It’s perhaps the most visible landmark across the flatlands of western San Joaquin County – a cluster of tall, white silos bearing the Holly Sugar brand – which can be seen from miles away, towering above the landscape north of Tracy.

Here’s a preview of our upcoming article on the Holly Sugar refinery in Tracy and how it was served by rail and barge.

Holly Sugar Silos, Tracy, Calif. (Photo)

A General Electric 25-ton switcher snoozes beneath the silos at Holly Sugar’s Tracy plant.

Holly Sugar (Sugar Cut, Tracy CA, Circa 1930s Photo)

Prior to the extension of the “Sugar Spur,” beets were transported to the sugar mill via barge via Sugar Cut, a man-made inlet dug from Tom Paine Slough to the refinery.

Holly Sugar Refinery (1930s Photo)

The sugar refinery at Tracy, circa 1930s.

Southern Pacific Beet Train (Photo)

A train loaded with sugar beets arrives in the Southern Pacific’s yard on the west side of Tracy, having just traversed the Altamont Pass on its way into the Central Valley

Holly Sugar (Tracy) SPINS Map

A 1973 Southern Pacific “SPINS” map – a handy “aid to navigation” for train crews – showing the track schematic at the Holly Sugar plant.
(Click to enlarge)

Holly Sugar Spur (March 2008 Photo)

Switch 7470 on the Sugar Spur, just inside the gate (March 2008 Photo)


Railtown Tracy (Home Page Link)