February 22, 1856: Sacramento Valley Railroad completed from Sacramento to Folsom.
"At 11 am on Washington’s Birthday, the Sacramento Valley Railroad inaugurates service to Folsom, as the locomotive “Sacramento” with a string of passenger and flat cars in tow leaves “Old” Sacramento’s Front Street and heads up the tracks of R Street. It is soon followed by the “Nevada,” which breaks down before covering the full 22.9 miles to Folsom. But the politicians and local citizenry from both locomotives eventually arrive at Folsom’s Meredith Hotel where they enjoy a “Railroad Ball” that lasts until the next morning. While the Sacramento Valley Railroad incorporates on August 4, 1852, making it the first railroad west of the Mississippi, the Arcata and Mad River Railroad becomes operational sooner on December 15, 1854. The business plan calls for the Sacramento Valley Railroad to run through Folsom up to Marysville but construction costs are 50 percent more than anticipated so the line terminates at Folsom. The railroad’s chief engineer is Theodore Judah, a railroad engineer from New York, who later holds the same job with the Central Pacific Railroad and is one of the early advocates of running track up and through the Sierra Nevada to create a transcontinental railroad. Judah doesn’t live to see it happen, dying of yellow fever in November 1863, which he contracts in Panama returning to New York from California." -Friends of the California Archives
Source: Friends of the California Archives
Author: William Prusso
I've been a train junkie all my life... from the first Athearn tank car my dad bought me when I was about 4 to a full 14x16 foot HO layout in my barn, an ON30 layout in my office, an N gauge layout and I just started on a Z gauge.. I've been hooked all my days.