The Central California Traction Company - Lodi, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 38° 08.056 W 121° 16.315
10S E 651449 N 4222122
Quick Description: This mural resides in front of the Lodi Fire Department along Pine Street in the heart of downtown Lodi.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 4/9/2014 5:51:37 PM
Waymark Code: WMKG1R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 2

Long Description:
Located in front of the Lodi Fire Department is a well-painted mural of the Central California Traction Company (CCTC) which once offered an electric rail line from Lodi to Stockton and later to Sacramento in the early 1900s. The following text comes from the CCTC website to describe the history of this former rail line:

Incorporated on August 7, 1905, the Central California Traction Company was originally conceived as a second streetcar line for the citizens of Stockton as an alternative to the Stockton Electric Railroad. September 1, 1907 saw the beginning of electric passenger train service between Stockton and Lodi, in direct competition with Southern Pacific Railroad. By August 1910, the line had reached Sacramento and passenger trains began through service. Almost immediately came freight service as well. CCT's freight operations carried merchandise, livestock, and produce (primarily grapes, strawberries, and sugar beets). At its peak, CCT was operating 36 passenger trains a day, over and above its freight operations.

Because of CCT's interurban style of operations, CCT used overhead wires in the cities of Stockton, Lodi, and Sacramento, but power between the cities was fed by a covered third rail that was energized at 1200 volts DC. CCT was one of the first railroads to use the high tension DC power in the United States. Power in the cities was still at 600 volts by catenary.

CCT underwent a management change in 1928 when CCT's owning family tried to sell the company to the Southern Pacific. What followed was a struggle for control between the WP, ATSF, and SP Railroads. Ultimately in 1936, the ICC decided that the three railroads would share CCT. While the struggle for control raged, CCT fell to the economic climate of the times and on February 4, 1933, CCT's last interurban passenger train made its final run. CCT's freight operations continued under electricity, but demands on power created service problems. And, in 1946, CCT made the switch from electricity to diesel with the arrival of a pair of GE 44-tonners. On December 24, 1947, CCT dropped their pantographs for the last time... CCT was dieselized. CCT has provided 100 years of service to the Central Valley, that is, from 1905 to 2005.

This mural is a wonderful representation of artistic elements that one might have seen in advertising from the days of electric train service, think Art Nouveau. In addition to subdued, pastel colors, many of the shapes in the mural have painted drop shadows, giving them a 3D-ish look and feel. The train cars at the top of the mural form a a nice bordering element, each numbered in order and add to the mural's train station look and feel. I did some research on the Lodi Railway Station and discovered that it was once located in this exact location but was moved in 1999 one block south to make way for the Amtrak service.

City: Lodi

Location Name: Lodi Fire Department

Artist: Head West Walldogs

Date: 5/26 thru 5/29/2006

Media: Paint over brick

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

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