The San Joaquin and Sierra Nevada Railroad was incorporated in March 1882. It was part of a scheme to provide farmers and
ranchers in the northern San Joaquin Valley and in the central Sierra Nevada foothills with a means of transporting their
produce to river steamers and on to the Bay Area, develop timber resources of the region, and encourage tourists to visit
the Calaveras Big Trees. The three-foot gauge line ran initially from Bracks Landing in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
east through Lodi to Wallace. By the spring of 1885 it had been extended to Valley Spring. Three years later the Northern
Railway, a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific, acquired the line, and from that time it was operated by the Southern Pacific.
In 1897 the portion of the SJ&SN from Bracks Landing to the town of Woodbridge near Lodi was abandoned. The remainder of the
track was converted to standard gauge in 1904. The development of limestone and shale deposits occasioned an extension of
the line east from Valley Spring to the Calaveras Cement Company plant at Kentucky House in 1925 and 1926.
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