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City of Santa Maria celebrates 140th anniversary of the Pacific Coast Railway

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Posted at 4:04 PM, Apr 15, 2022

The City of Santa Maria celebrated the 140th anniversary of the completion of the Pacific Coast Railway on Friday.

In celebration of the anniversary, city leaders held a big clean-up in the area of the railroad from Morrison and Boone Street.

The history of the railroad goes back to 1882 when Chinese immigrants built the original railroad line.

The tracks were expanded and reached Santa Maria on April 15, 1882, and gave access to local farmers to send their products across the country.

"We're looking future wise at an increase in freight as trucking gets tighter, and eventually excursion trains to invigorate the economy by bringing tourists into Santa Maria and then eventually commuter trains," said Santa Maria Valley Railroad President, Rob Himoto.

Himoto said the plan would be to have those commuter trains coming from San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles.

The railroad is still in use today for produce and fertilizer shipping.