Belt Line Railroad Construction"Another construction view looking South on The Embarcadero. Curbing is being installed to the left and on the other side may be seen piles of basalt rock torn up from the old pavement." - National Archives and Records Administration
“The San Francisco Belt Railroad was a short-line railroad along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. It began as the State Belt Railroad in 1889, and was renamed when the city bought the Port of San Francisco in 1969. The railroad ceased operation in 1993.
The railroad connected the Port of San Francisco to many waterfront docks and to industries and warehouses which were adjacent to the waterfront. It had 67 miles (108 km) of trackage and its general offices were in the Ferry Building. Its function was to switch railroad cars from four major railroads to points along its system and vice versa. At the southern portion of the line, a track along King Street (passing the location now occupied by AT&T Park) connected with the Southern Pacific. Present-day light-rail trains now traverse this route. A train ferry slip at Pier 43 allowed interchange with the Northwestern Pacific, the Western Pacific, and the Atchison, Topeka & Sante Fe railroads. To reach its northern terminus in the Presidio, the line passed through Fisherman’s Wharf, Aquatic Park, and a tunnel under Fort Mason.”
Although this railroad line was first founded in 1889, the New Deal was involved in further construction along the Embarcadero.
Though the railroad is no longer in use, parts of the old tracks remain and parts have been rebuilt as the Muni (light rail) Embarcadero line.
Need more information on specific agencies involved. For information and images of abandoned belt line tracks see: http://www.abandonedrails.com/San_Francisco_Belt_Railroad
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