Kern Junction is the center of railroading in Kern County. Located just east of the ex-Southern Pacific Depot in Bakersfield, it is the location where BNSF (previously Santa Fe) trains join the UP (ex-SP) line over Tehachapi Pass. Also, it is the junction of the ex-SP Buttonwillow Branch which is now operated by the San Joaquin Valley Railroad. The location once included an interchange yard used for traffic off of the Sunset Railway and a manual interlocking tower. Both have been removed for years and all control of the junction is done by remote dispatchers. It remains today as one of the busiest railroad spots in the area.
Map Note: Road shown in gray as "Business 58" is actually Truxtun Avenue West of Sumner Street, and Edison Hwy. East of Sumner Street. I have never heard of, nor is there any local signage that refers to these roads as "Business 58".
Directions to Kern Junction from Highway 99 in Bakersfield:
Exit Highway 99 at California Avenue; Travel east on California Avenue approximately 1/4 mile to Oak Street; Travel north on Oak Street over the BNSF railroad yard overpass to Truxtun Avenue (immediately north of overpass); Travel east on Truxtun Avenue approximately 3 miles to Baker Street; Travel north on Baker Street approximately 1/4 mile to Sumner Street (SP Depot); Travel east on Sumner Street approximately 1/2 mile to location of Kern Junction.
Nearest services: Kern Junction is located east of downtown Bakersfield in a somewhat low-income urban neighborhood. Gas, food, lodging and retail businesses can be located within 5 miles of Kern Junction, mostly toward downtown and the major highways to the west. Limited services can be found east of Kern Junction along the railroad line, mostly in the area of Weedpatch Highway (about 4 miles east).
Links to maps of other places of interest in the Central/East Bakersfield area
West of Kern Junction:
Old Amtrak Depot/East end of BNSF Yard
New Amtrak Depot (Opening July 2000)
UP (ex-SP) Bakersfield Depot
East of Kern Junction
Quantico (East end of UP Bakersfield Yard)
Magunden (SJVR Arvin Branch Junction)