mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmBoland Main PagemmSP Employees' PagesmmSP IndexmmErnie Kiesel Collection


The 4321

By Fred Boland, Machinist 1928-1980
Bayshore Shops, Southern Pacific Railroad

In 1938 an engine came in to Bayshore for semi-heavy repairs. All the glass and boiler fittings were smashed or broken and the cab was distorted. It had the somewhat odd number 4321. It had been involved in a comical derailment along the stretch of 3 lane highway between San Jose and Morgan Hill. (It’s now a full fledged freeway).

A farmer crossing the track up and over the embankment in his auto at a private crossing was hit by the train, going at a good rate of speed. The pilot was bent under, derailing the locomotive. It and the train proceeded to roll down off the embankment and up the highway.

A beat up pickup truck was peacefully traveling up the highway. The driver looked back to see what the commotion was, and in frozen horror saw a train coming after him faster than he was going! There was only one thing to do. He ran off the highway into an orchard and hit a tree! I don’t believe he was seriously injured.

The three hooks (wreckers) from Oakland, Bayshore, and San Luis Obispo worked about 3 days picking up the wreck. The men in Oakland were furious. They had taken all new blocking and other equipment - they didn’t have it when they got back. Bayshore did!

The 4321 in later days, after World War II.