Wednesday, July 19, 2017

La Patera, Part I

From the beginning I have had La Patera on the plan for the Santa Barbara Subdivision.  Somehow when we first laid down the roadbed and the tracks, La Patera was bypassed.  Now we are going back and putting it in.

La Patera is Spanish for duck pond.  It was the name of the ranch of Sherman Stow just west of Santa Barbara and may have been named after a pond on the property or the nearby Goleta Slough which was the home of countless waterfowl.

From the time tracks were first laid north from Santa Barbara in the Autumn of 1887, there has been a station named La Patera.  When the tracks were realigned in 1901, the station remained.  Some businesses grew up at the site and it is currently the only location in the greater Santa Barbara area that receives rail service.

Over the years, businesses that received rail service included:

Goleta Lemon Association - 1935 
US Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara - 1942
–County Lumber
–Hayward Lumber [The only Santa Barbara business currently getting rail service.]
La Patera Team Track
Sears Roebuck  [Direct Relief International - no known rail service]
Shrode-Nelson Produce - 1944
– A1/Don Cabinet Co
–Fabri Print Co.

Amtrak now has a platform at La Patera that acts as its Goleta facility for the Pacific Surfliner.
There are ten trains per day.  Six that teminate or originate at Goleta - 3 from San Diego via LA and 3
 to San Diego via LA.  Four additional trains stop as they pass to and from San Luis Obispo.  Amtrak
 also has a service track to wash the cars.

La Patera SPINS (Southern Pacific Industrial Numbering System) showing tracks at La Patera including Sears and Shode-Nelson Produce track 3131, Goleta Lemon Association 3138,  Hayward Lumber 3137 and the Goleta Siding 3141.
The biggest business at La Patera for the railroad was the Goleta Lemon Association.  They would routinely have   cars for the railroad each day.  Here is a photo I took.

and some recent aerial views  

For comparison, here is a link to an aerial photo of the plant when it was in full production back in the 1950's

Notice the cars at the plant, the cull bin and also the produce sheds on the track closer to the main.

Here are some rough sketches I did of what I would like to include on the SPSBSUB:

 More later when I get some track in.

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