I haven’t made an update in a while, so now I’ll give a brief overview of the Gibraltar Branch as I have it envisioned.
The Gibraltar Branch, opened in 1890, starts just south of Carpinteria at Carpinteria Junction (MP 383.2 on the Coast Line, MP 0.0 of the branch), in the Real World (in future I’ll be abbreviating that as “RW”) roughly at Wave. A 10′ x 12′ telegraph office is located here, which was retired in 1940 and used as a shed ever since.
At MP 1.8 is Cate, where passenger trains stopped until 1932, when Carpinteria’s local bus service was extended to Cate and Petrolia. The 7′ x 9′ shelter shed still stands, in use as a bus stop. A siding starts here, running as a ‘second track’ to just past Petrolia – which has been described in a previous post.
Heading east from Petrolia we reach Jameson Lake at MP 18.5. The town was established in 1881 as an orcharding settlement, and a modified CS #16 depot was built when the line was opened in 1890. The freight house is 25′ x 60′, and there is a 24′ extension shelter on the waiting room end, and a full-length gable roof. The lake itself was created with the construction of Juncal Dam in 1916, and a resort was opened on the lake in 1918, which made for a significant boost for passenger traffic. Passenger service ceased in the 1950s; by 1966, only lemons and grapefruit were shipped by rail from here.
At Jameson Lake, the line turns north, and at MP 23.3 is the town of Agua Caliente. This was settled by Hungarian settlers in 1883 and known as Heviz until 1930, when the town’s Hungarian name was simply translated to Spanish. There is a CS #26 depot here (passenger and baggage section only) and a separate 60′ x 12′ freight house, as well as a section house. Agricultural products – navel oranges and walnuts – are the primary commodity shipped out from here in 1966, though a few small local light industries make shipments through the freight house. The Santa Ynez River is channelised inside the town limits.
At MP 27.0 we reach the village of Santa Isabel. There is a CS #11 depot here; grapes and lemons are shipped from here.
The branch ends at the town of Gibraltar (MP 31.5). Established in 1872, the town managed to grow and industrialise some, and by 1966 reached a population of 7500, and has some modern industry besides agriculture – notably Turlough and Rose Drainage & Irrigation Service which, aside from installing and maintaining the irrigation systems of many of the orchards and farms in the area, manufactures said equipment too; there’s also a bulk oil dealer, and possibly another small industry that receives/ships in boxcars. There is a water tower and a turntable here, and an ice stand for icing reefers. The line was surveyed as far north as Santa Ynez via Paradise and Windsor (see the map I posted previously), and grading work was started, but the construction was abandoned with only 2 miles graded west of the town.
So, that’s a brief summary of the line, and none of this is really set in stone yet. But in my experience in building alternate-history worlds, I’ve found it helpful to start with a ‘global’ overview, and then work out the details from there; I’ll post more of that as time passes.