San Joaquin Valley Railroad

The San Joaquin Valley Railroad (SJVRR) was incorporated in 1859 to “provide rail service for the communities of the San Joaquin River". As a practical matter this means a railroad that parallels the right bank of the San Joaquin River from Stockton southeast to Merced.

The 1859 mini-game determined that the SJVRR was able to obtain funding necessary to begin construction.

Proposed Route

The railroad will follow this proposed route – near present-day SH99

  • Beginning in Stockton – near the existing port at the San Joaquin River
  • 7 mi south to French Camp
  • 15 mi south crossing the Stanislaus River at Murphy’s Ferry (present day Ripon)
  • Approx 11 mi southeast crossing the Tuolumne River at TBD depot (present day Modesto)
  • Approx 23 mi southeast crossing the Merced River at TBD depot (near present day Livingston)
  • Approx 18 mi south crossing numerous creeks to Merced

The numerous river crossings and the many creeks that flood annually make this plan noteworthy, but there is little elevation needed to be conquered.

Current Operations – Stockton to French Camp

By the end of 1859, the company has completed the Stockton station and laid track one mile past its first major station in French Camp. There are ongoing accusations that progress is slowing because the SFSJ railroad is gobbling up iron for rail ties.

At this rate, the railroad might not be completed until 1865!

Management and Funding

The SJVRR is owned by a consortium of California businessmen with extensive investment from landowners in the southern Gold Country and the large farms and ranches of the valley. Charles M Weber serves as president.

The completed railroad is expected to cost over $1,500,000. Operational costs are likely to run at least $250,000 per year.

  • At least $1,100,000 for the track itself ($15K per mile)
  • $20,000 for right of way and demolition in Stockton
  • $5,000 for right of way and demolition in French Camp
  • $10,000 for right of way and demolition in Merced
  • $150,000 to bridge the Stanislaus, Tuolume & Merced Rivers
  • $100,000 in smaller crossings
  • $70,000 for station & depot facilities
  • $20,000 to found new towns at the Tuolumne & Merced River crossings and encourage settlement
  • $30,000 for engines and equipment

The company has raised $350,000 in working capital, including $25,000 in secured debt provided by the City of Stockton and $150,000 pledged from mining companies in Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.

San Joaquin Valley Railroad

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