The State Belt
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The State Belt

William H. Kaufman, Michelle S. Kaufman

San Francisco’s Waterfront Railroad. 180 pages 21x28 cm; photos; drawings, roster, bibliography, index. Publisher's description:

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 switchers, being among the first American railroads to achieve complete dieselization.

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