ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

California History Bits: The Ocean Shore Railroad (In Poetic Format)

Updated on January 29, 2018
DzyMsLizzy profile image

As a born-and-raised San Francisco native, Liz has long had a fascination with the history of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.

That Old Ocean Shore

Way back when, before my time, there roared a train.

Steam trains then, they were; belching great black gouts of smoke.

Big ideas, influential people dreamt it up:

A scenic ride: San Francisco to Santa Cruz and back.

And so they started laying tracks, out toward the southern end of town.

And through the City, they would roll, 'til

Beyond the City Line they chugged, and up the hill toward shore.

Cresting the hill, reached the bluff, ah: here their troubles began.

Sandy cliffs and dunes unfriendly to monster machines.

Mother Nature disapproved, and landslides were a plague.

But on they pushed, and persevered, building along the cliffs,

or blasting tunnels through the rock.

What a wild and scary ride!

One-way tracks, down and back: no room for two abreast.

To finish faster, they thought it smart to start both ends at once.

So from Santa Cruz they also built: to meet in the middle,

Echoing the grand meeting of the transcontinental tracks.

Alas, 'twas not to be: ne’er did they meet;

(20 miles bridged by omnibus.)

But still the travelers came, and rode to play by the sea.

Ocean Shore RR Engine #6


Landslides and earthquakes, all played their part.

'Til the ‘big one’ in 1906 buckled the tracks

and did it in.

Resurrection, they did try;

but the writing was already writ.

More cars, more roads, more weather woes.

By 19 and 12, the tracks ripped up, gone;

leaving only the roadbed scar.

Still it perches, here and there along cliffs,

and you can walk--where trains once ran.

Though sometimes in the still of night

in the dark of the moon when the fog creeps in

If you listen closely, still you can hear;

The echo

of that long ago

Last whistle.

© 2010 Liz Elias


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)