Whatever happened to the Butte County Railroad? It's a hiking trail!

Real Estate Agent with North Star Real Estate calBRE:01788153

Paradise Memorial Walking Trail

Established by Diamond Match Company in the early days of 1900.  Butte Co Railroad known as BCRR ran tracks between Chico, Durham, and Sterling City.  


Four depots were formed, all built to serve the Diamond Match Company operations in Sterling City and Barber.  BCRR soon added passenger and cargo services and Paradise formed the heart of a new Downtown and was the economic engine driving development for the town.  


Soon the BCRR began to transport lumber and passengers from Sterling City. The now southern Pacific tracks ran between Chico, Durham and Sterling City. Regular train services between Chico and Magalia began November 2, 1903. Magalia deport was completed soon thereafter. Around April 8, 1904 Lumber and passengers were transported from Stirling City.  Walking trail in Paradise California

A famous train crash occurred in 1909. A new engineer lost control coming down from Magalia and a crash between Pearson and Neal road, killed two people.  The rails were operated openly by Southern Pacific after 1912. 


Diamond Match Company wooden box Stirling City CaliforniaStirling City sawmill closed operations on January 31, of 1958. Train operations were irregular at best until the Stirling city stud mill reopened in February of 1964. When the stud mill closed permanently the train tracks lay abandoned. 


The last train traveled on these tracks in 1974.The
rails were removed by Southern Pacific Railroad and
the roadbed now serves as a memorial trail for biker
and hikers still today.  

Comments (2)

Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Suzi - interesting, especially for me.  My grandfather was a "truck driver" (a horse and wagon) at that mill nearly 100 years ago.  He and my grandmother lived in Chico, where my mom was born.

Nov 16, 2011 09:31 AM
Suzi Enders
North Star Real Estate - Paradise, CA
Paradise California Realtor

Thanks to folks like your grandparents who lived it, we have this history.  Thanks for sharing.

Sincerely Suzi 

Nov 16, 2011 09:56 AM