There are six branch lines that serve the Espee in the Yuma Subdivision: the Riverside and San Bernardino branches serve the far west end of the Yuma Line, feeding traffic in and out of the Inland Empire; the Calexico, El Centro and Sandia branches service the transportation needs of the Imperial Valley with nearly 75 miles of route; the Yuma Valley Railroad joins the main at Yuma and runs downstream along the Colorado River for six miles.




COLTON to RIVERSIDE, MP539.0 - MP546.3




  The Riverside Branch, like the San Bernardino Branch in the Section before, is but a shadow of the rail network that once gridded so much of the Inland Empire.

  From the very beginning, this branch provided freight service from Colton to Riverside, heading nearly due south from Colton, through the vast citrus groves that blanketed the skirts of the Box Springs Mountains, east of Riverside.    The Pacific Electric Riverside Line also ran through Colton to Riverside, and shared the right-of-way from Colton to Grand Terrace; from Grand Terrace to Riverside the PE Riverside Line made a beeline to Riverside Junction and downtown Riverside.

  Over the years, the face of the landscape through which the tracks pass has begun to change; gone are most of the oranges, sleepy country trails.  Between the Interstate 215 and the Santa Fe Crossings there is still a substantial amount of the country that gave this branchline its first life.  Along this stretch there are pastoral scenes that will vanish within the next decade or so, as light industry and commerce insinuates itself.

  Although the branch line is not heavily used, there seems to be enough traffic originating and ending on the line that the Espee is willing to spend money on track improvements, grade crossings and spurs into new industrial parks.  There is even a several-times weekly Riverside Local that sets out lumber cars at Congress and at Highgrove; oftentimes a pair of Geeps will be found lurking along the Atlanta Street industry tracks, pushing or pulling a boxcar either coming or going; the team tracks on the east side of Commerce Street in Riverside, between Seventh and Eighth, will reveal late-night carloading in the glow of headlights. According to the Espee Timetable, the Riverside Branch separates from the Yuma Line at MP539.0 and ends in Riverside at MP546.4 (by my reckoning, it ends at MP546.3).  Eastbound is from Colton to Riverside, though it primarily travels south and west during its 7.3-mile journey.


539.0  Begin RIVERSIDE Branch (SBD27B2)

West End COLTON Yard

YUMA LINE Junction

Colton Wye

Right-Of-Way Enters 9th Street

K Street Intersection

Speed Limit: EB 20 MPH

965' AMSL; -0.9% EB

Until probably the late Forties there was a crossing frog on the Yuma Line just west of MP539.0.  The tracks leading north from the crossing were the San Bernardino Branch while the tracks south were the Riverside Branch.  The tracks and crossing were remnants of the old Pacific Electric Riverside Line that crossed the Espee on its way from San Berdoo to Riverside.

  Today, the Riverside Branch separates from the main Yuma Line at approximately MP538.8, at the switch next to the trackside shanty.  This lead track provides access to the south Colton yard throat and to the top and west legs of the Colton wye at the north end of 9th Street.

  The tracks proceed down the center of 9th Street from K Street to O Street, a total of four blocks.  9th Street is extra-wide to accommodate both the train and the few automobiles that drive up and down the streets of this sleepy neighborhood.

  The long-abandoned footings of a water tower rest in disarray about 100 feet northeast of the I Street - 9th Street intersection.


539.1  South Switch of Colton Wye

            L Street Intersection

M Street Intersection

  The east and west legs of the wye meet in the middle of 9th Street, with a dwarf switchstand marking the junction a dozen yards north of the intersection of 9th and L.  The tracks continue down the center of 9th, protected at L and M Streets by single wig-wags on the west side of each intersection.


539.2  N Street Intersection

  The tracks proceed in the center of 9th Street, crossing N Street and protected at that intersection by a single wig-wag on the west side of 9th.


539.3  O Street Intersection

Right-Of-Way Leaves 9th Street

West Switch 1642 Siding

This ends the shared right-of-way for the Riverside Branch in Colton. The intersection employs a single wig-wag to warn autos of rail traffic.

Access to the right-of-way continues on both sides of the tracks, across the dirt lot ahead. Just south (railroad east) of the grade crossing lies the west switch of "Congress siding.


539.6  Congress Street Grade Crossing (SBD27B3)

Old Congress Station

Speed Limit: EB 10 MPH; WB 20 MPH

  This was the Congress Station on the PE.  There are the remnants of five tracks frozen in the asphalt crossing of Congress Street, although the siding is now all that remains of what was once a far more busy location.  The majority of the traffic now includes setouts on the siding track for the industries within a few blocks of here.

  The grade crossing at Congress is protected with an almost comical wig-wag signal, one that must have been struck by a passing vehicle at one time, twisting and bending the target. It wobbles as it wigs, dinging its sad little bell each time it wags.

  Access continues along both sides of the track for the next 0.5 miles towards the Santa Ana River Bridge crossing.


539.7  East Switch 1642 Siding

Signpost EB "5 MPH - BRIDGE"

  This is the east switch of the "Congress" siding.  The signpost, between Congress Street and the switch, indicates that the maximum speed limit across the bridge is a blazing 5 MPH.  The bridge is ancient and rickety enough that even that seems like speeding.


539.9  West-facing 1654 Spur

  The spur separates to the west of the branch and leads down into Plexco, a plastics manufacturing plant that fronts on Jefferson Street.  Plexco manufactures a line of fluorescent orange plastic pipe that finds its way all over Southern California.  Most of the traffic to this plant is covered hoppers, probably full of the raw ingredients for their pipe. Maybe tank cars of fluorescent orange, too.

  The dirt access paths on either side of the tracks continues.  The path on the east side of the tracks will end in a few hundred feet.  The path along the west side of the right-of-way crosses over the 1654 spur and continues south.


540.0  No Milepost Visible (SBD27B4)

West-facing 1650 Spur on 1654 Spur

925' AMSL; +0.6% EB

  The 1650 switch, on the 1654 spur, provides two spur tracks into the facility.  Both of these spur tracks go to a junction switch at the far end of the plant; this switch leads to a

spur that connects to the Santa Fe / Union Pacific mainline 1300 feet west.

  An old signal mast base and signal box base are left along the west side of the tracks.  The access road to the east of the rails ends; the path to the west skirts the signal

footings and continues down into the Santa Ana River wash.

  Note where there used to be a east-facing switch that branched off to the east side of the right-of-way; this switch controlled the east end of a siding that reached all the way back to Congress Street.


540.1  North End Santa Ana River Bridge

  A 1400' trestle bridge carries the tracks across the very tame (deceivingly docile?) Santa Ana River, reduced to a mere trickle by diversion projects and groundwater pumping further upstream; certainly drought has some small part in it.  The north 1100' of the bridge is completely of wooden construction; the final 300 feet still employ wooden stringers but with a steel trestle structure underneath.

  Walking across the bridge is a real thrill.  The planking along the east side of the rails is rotten through and through; in some places the 2x10 planks are actually transparent, with missing nails and long, sinister cracks. This is a dangerous structure to walk on unless you're paid to do so.  Of course, some people even take strings of 200-ton LOCOMOTIVES out onto this bridge!

  The access road that leads down along the west side of the right-of-way drops into the Santa Ana River wash and connects to several paths that lead both up- and downstream. To continue to follow the railroad from here requires either an amphibious vehicle or flanged wheels; lacking these the traveler should go back toward Congress Avenue, go west to La Cadena Drive, then proceed south on La Cadena across the Santa Ana River Bridge.  Immediately south of the bridge a left turn must be made onto Terrace Avenue, passing directly under the Santa Fe / Union Pacific tracks and then continuing south to Vivienda Avenue.  Go east along Vivienda to the overpass at MP540.8.


540.2  Speed Limit: EB 5 MPH; WB 10 MPH

  The speed limit is to inhibit those wild folk who might attempt to cross this bridge at anything greater than a safe and sane speed; anyway, why be in a hurry?


540.3  Cross Santa Ana River Main Channel

  The wooden pilings under the bridge give way to steel pilings for the final few hundred feet of bridge.


540.4  South End Santa Ana River Bridge

  The Santa Ana River channel lies at the south side of the bridge, where the steel piers support the rails.  In November 1989 a brisk stream, some twenty feet wide and a foot or two deep was flowing under this bridge.


540.6  Multiple Powerlines Cross Right-Of-Way (SBD27B5)

Signpost WB "5 MPH - BRIDGE"

Speed Limit: EB 10 MPH; WB 5 MPH


540.7  Leave Colton: Enter Grand Terrace city limits (SBD27A5)


540.8  Vivienda Avenue Overpass

Speed Limit: EB 20 MPH; WB 10 MPH

  The right-of-way climbs up from its close brush with the Santa Ana River, using a narrow, man-made notch in the terrace ahead.

  Vivienda Avenue crosses over the tracks on an old concrete bridge.  Access from La Cadena Drive requires the intrepid driver to pass under the Santa Fe / Union Pacific main line just south of the Santa Ana River crossing, then head south along Terrace Avenue to Vivienda.  Turn east on Vivienda, follow this bluff-edge, winding path around a few kinks in the scarp, and voila!, the railroad awaits.


541.0  945' AMSL; +0.5% EB

  There is no sure access for four-wheeled vehicles between Vivienda Avenue and Barton Road on either side of the tracks; the rails continue to climb up through the man-made cut onto the mesa upon which sits the town of Grand Terrace.


541.1    Barton Road Overpass

Leave Grand Terrace: Enter Colton city limits

  Access along the tracks is via a dirt path along the west side up from De Berry Street.  To get to De Berry from the Barton Road overpass, go west on Barton to Terrace Avenue, then south on Terrace to De Berry Street.


541.2  GRAND TERRACE Station (SBD27A6)

East-facing 2004 Spur

End Colton Yard Limits

Enter Absolute Block Register

  The 2004 spur services the grocery distribution facility located at the northeast corner of Terrace Avenue and Barton Road, west of the tracks.  The switch is immediately south of

the Barton Road overpass.

  The remains of the Grand Terrace Station are in a pile to the east of the tracks, about 300 feet south of Barton Road. There is a concrete foundation wall that still forms the

outline of what was once the station; piles of wooden pallets, wooden scrap and bits of masonry litter the immediate area.

  Note the switch ties on the main track a few hundred feet south of the station; these ties supported an east-facing spur or siding that serviced Grand Terrace station.

  Colton Yard limits end.  All the way to the end of the branch in Riverside is Absolute Block Register Territory; unless under special orders, only a single train may be between here and the end of the branch at one time.


541.3  East-facing 2010 Spur

  Perhaps at one time this spur continued back further toward Grand Terrace Station.


541.4  De Berry Street Grade Crossing

Old Riverside Line Separation

  The long-gone right-of-way for the PE's Riverside line continues along the same heading, paralleling (more or less) the freeway and La Cadena Drive all the way to Riverside Junction in Riverside, about 3-1/2 miles distant.  The right-of-way began a gentle descent through the narrow cut that now guides the powerlines along the same route.

  De Berry Street is named for the De Berry Station on the PE Riverside Line, and De Berry was a employee of the Pacific Electric who happens to have been the father-in-law of a friend of mine.

  Access beyond the bridge over the Riverside Freeway is best made by driving east on DeBerry, then north on La Crosse; make the left onto Barton Road and cross the freeway, continuing to Michigan Avenue.  Turn south on Michigan to Pico Street.  Turn right and return to the railroad tracks at MP541.9.


541.5  Interstate 215 Underpass

Riverside Canal Access Road Grade Crossing

  A four-span, 270'-long steel through-plate-girder bridge carries the single-track branch across the Riverside Freeway (Interstate 215).  There is no room on the bridge for vehicular traffic unless it has flanged wheels at standard gauge (or it's a bicycle...).  The bridge, however, is reasonably walkable.

  About 60 feet south of the south end of the bridge there is a grade crossing for a dirt and gravel access road that parallels the Riverside Canal, an open aqueduct just ahead.


541.6    20' Wooden Bridge over the Riverside Canal

Leave Colton: Enter Grand Terrace city limits

  The railroad passes onto a fill that bridges a northeastªsouthwest-trending gulley about 100 yards across.  The center of the ditch contains the concrete-lined Riverside Canal, an agricultural water conduit that brings water from the Santa Ana River upstream near the Interstate 10/215 interchange down to irrigated fields in the Riverside area.  The canal, about eight feet wide, flows north to south.

  Access to the right-of-way south of the canal to Pico Street is by foot only.


541.9  West-facing 2015 Spur (RIV8A1)

Pico Street Grade Crossing

  The 2015 spur provides service to a large lumber yard about 500 yards east, fronting on Main Street.  Taylor Street parallels the tracks from Pico Street south to Main Street, immediately to the west of the grade.  There is a crossbuck at this intersection, quoth the Raven, nothing more.


542.0  East-facing 2022 Spur

Southern California Edison Highgrove Steam Station

945' AMSL; +0.6% EB

  The 542 mile marker is attached to a signal pole just beyond the 2015 switch. The 2022 spur crosses Taylor Street and heads down into the Southern California Edison facility just west of Taylor Street.


542.1  West Switch HIGHGROVE (2040) Siding


542.2  Main Street Grade Crossing

Leave Grand Terrace: Leave San Bernardino County

Enter Riverside County: Enter County Lands

  The grade crossing is protected with crossbucks and flashing lights.

  Access to the tracks between Main and Center is best done in something other than a four-wheeled vehicle.  For most people, the best method to get from Main Street to Center Street, 0.3 miles railroad east (compass south), is as follows: Go west (downhill) on Main Street to Transit Avenue (fronting on the east side of the Santa Fe main); head south on Transit to Center Street, then east (uphill) on Center to the tracks.

  The prominent peak about two miles due east is Blue Mountain.


542.2  West-facing 2045 Spur

  The 2045 spur separates to the east from Highgrove Siding, providing service to the facility immediately north of Center Street.


542.3  HIGHGROVE Station

Community of Highgrove

  Highgrove has been a station on the railroad since the just after the turn of the century.


542.4  East Switch HIGHGROVE (2040) Siding (RIV8A2)

Center Street Grade Crossing

The east switch of Highgrove is about a hundred feet north of the grade crossing.  Center Street, protected at the railroad crossing with wig-wags and bells, leads west to the Center Street off- and on-ramps at Interstate 215.

  A dirt path (California Avenue) the east side of the tracks allows access between Center and Spring Streets.


542.7  Spring Street Grade Crossing

  A lone wig-wag marks the crossing at Spring; the dirt path (California Avenue) along the east side of the tracks is better defined and continues along the rails to MP542.9 at Spring Brook.  Through and beyond there the path gets quite a bit rougher, but passable.  Go slowly.


542.9  Spring Brook Culvert

  The access road (California Avenue) ends at Spring Brook; a lesser path continues through the bottom of the wash, one that might get real sticky if wet.  Walk it out if there is any uncertainty.  There are also some occasional deep ruts that require very slow going with the small wheels of many modern cars.

  The 1000-foot-long fill that carries the rails over the wash consists of old bricks, masonry remains, concrete foundation debris, perhaps bits of buildings and walls.  Very colorful.

  Spring Brook drains the north side of the Box Springs Mountains, the granitic, rocky mass upslope to the east and south.


543.0  Leave County Lands: Enter Riverside city limits (RIV8A3)

975' AMSL; -0.3% EB

  Slowly but surely all the orchards and farm lands are vanishing along the Riverside Branch; industrial parks and parking lots are taking over the once-peaceful, nearly idyllic countryside.  Get your pictures before it's too late.

  Paved Prospect Avenue now approaches from the west and curves to parallel the tracks, but on the west side of the right-of-way.  The north end of Prospect begins at Center (more or less) and the south end is at Palmyrita Avenue.


543.2    Palmyrita Avenue Grade Crossing

Block Signal: EB D-5432

  The dirt path that followed along the east side of the railroad ends; Northgate Street, paved and a bit more official, continues south, following the tracks immediately to the east of the rails.  To the north, the west side of the tracks is bounded by Prospect Avenue, paved and robust.

  Palmyrita Avenue is protected with the single, lonely wig-wag at the southwest side of the crossing.

  Appropriately enough, there is still the isolated orange grove or two, along with the eternally-scenic (and ever-present) palm trees available for good backdrops when the

Riverside Local rolls by.

  The D-5432 signal provides a distant indication for Riverside-bound traffic approaching the Santa Fe crossing ahead at MP543.9.  Based upon some admittedly preliminary investigations and observations, the 5432 signal does not have the ability to display a green aspect.  The least restrictive possible is yellow; this is if the Santa Fe crossing ahead is clear.


543.3  ORANGE CENTER Station

  As indicated in the SP Timetable.  Otherwise, there is no fame or other notice to this immediate location.


543.4  Columbia Avenue Grade Crossing

  The grade crossing is marked only with crossbucks and no other indicators.  Columbia, an east-west byway, arrows downhill through a deep orange grove.


543.5  Right-Of-Way Curves West

  Northgate Avenue continues to Marlborough Avenue, just over one-tenth mile south.  Turn west on Marlborough to regain the right-of-way.  A finger of the Box Springs mountains stretches far west with its rocky point nearly touching the Santa Fe crossing just ahead.

  The crossing protection signal at MP543.8 becomes visible right here.


543.7  Right-Of-Way Begins Tangent (RIV8A4)


543.9  EB Absolute Interlocking Signal

Marlborough Avenue Grade Crossing

Private Grade Crossing

  The signal protects the crossing ahead; a similar signal 0.2 miles east controls westbound traffic.  However, with the amount of traffic that operates on both the Espee and the Santa Fe branches, it's probable that interference is vanishingly rare.  If the crossing is clear of opposing traffic, an approaching SP train will receive a clear indication (green aspect) from the appropriate facing signal.

  Marlborough Avenue has only crossbucks for crossing protection; there aren't any local obstructions, though, to block the view of either trainman or motorist.

  The unmarked private crossing provides a path to get to the water tank, the surrounding territory above the crossing and to the portals of a tunnel that carry the Gage Canal, another agricultural aqueduct, under the toe of the ridge.  That little promontory, next to the tank, would be a great place for a railfan's house.  What a location for train-watching, if there were any trains.


543.9  Santa Fe Perris Branch Crossing

  The Perris Branch separates from the Santa Fe main back in Highgrove, about 2.2 miles north.  It crosses the SP, curves around the bouldered outcrop of the Box Springs Mountains and passes through the community of Canyon Crest; from there it

follows the base of the escarpment and climbs Box Springs Canyon to its eventual summit in Moreno Valley, about five miles south and east.  The branch is over 30 miles long, following Interstate 215 to Perris and then heading east to Hemet.

  See if you can catch the rare, rare day when both trains are near enough to the crossing that the signals display anything but green.


544.0  Rustin Avenue Grade Crossing

WB Absolute Interlocking Signal

960' AMSL; -0.9% EB

  Nothing protects the railroad crossing at Rustin Avenue; by December 1989 even the single aged crossbuck had either fallen or had been knocked down into the ditch alongside the road.

  The absolute signal immediately east protects the Santa Fe crossing at MP543.9.  A like signal 0.2 miles railroad-west controls eastbound traffic.  If the crossing is clear of opposing traffic, an approaching SP train should receive a clear indication (green aspect) from the appropriate facing signal.

  There is no good trackside path to take the traveler from Rustin to Iowa Avenue.  A dirt path used to parallel the south side of the tracks to Iowa Avenue, but another industrial complex has since taken its place...

  The paved route takes the motorist west on Marlborough to Iowa, then a left turn south.


544.2  IOWA AVENUE Station (RIV7F4)

Block Signal: WB D-5443

Iowa Avenue Grade Crossing

  The tracks cross Iowa Avenue diagonally; a lone wig-wag warns motorists of the approaching train.  (It cannot do a good job of this; in November 1989 the red lamp was out, thus making it impossible to see at night.  I'm sure it was quite a surprise for the speeding drivers on Iowa Avenue when a gigantic black mass, with airhorn hollering and yellow blinking light doing just that, rolled out onto the intersection with no warning.)

  The signal is a distant indication for westbound traffic approaching the Santa Fe crossing at MP543.9.  Based upon some admittedly preliminary investigations and observations, the 5443 signal does not have the ability to display a green aspect.  The least restrictive possible is yellow; this is if the Santa Fe crossing ahead is clear.

  A poor, narrow, rutted path leads between Iowa Avenue and Atlanta Avenue along the south side of the tracks; the trail gets especially narrow just before Atlanta Avenue.

  A hundred feet north of the Iowa Avenue crossing on the west side of Iowa is a large building housing the Safeway Egg Department.  Is this a research and development facility for eggs?  The location for the candling crews?  I don't know.


544.4  West Switch 2060 Siding

West-facing 2062 Spur on Siding Track

  The 2060 siding allows the Riverside local to get around its cars when servicing the various industry tracks located on the 2062 spur.  There are light industries, warehouses and small businesses along the west side of Atlanta Avenue between the railroad crossing at MP544.6 and Marlborough Avenue.


544.5  East Switch 2060 Siding

Atlanta Avenue Grade Crossing

  There is vehicular access between Atlanta Avenue and Spruce Street through the parking lot of the facility just north of the tracks; the truly crazed may try the dirt path along the south side of the tracks.  Toward Iowa Avenue, however, it is nearly impassable; get out of the car and exercise those legs a bit.


544.6  Spruce Street Grade Crossing (RIV7F5)

  The rear parking lot for a building on the southeast corner of Spruce and Chicago abuts the right-of-way, separated by only a low, concrete-block wall.  The crossing protection signals and gates are all recently new.


544.8  Chicago Avenue Grade Crossing (RIV7E5)

State Route 60 / Interstate 215 Overpass

Speed Limit: EB 10 MPH

  Remember: eastbound is towards Riverside, even though at the end of a short winter afternoon the setting sun will get in your eyes as you proceed along, following the increasing mileposts.

  The tracks forge across Chicago Avenue, protected by the second and last set of gates on the Riverside Branch.  The SR60/I215 bridge provides a permanent roof for the grade crossing.

  Access to the tracks to Massachusetts Avenue is mainly by foot only, except at Durahart Street.  However, wandering around this neighborhood at any time might get you a few raised eyebrows; then again, maybe not...


544.9  West-facing 2110 Spur

Durahart Street Grade Crossing

  This spur noses compass-west from the branch track, passing through a few dozen yards of industrial buildings on its way to a dead end after crossing Durahart Street about a hundred feet north of the main track crossing.  The spur dies out between buildings about three hundred feet west of Durahart.


545.0  West-facing 2113 Spur

East-facing 2116 Spur

Massachusetts Avenue Grade Crossing

910' AMSL; -0.6% EB

  Spur 2113 turns compass-south and crosses Massachusetts Avenue, only to dead-end in the weeds at the south side of Massachusetts.  Spur 2116 has a dwarf switchstand and target, and controls a spur that winds into an industrial facility just north of Massachusetts Avenue.

  The branch line crosses Massachusetts Avenue and parallels it to Kansas Avenue.  The crossing is indicated by the presence of crossbucks.



545.2  East-facing 2117 Spur

West-facing 2119 Spur

West-facing 2120 Spur

  Spurs 2117 and 2119 service industries along the south side of Massachusetts; the 2120 crosses Massachusetts and curves compass-north into a facility that fronts on Kansas Avenue.


545.3  Kansas Avenue Grade Crossing

East-facing 2131 Spur

  The grade crossing at Kansas is protected with crossbucks and flashing lights.  The 2131 spur separates to the south of the tracks and heads back toward Kansas Avenue.

  Just west of the 2131 spur lies the remains of another spur track; now it is unconnected to the outside world.

  Further access along the tracks until MP545.8 is mainly by foot.  To get to MP543.8, take Kansas Avenue south to Third Street, turn right (west) and proceed about three-tenths of a mile to the first railroad crossing.  These are the Espee tracks; the next crossings are all Santa Fe and Union Pacific.



Paved Pedestrian Crossing

West-facing Spur (no target)

East-facing 2140 Spur

  Riverside Junction was the crossing-point for the Espee tracks at the Santa Fe / Union Pacific mainline, just a few hundred feet west.  It was at this junction also that the Espee tracks connected with the PE line from Colton.  The current Riverside branch curves compass-south toward its eventual terminus on the east side of downtown Riverside.  The right-of-way that continues west-northwest for a short distance are the remains of the old route into downtown Riverside; this right-of-way headed about 0.5 miles west to a wye at Market Street, where trains shared the right-of-way to downtown with cars.  The tracks also followed Market Street to the north, curving west and eventually crossing the Espee's

Yuma Line main right around MP535, where Cedar Avenue is today.  The line north was called the Riverside-Rialto Line; what little that remains of it is at Crestmore by the cement

plant and is operated by the Union Pacific Railroad.

  The unmarked west-facing switch is the top end of a thousand-foot-long industry track that angles due south, ending about two hundred feet north of Third Street.  The 2140 spur winds north and east into a fenced industrial facility.


545.6  West-facing 2143 Spur

  The 2143 spur employs a curved switch to separate from the branchline.


545.7  West-facing 2145 Spur

  Looking at the alignment, it seems that at one time, long ago, the "diverging" route through the turnout was not the continuation of the branch.


545.8  Third Street Grade Crossing (RIV7D5)

West-facing 2160 Spur

Ex-East-facing Spur

  The Riverside Branch lies about a block east of the Santa Fe / Union Pacific mainline and jointly, all three railroads share a nearly-common corridor through the east side of downtown Riverside along the Riverside Freeway (State Route 91) just about 1000 feet west.  The upcoming half-mile or so of railroad used to be much more busy than it is today; there are still some remnants of this energetic past nearly buried under the asphalt and dirt of time.

  The crossing is protected with crossbucks and flashing lights.


545.9  Fourth Street Grade Crossing (RIV7D6)

West-facing 2162 Spur on 2160 Spur

West-facing Spur

Fifth Street Grade Crossing

  The two switches generate three spur tracks that attempt to service a few concerns along the east side of the right-of-way.  The 2162 spur ends before Fifth Street while the latter two continue in the dust nearly to Sixth Street.


546.0  Sixth Street Grade Crossing

West-facing 5060 Spur

West-facing 2150 Spur

880' AMSL; -0.6% EB

  It seems that the 5060 spur is a veritable fish out of water; its mates are in San Bernardino, on the San Bernardino Branch.  This track crosses Seventh along the east side of the right-of-way, then ends just before the University Avenue subway.

  The 2150 track ends alongside the loading ramp south of Seventh; I have watched car loadings and unloadings (at least I think that's what they were) in the evenings while using truck headlights for illumination.

  There are no signs indicating this crossing.


546.1  Seventh Street Grade Crossing

  A single wig-wag provides protection for this crossing.  Seventh Street is an offramp from the Riverside Freeway, about one thousand feet west.

  A loading ramp rests at the west side of the 2150 spur; it does get a moderate amount of use.


546.2  University Avenue Underpass

Ninth Street Grade Crossing

West-facing 2170 Spur

West-facing Spur

East-facing Spur

  A steel through-plate-girder bridge carries the single-track railroad over the University Avenue subway.  Immediately after the bridge is the 2170 switch; it is generally in the reverse position.  Two other switches just after the 2170 control two seldom (if ever) used tracks.

  This is really the practical end of the Riverside Branch. Beyond Ninth Street the tracks enter a fenced and gated industrial compound; one track exits this compound at Tenth, crosses that street and dead-ends in yet another fenced yard just south of Tenth.


546.3  Tenth Street Grade Crossing

  The tracks are visible through the grade crossing; anything south of Tenth is impassable due to the storage yard behind the plant immediately beyond.


546.4  RIVERSIDE Station

End Of Branch

  The Tenth Street crossing is about 1700 feet south of the 546 Milepost; this adds up to less than 546.4.