State Belt San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad By Kaufman w/ dust jacket
State Belt San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad By Kaufman w/ dust jacket
State Belt San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad By Kaufman w/ dust jacket
State Belt San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad By Kaufman w/ dust jacket
State Belt San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad By Kaufman w/ dust jacket

State Belt San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad By Kaufman w/ dust jacket

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State Belt San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad By Kaufman w/ dust jacket
State Belt San Franciscos Waterfront Railroad By William H. Kaufman And Michelle S. Kaufman
Hard cover with Dust jacket 171 Pages
Copyright 2013

1Prologue: Honest Harry
2The Beginnings
3Earthquake & Fire
4Recovery, Market Street and the Exposition
5Progressives and The Great War
6Along the Embarcadero
8The Twenties
9Floats, Ferries, & Tugs
10The Thirties
11The Forties
12The Fifties: The Quiet Decade
13The Sixties: Urban Renewal and Containerization
14The Kyle Years
15The State Belt Lives

The State Belt San Francisco's Waterfront Railroad by William H. Kaufman and Michelle S. Kaufman
This book explains the history of the railroad that served San Francisco's waterfront for over a century. The entire area of the waterfront was owned by the State of California, and therefore so was the railroad. It served all the waterfront piers, from Fisherman's Wharf in the north, to China Basin in the south, and had track beyond Fisherman's Wharf, through a tunnel, to Army facilities at Fort Mason and the Presidio.
But switching the piers was only part of the State Belt's duties. It also served many dozens of industries and warehouses adjoining the waterfront. Interchange with the rest of the United States took place by car float (with the Santa Fe, Northwestern Pacific and Western Pacific) and on land with the Southern Pacific near China Basin.
Until 1946, the Belt used steam switch engines, but then in rapid succession acquired six Alco S-2 switch-ers, being among the first American railroads to achieve complete dieselization.
A number of major events in San Francisco histo, from the Earthquake of 1906, to the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, World Wars I and II, and the Great Depression, all affected the State Belt and in a number of cases, gave the Belt a role to play as well.
But change was arriving all too rapidly. Many indusmoved out of San Francisco, and containerization of seaborne freight traffic increased in the 1960s and 1970s. The need for the services of the State Belt just kept decreasing. In 1969, the City of San Francisco fiacquired title to its Port and to the State Belt; they soon contracted with Kyle Railways in 1973 to operate the railroad. This lasted until 1993. But many remnants of the Belt and its operation remain to be seen in San Francisco.
Extensive research was required to locate photoand history of a railroad that did a lot of its work at night. It is richly documented with 242 photos, most never before published, with informative maps and an index. This definitely is a book for rail historians and for anyone interested in rail-marine connections and in the operation of freight railroads.

For decades, the waterfront of San Francisco was served by a railroad called the State Belt of California. Owned, like the waterfront itself, by the State of California, it operated with steam switch engines until dieselization with Alco power in 1946. It was built to serve the piers and industries of the waterfront area, interchanging with Southern Pacific at King Street, and with Santa Fe, Northwestern Pacific, and Western Pacific by car float.
The State Belt provided switching service, for dozens of industrial spurs, and right onto the piers themselves. But decline set in, despite dieselization, as seaborne traffic became containerand industries moved out of San Francisco. The City of San Francisco obtained title to the Port and the railroad in 1969, and leased the Belt to Kyle Railways in 1973; Kyle's lease and the railroad ended in 1993. But remnants of the Belt are still visible in San Francisco.
Numerous photographs rich in local history, most never before published, lists of industries served, and detailed descriptions of operation, make this the definitive book on the State Belt. Enthusiasts of rail operations and of California railroading will want to own this book.

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