Concrete Plants along the peninsula
Anyone remember if there used to be a concrete plant on El Camino somewhere between Menlo Park and Palo Alto, on the left (east) side of El Camino, adjacent to the main line? It was just South of the California Street station, right next to the mainline, about where the SP track used to branch off to Los Altos & Los Gatos. Located immediately south of Ravenswood Ave, bounded by El Camino Real, Ravenswood, and Espee's Peninsula line.
It was used to Peninsula Cap Concrete, then RMC Lonestar. It's now a strip mall with a Chili's
If you have the three SPH&TS books on depots, pull out Volume 1 and turn to page 20 and look at the bottom photo. ( see here on top of this page )
From right to left you'll see the Menlo Park passenger depot; the REA building; and SP's freight depot with a hopper spotted in front, probably waiting to be switched into the concrete plant across the road. Beyond the SP freight depot is Ravenswood Ave., and you can see Pacific Ready Mix's plant in the distance, just off Ravenswood.
A siding came off the mainline, passed the concrete plant (which had a spur into it) and crossed Ravenswood Ave., stopping in front of the SP freight depot. Unfortunately this structure was torn down sometime in the very early 1960s. When Caltrain altered the parking lot around the Menlo Park Commute depot in 1985, the REA building was moved to the spot once occupied by the freight depot.
There were numerous Pacific Ready Mix plants all up and down the Peninsula right-of-way, most all now long ago closed, the land redeveloped for other uses.
There was one at the very north end of San Mateo. This plant is now gone, as are similar concrete plants in Redwood City, Palo Alto (two locations), and Mountain View. One concrete plant in Sunnyvale remains, where Lawrence Expressway crosses the SP Peninsula line.
It's still served by rail, as were the others before their closure.
There was one further north in Redwood City. It was near the Bekins building, south of Woodside Road.
There was what may have been a concrete plant inside the wye at California Avenue / Mayfield in Palo Alto. The structures were removed at least 10 years ago, and just recently the land is showing some signs of being developed.
The plant in San Carlos along Old County Rd is still there and still has rails but the connection to the main has a bumper in it, all loads are by truck.
Palo Alto had two concrete plants, one immediately north of the University Ave. passenger depot, next to Hubbard Johnson lumber, which is also now gone. Both the lumber yard and concrete plant were served by rail. The land is now occupied by the large Palo Alto Medical Foundation complex. The other Palo Alto concrete plant was near California Ave., inside the wye that once served the Los Alto branch. This is also gone, partially occupied by a BMW dealership.
Mountain View also once featured a concrete plant served by the Espee, located at San Antonio road. SP hoppers was spotted there before it was removed. The facility disappeared in the early 1970s, the land used for a shopping complex (The Old Mill) and office space.
Those structures themselves were replaced by a large townhouse development about ten years ago.