Calaveras Road had a railroad — kind of

Calaveras Road looking east from Milpitas near Piedmont Road.

Anyone who rides a bike on Calaveras Road knows how hard it is in the first mile leaving Milpitas.

That steep slope didn’t stop engineers from moving a steam shovel to help build Calaveras Reservoir.

In 1916, for those of you too young to remember, a huge steam shovel was transported up the hill to the dam site.

They laid track, using two steam engines to haul it up the steep grade, which is 15 percent or more in places.

The track was ripped up and repositioned all the way to the dam site.

I didn’t believe it possible, but the San Jose Mercury News ran a photo. See below.

Calaveras Road with a “rail line” in 1916.

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