Rocklin Railroad Depot
Rocklin History Tour – Stop 6.
Rocklin’s railroad depot is on Rocklin Road at the corner of Railroad Avenue, next to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The City of Rocklin built it in 2007 to beautify Rocklin’s blighted railroad corridor and to complement the Old Saint Mary’s Chapel restoration in the new Heritage Park across the tracks to the west.
Rocklin’s Chamber of Commerce occupies the north end of the depot building. The ticketing and waiting areas are at the south end.
Rocklin was a passenger stop on the original route of the Transcontinental Railroad as the tracks reached Rocklin from Sacramento in 1864. A railroad timetable from the time lists Rocklin as a stop between Junction, now Roseville and Pino, now Loomis. The passenger depot might have been makeshift, possibly a railcar on a siding, because railroad records show that Rocklin’s first depot building was built in 1867 at about the same time as the construction of Rocklin’s roundhouse. That depot was at the same spot as today’s depot and included a telegraph office and John Sweeney’s saloon. A freight depot was on the opposite side of the tracks.
That original depot burned down in 1891. A second depot, built at the same spot that same year, was demolished in 1940; a victim of Rocklin’s faltering Depression Era economy.
In the late nineteenth century out-of-towners traveled to Rocklin by rail for warm weather picnicking and outdoor Saturday night dances sponsored by Rocklin’s Volunteer Fire Department. The firemen once located their dance floor on the flat topped hill across Rocklin Road from the depot.
To learn more about the History of Rocklin, visit www.rocklinhistory.org.
- Gary Day / photos by Roy Salisbury