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Boxcars from SLO County's first railroad to go on display

A boxcar from the defunct narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railway was moved to the side of the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum on Thursday.
A boxcar from the defunct narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railway was moved to the side of the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum on Thursday. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Two surviving narrow gauge boxcars from the defunct Pacific Coast Railway were moved from storage to an area in San Luis Obispo’s historic railroad district where they can be on display.

The white car weighed 12.25 tons when it was built and is a little over 36 feet long and 7 feet wide. The shingled roof will be removed, as it is not part of the original boxcar. One car will be converted for use as a restroom; the other will be storage for the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum.

The boxcars are from the county’s first railroad. The line that became the Pacific Coast Railway began business in 1876 and was an efficient way for farmers and business to get goods to and from steamers at Port San Luis.

At its peak the line spanned 76 miles from the port to San Luis Obispo, terminating in Los Olivos. By the early 1940s the line was broke and the rails were being pulled up for scrap, made obsolete by the Southern Pacific Railroad and highways.

The museum is planning a grand opening now scheduled for October. The museum is located at 1940 Santa Barbara St. and is seeking donations at the website http://www.slorrm.com.

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