s Montalvo Depot -