From the book "Rails & Wires: Electric Transit in California"
Interurban Press, © 1975
...Sierra Foothill's southern line
reached San Fernando in 1897, and the extension to Silverstone was completed soon after. For several years, however, construction on the final linkage to Los Angeles was delayed due to financial difficulties brought on by the recession of the late 1890's, and traffic on their southern division remained light. Ironing out an agreement in 1901 with the Silverstone & San Pedro
to transfer passengers from Sierra Foothill's
station in Silverstone to and from the S&SP
terminal in downtown Los Angeles increased revenue about fifteen percent, but the line remained on the sharp edge of break-even for several more years until the last spike was driven on the Los Angeles link in 1905.
Soon after, passenger revenue increased almost two-hundred percent on the route. It was now possible to take a single train from Los Angeles to the cities of Goldfield, Sacramento, and San Pablo, rather than the four (or even five!) trains the old coast route took. This elimination of train changes shaved nearly seven hours off the trip as well.
Alarmed at this loss of revenue, California Coastal
and California Pacific
railways restructured their schedules, and the jointly owned Coast Range Railway
lost what little independence it had, becoming a separate company in name only. Pacific Electric
trains still ran from Los Angeles to Buena Ventura, where passengers could transfer to California Coastal
trains for the trip north (via California Coastal, Coast Range
and California Pacific
trackage), but now that trip was done on a single train, without the need for the changeovers at San Luis Obisbo and Franklin that had formerly caused so many delays.
However this restructuring came too late. While the companies managed to hang onto enough passengers to make the coastal route pay its way, it never returned to being the big money-maker it had been prior to the Sierra Foothill
The final insult came in 1925, for when the Ferrocarril Imperial de Méjico
chose partners for the California leg of its Azteca Express
(that continually popular imitation of Europe's Orient Express
), it picked the Silverstone & Jade
and the Sierra Foothill...