As was its practice, the Santa Fe Railroad built its smaller stations out of set plans, and it looks like this one, in Solana Beach during the 1920s, came from the New Mexico collection even though it’s just steps from the Pacific Ocean.

This photo, from the Ed Fletcher Papers collection at the UC San Diego library, has a swell looking car parked next to the station and a couple of folks waiting for the train. My guess on the car is that it’s a 1925 or ’26 Hudson… I think I see the Hudson triangle logo on the radiator and drum-type headlight buckets that are partially painted.

The information on the photo says it was taken between 1920-29. I’d say it’s no earlier than late 1924, because that’s when the 1925 Hudsons would have been in production. But what do I know?

The station was located somewhere around today’s Coast Highway (U.S. 101 after 1926) and Lomas Santa Fe Drive. Around this time, Rancho Santa Fe was developed and folks could get off the train here to go to their estate at The Ranch, just a few miles east.

And the station? Santa Fe cut back on stops during the 1960s and I don’t have any child-memory of the station. Del Mar was the area depot until 1995, when the Amtrak station was moved to Solana Beach. Today, it’s a major stop on the Amtrak Surfliner and located in a trench below the Coast Highway.

Update: I had a comment from Clifford Prather on the Old Highway 101 Facebook page: “The Solana Beach depot was built with adobe bricks by a developer and then deeded to the Santa Fe Railway in 1924. The railroad used the depot from 1924 to 1938 and again from 1941 to 1950. The building was removed in 1964.” Source: Santa Fe Railway—Coast Line Depots: Los Angeles Division, Lee Gustafson and Phil Serpico, Omni Publications, 1991, ISBN-13: 978-0884180036). So, perhaps it wasn’t from a standard set of Santa Fe Railroad plans. Thanks for the comment!


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