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SN motors 660 and 661 lead a westward freight through the Montclair district in Oakland. This is just west of the bridge across Mountain Blvd. (the street shown in the background). <i>Courtesy of John Stashik</i>


SN motors 660 and 661 lead a westward freight through the Montclair district in Oakland. This is just west of the bridge across Mountain Blvd. (the street shown in the background). Courtesy of John Stashik

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Guest   [May 28, 2004 at 09:43 PM]
This fill stretched all the way from the Mountain Blvd overcrossing to a point behind Montclair Grammer School where it was on a shelf on the east side of a hill which took it nearly to the Thornhill overcrossing. This fill remained intact till the early 60's when it was trucked away for ???. Maybe construction of the Warren Freeway? At the south end the cement retaining wall which both held back the fill and held up the bridge still stands today on the west side of Mountain Blvd all by its lonesome across from its eastside mate. The fill effectively seperated the school (on eastside) from Montclair Park (on westside). Sometime after either the school or the park was built a pedestrian walkway was drilled through allowing passage between the two sites.
sndave1954   [Jan 26, 2005 at 06:18 AM]
Yes, the row is still intact from Thornhill to the Montclair school play yard. It is kind'a behind the old fire station too, but you'd have to climb up to the top of the hill, where the old fire lookout tower(?) used to be and then descend down the Mountain Blvd side of the hill to get to the row.
Jon   [Dec 20, 2004 at 07:19 PM]
This is one of the few pictures I have seen of the SN around Montclair Park. Is the ROW somewhat intact on the small hill between Thornhill Road and Montclair Park (just behind the old firehouse)?
Guest-fan   [Apr 22, 2007 at 05:32 PM]
Watched those trains pass by the school yard while at recess between 1951 and 1953. Great memories.
Tom Motter   [Mar 20, 2008 at 07:56 PM]
The Montclair School was built in 1924. The Montclair Park was built in 1939. The "tunnel" from the school through to the Park had to have been put in in 1939. The Warren Freeway was constructed in the mid-50's and completed by 1956. the grade crossing coming off of the Thornhill tressle went across the Warren Freeway, complete with grade crossing gates and lights. The ROW is all but gone on the hill behind the school. No evidence of the "shelf" exists today and as mentioned above, the fill between the "natural" hill and the Mountain Blvd. overcrossing was completely taken away.....I don't know when, but it was after 1963, the year that I moved away from Colton Blvd, overlooking the Montclair School.
sndave1954   [Mar 21, 2008 at 10:08 PM]
1939 seems to be the logical time for the tunnel connecting the school and the park to have been cut through the fill of the row. No reason before that as I think the park was the location of a dairy farm. I do believe the row from Thornhill south to approximately half way along the back of the school is still there though, simply because it has no place to go, at least it was still there in the 80's when I last saw it. It runs high above the backyards of the houses on Mountain Blvd and looking at the location on Google Earth there is no evidence of the homeowners cutting into the hill to extend their backyards. It's just like the row from Moraga north to the location where Florence Ave used to cross the row, overgrown with bushes and trees -but still there. On Goole Earth you can follow the location of the fill between the park and the school by starting at 37*49'49.66"N by 122*12'46.68"W where the hill and the existing row end south through the building, to the right above of the pond, through the west tennis court of the double tennis courts at the base of Colton Ave and to the northern support wall for the MB trestle. Sure seems to be a lot more houses on Colton then in the above picture!
Guest_sntrj   [Mar 11, 2013 at 03:37 AM]
Grew up a few blocks away on Colton. Too young to see the trains, but old enough to remember walking through the corrugated drain pipe "tunnel" between the school and the park. The fill was removed in 1963-1964. Primary reason was to make more space for school grounds - and also to eliminate a major liability risk to the city. The "upper playground" (level with Mountain Blvd. at Colton) and the main playground (level with Mountain Blvd. at Cabot Dr.). Both were expanded westward. The burgeoning Montclair population put pressure drove the need for portable classrooms and more playground space. The northeast corner of Montclair Park was expanded with the absence of the fill - The duck pond was expanded slightly and some small water feature installed...a couple of new swings and play structures were added at that time, too.

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