Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
San Fernando Tunnel
Newhall, California

Early 1900s colorized penny postcard by H.T.T. Co. reads, "5322. Entrance to San Fernando Tunnel, California. San Joaquin Valley Line, So. Pac. R.R."

Note the sign reading, "All Trains - 7 Minutes - Tunnel."

Back reads: "San Fernando Tunnel. This view, both novel and picturesque, shows in a slight degree the obstacles overcome in constructing the Southern Pacific through the mountains traversed by the Southern Pacific."

A thousand Chinese rail workers spent the better part of a year — and an unknown number gave up their lives — digging the San Fernando Railroad Tunnel. At 6,940 feet, it was the third longest tunnel in the United States when it was completed July 14, 1876. (The tracks went in and the first engine poked its head through in August.) The tunnel, along the Southern Pacific Railroad's San Joaquin Line, linked the San Fernando Valley (at the Newhall Pass) with the Santa Clarita Valley (in Railroad Canyon), facilitating the conjoinder in September 1876 of northern California with Southern California at Lang in present-day Canyon Country.

LW2127: 19200 dpi jpeg from samller jpeg | Online image only.

Southern Pacific Tunnels Through. Story by Alan Pollack


Storm Damage 1884


C. Watkins Stereoview ~1877


Photo ~1898




Postcard ~1910


Approach 1952

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