Southern Pacific Railroad’s 3rd and Townsend Street Depot

San Francisco


About the Depot: 


·        The depot was formally opened in 1915, and it was built to open in conjunction with the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, which was held in San Francisco the same year. The PPIE celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal.

·        It, along with several other depots all over the state, was built in the popular “Mission Revival” style of the time.

·        Located at 3rd and Townsend Streets, it was just a few blocks trolley ride from SP’s headquarters building and the Union Ferry Depot, both at the foot of Market Street.

·        The depot was officially Southern Pacific’s milepost 0.0, and was the northern most depot on their Coast Line Route.

·        The depot was the northern most destination for Southern Pacific’s famous Coast Line “Daylight” trains numbers 98-99, thought to be “the most beautiful trains in the world.”

·        Upon opening, 25 arrivals and 25 departures of passenger trains were scheduled each day.

·        It served passengers for 60 years until the arrival of the wrecking ball in 1975. Its demise was due the need for a new freeway off ramp. The freeway was a considered to be a severe blight to San Francisco’s picturesque waterfront and Embarcadero areas, that it was doomed to the wrecking ball as well. 

·        The station was replaced by a nondescript structure with no architectural significance, and the northern “end of the line” for CalTrain’s commuter line.