Southern Pacific Coast Division / District Photosxxxxxxxxxxxxxlast addition: 7-2023xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxSP IndexxxxWx4 Index

Wx4 photos, except as noted

Santa Clara: EB down #33 track at Brokaw
~ 9-1963

Santa Clara: Caltrain #77, visitor; 7-20-1992; Don Jilson

Santa Clara: pushme-pullyou; 7-20-1992; Don Jilson

Santa Clara: Royal Hudson,W of depot, 3-1977; EK Hall

Dateline 6-29-1969: SP Mission Bay warehouses go up in smoke. Once an old SP warehouse reached retirement, its fate inevitably was ultimately sealed by a "torch" whom SP hired to economically dispose of the buildings - if one believes roundhouse gossip that used to circulate within the company. One employee we met even claimed to have known the pyro's identity. Although San Jose's former Central Pacific warehouses burned down about the same time, being faithful ex employees, we ascribe the incidents to resident transients (-; The Pacific Metals building gives us a good point of orientation: A decade before, Mission Bay Roundhouse stood where the large industrial box of a building sits in the foreground. - photo print by unknown: Wx4 Collection
Even though it sports a brand new paint job featuring orange ends, SP CA-1 #690 has managed to retain its old syle cupola in this classic roster shot taken at Burlingame on 10-31-1958 by Karl Koenig - Wx4 Collection Here we see #98 passing the Salinas Valley town of San Lucas, pretty much for the length of a heartbeat in late 1966. The red warehouse, depot beyond the trees are long gone. We recently drove through San Lucas, and it is now so changed from the photo that we consulted Google Maps to make sure that the slide was correctly labeled. Like the other valley towns that found themselves bypassed by a realigned Highway 101, the town has crumbled into poverty. - Kodachrome by unknown, Wx4 Collection
David Rector made this gorgeous shot of SP train #33 at Palo Alto in November, 1983. We never met him, but judging by the number of low light photos that he took, he often must have attended the tracks before and after work. - Wx4 Collection



Howest (S. Burlingame) SP 5678, 10-30-73
Millbrae: "The Boondocks" tracks across from the depot
circa 1958
Menlo Park, 1954
While nice for the passengers, Southern Pacific's new Gallery Cars of 1955 took a bit of getting used to for engineers. For decades previous, SP hogheads were used to Subs and Harrimans, which acted like boat anchors when braking. The Gallery Cars, on the other hand, showed a marked reluctance to slow down. Here we see graphic evidence of this: brake show smoke from cars, tender, and a big no-no, drivers. Grossly overheated driver tires tend to slip off their wheels, as what happened to an engine on the Coast mail train in the late 1940's. Judging by the quantity of smoke emanating from the drivers as #4447 accelerates out of Redwood City past the tower on July 16th, the engineer got into trouble in attempting to brake for Redwood - and probably several other stops. - unlabeled duplicate slide - Wx4 Collection

SF-SJ Way freight, circa 1910
circa 1974, Wx4....................College Park............1981, Charles Lamphere
EB's at west end of Sunnyvale
circa 1973, Wx4
Los Gatos, 11-1950, Peter Hahn
WB departing Santa Cruz c.1910
far left: Norman Sarrat caught WP #1502 accompanied by SP cabooses at Santa Clara in May, 1983. Presumably it was on its way either to or from WP's San Francisco operation. left: An engineer stands in front of his charge at the Brokaw Road (Santa Clara) end of San Jose Yard in 1952. An enlargement of him is HERE. Please let us know if you recognize him. - unknown photographer.

both photos - Wx4 Collection


Watsonville Junction: left - from roundhouse area, c.1960; right - closer to old yard office on; note new tower; 9-24-1955, Harold F. Stewart

SP 21 at Castroville, c.1875, as far as we can tell; what do you think?
These two David Rector shots show an LAWJY, better known as the Coast Peddler, descending the slight grade at a raely photographed spot - Welby, timetable east of King City, on January 16, 1984 - Wx4 Collection.
San Francisco

We've long had a Sanborn Maps B&W image of SP / SF&SJ's original two co-joined San Francisco roundhouses on Wx4, but now we have a 1905 color image, courtesy of the phenominal David Rumsey Map Collection. These roundhouses were replaced by Mission Bay Roundhouse, BTW.

San Francisco: Friday morning, August 11, 1939 at the paved driveway (name?) between 4th and 5th Sts. at Third & Townsend.
The new Caltrain equipment of 1985 would have integrated into operations seamlessly except for one glaring omission: the cab cars lacked a feature that would allow bailing the engine brakes while operating in push mode. While hot wheels were less than a problem than overheated steam loco tires (see left), there still was concern about this. (A decade later, Caltrain indeed had a rash of overheated wheel rims that were finally traced to incorrectly installed brake shoes that overrode the wheel rim.) While SP's mechanical folks rushed to apply bail switches, the new Caltrain Galleries were sidelined, causing, in this case, an F40 to be mated with the single set of SP Gallery Cars at Visitation painted in the experimental Caltrain "Blue Comet" scheme. - David Rector photo, Wx4 Collection
left: I first set foot in SP's San Francisco passenger terminal as an employee in the same month that this photo was recorded, September, 1978. The scene is timeless. Save the equipment, it looked the same when I retired 31 years later: new 4th St. Tower and the Car Department office in the buff-colored building. - photographer unknown. right: It is a faux Daylight, but so what? This magnificent simulation was parked on King St., near San Francisco depot, on May 9, 1984, when #4449 brought it into town. - Gary Vielbaum photo; both Wx4 Collection.
San Jose's depots

Looking at San Francisco & San Jose RR / first SP depot from under arcade of the Basset St. depot, c.1935

"Bull Moose" 4-4-2 at Basset St., c.1910; our favorite SP loco, BTW

Cahill St. depot, below: left, c.1974, Wx

Cahill St. depot, .1974, Wx4

Royal Hudson at SF&SJ depot site, 3-1977

Caltrain #902, 1986; last loco E.O. ran 23 years later