..............................SP Index..........San Jose & Santa Clara Valley .........last addition 4-30-24
...........................Peninsular Railway

A Biography of a Humble Little Line Car

Today, Peninsular Railway of Northern California's Santa Clara Valley, is one of SP's lesser known operations, we suppose because it died so young - its last interurbans quit running in 1934. In terms of traffic and infrastructure, it could not hold a candle to its heavy duty SP cousins, Pacific Electric, Interurban Electric and Oregon's "Big Red Cars". Peninsular led a humble existence for most of its life, as exemplified by diminutive and rickety line car #14, seen above likely about the time that it went to work for San Jose Railways in 1934. Despite its mundane purpose in life, it is well represented in the historical record. Charles S. McCaleb's Tracks, Tires and Wires (Interurban Press, 1981) has roster data, a photo of the car on San Jose Railways, and best of all, side and end elevation drawings that accentuate its slim breadth.
Car #14 also has an existing diary with a somewhat redundant title, Work Done By Car #14, Line Work that covers most of 1917-21. It is not easy reading, but should you already have a fair knowledge of Peninsular, it may prove instructive. (click on the image for a PDF)

Obviously, the book (now in the Wx4 Collection) once belonged to the late historian Ted Wurm, who stamped his name and address on several pages. Although we unfortunately never met Ted, he was well known to us as the jokester who hoodwinked we naives (and a lot of other folks) with a phony history, The Devil's Shortline, written under the nom de plume Teodoro Gusano. (PDF and background are On Wx4's Miscellaneous Documents page - scroll to page bottom)

NEW 4-30-24: Car #14's predecessor at the time the Peninsular was under construction in 1903-04 was this repurposed trolley car. The unknown photographer was facing northeast when he recorded this shot at the corner of San Carlos and Sunol Streets.