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Daily Alta California.
July 17th, 1874.

The Monterey and Salinas Narrow Gauge Railroad
Recently, while resting for a day in the old town of Monterey, looking out upon its beautiful bay from teh cool slopes of its western site, and listening to the old familiar tones that came from the still restless ocean, we could not help paying tribute mentally to the old Fathers and the old soldiers of old Spain, who made that spot the seat of their California empire. And then thoughts contrasted the present with the past, the dead city of to-day with the live and lovely one that was founded and flourished here, in the Spanish fashion, for nearly four score years, until the advent of the "northern hordes" of our people. The site is as lovely as ever; a wide spread of land descending from the pineclad hill which protects it from the full rush of the ocean Summer wind; a climate cool and invigorating; a soil sandy and dry, even in the wet season; with enough of the old Spanish mementoes of the past, adobe houses and church and people to set the mind reflecting.

Then one thinks of the surrounding capacity of the soil, fine crops of grain in the very vicinity of the town, and a production in the country exceeded by only two other counties, and only to the extent of a few bushels by them. Last year its wheat crop reached nearly twelve hundred thousand centals, lacking only a trifle thatof each of the two greatest wheat producing counties in the State, Stanislaus and San Joaquin. Much of this grain, most of it indeed, is the product of the Salinas Valley. It is calculated that this Valley alone will produce the present season one hundred and fifty thousand tons of wheat. The Southern Pacific Railroad can scarcely transport this wheat to San Francisco or Oakland for less than four dollars and a half per ton, and the business is not profitable at that price. Under such circumstances, certain wide-awake men have formed a company with Mr. Abbott, the famous dairy man, at its head, to build a railroad from Monterey to Salinas, eighteen miles.

The route has been surveyed and located. Gangs of men are hard at work grading the road-bed. A force is at work on the south-west side of the town of Salinas, building the depot. Gangs were at work along the line in the town of Monterey, throwing up the roadbed. Their work-shops there are already built, and mechanics in them were two weeks ago busily at work manufacturing platform cars. The road has almost a level route between the tow towns. From Salinas it follows the east back of the river of that name, almost in a straight line to within a few miles of Monterey Bay, when it bends nearly at a right angle to the south, crosses the Salinas River and passes along a short distance from the shores of the Bay of Monterey to the new wharf now in process of being built into the Bay, to be a thousand feet or more in length. A week or two ago it was off to thirty feet of water at low tide. This road is to be narrow gauge, and its cost, all things completed, is estimated at about a quarter of a million of dollars.

Now what may be the effects of the construction of this road? The calculation is that the company will be able to transport a large portion of the grain of the Salinas Valley to shipping at their wharf in Monterey for two dollars and a half per ton, a saving of atleast two dollars to the farmer. Should the road interefere with the business of the Southern Pacific road, in diverting a portion of the grain of the Salinas Valley from that road to the Monterey and Salinas road, it will probably more than overbalance this by causing a great increase of travel over the Southern Pacific, of persons seeking a pleasant watering place for their Summer vacation at Monterey. When it is known that parties can reach that fine old town by rail, hundreds will avail themselves of the chance, who would not go there by sea. And looking at the enterprise disinterestedly, we think there is a fortunate future for Monterey, close by; that the new narrow gauge railroad will provide a success, that will benefit rather than injure the Southern Pacific and the enterprise prove a very fortunate one.
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