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Southern Pacific Fairbanks-Morse Locomotives Photo Gallery
new 4-7-23

Railway Age, Jul.-Aug, 1953
courtesy of Englewood

Commute #114, seen here at Visitation ca.1969 was the 'deadhead' train for crews who decide to layover between morning and evening Fleets in San Jose,rather than San Francisco. The Railroad Pinocle games in the Sub, the designated employee deadhead car, were underway before the train left The City. - photographer unknown, Wx4 Collection.

Note: most data on this page comes from:

Until the mid-1960's, #114 carried mail and express - here seen at Bayshore in 1958. Noticed the 4-8-2 in the background dead line.

Southern Pacific Historic Diesels Volume 1, Fairbanks-Morse Locomotives by Joe Strapac.

Until the mid-1960's, SP's Train Masters frequently did "Weekend Warrior" freight service, but by the Spring, 1970 date of this photo, other-than-Peninsula movements were pretty well confined to being drug up dead in multiple to Oakland or Sacramento for shopping.

The old freight shed at photo right is attached to the former San Francisco & San Jose Railroad passenger depot dating back to the Civil War.It sat in San Jose's old yard geographically east of College Park Yard a block from its succeeding "Broad Gauge Depot", which it survived by about 35 years, but now it was about to be demolished. Condominiums now populate the area. The spring switch in the foreground led to the south leg of the San Jose Wye, which functioned as main track for freights running between Milpitas and Watsonville Junction.

Below we see the same train nearing downtown Milpitas when the place was still dominated by agriculture. The location is unrecognizable today.
Wx4 photos

This odd FM combo was the product of a power shortage in 1972. FM switcher #2375 is dead behind the 3035, which has just drug the train up the Peninsula on September 2, 1972. A similar B&W photo of this scene taken by Gordon Lloyd Jr. appears on page #56 of Joe Strapac's Southern Pacific Historic Diesels Volume 1, Fairbanks-Morse Locomotives. Perhaps Gordon took the above shot, as well. - Wx4 Collection

Fleet train #3024 leads Fleet train #138 over San Francisco's Quint St. (note Quint St. Lead beyond the bridge) in early 1970. The fill / bridges between Tunnels #2 and #3 was known by crews as "The Viaduct". The tracks behind the train were originally supported by a trestle, but caught fire in the 1950's and was filled in while it was still smoldering, causing cavities and slumping in the fill as the piles continued to smolder. - Tom Brown photo

Train Master #4813 clunks over the west lead to Bayshore Yard as the train brakes for the station in about 1960. photographer unknown - Wx4 Collection

This photo comes from the Wx4's photographic equivalent of an animal rescue shelter. The neg is pretty sad, but I remember the circumstances of this 53 year old shot: One Sunday afternoon, after that line of TM's had idled out the weekend in San Jose, the hostler was ordered to move it a few engine lengths so he proceeded through the units to release whatever air remained in the brakes. Then, with a liberal application of sand, he gave it a try, but to no avail. The second time (above) was the charm, after the he notched to run 8. The deal was, he was too lazy to re-tie all of those hand brakes, so he left them applied.

Mid-evening train #153 awaits departure at San Jose on January 2, 1974 - Wesley Hammond photo, Wx4 Collection

In the fall of 1973, #3029 stubbed its toe at San Jose Roundhouse, necessitating the remedial services of the Track Department, under the direction of Roadmaster Elmer Stone (in suitcoat to left of the power pole).
Wx4 photo

Train Masters at Rest: San Jose Roundhouse, mid-1973 - Wx4 Photo

The Train Master Experience on SP was nearing its end in May, 1974, when SP experimented with retired #3028 as a brake sled on the Colton Hump. How many thousands of photos have been recorded at the above location? - John Sjolander photo, Wx4 Collection

The FM experiment went well enough to prompt SP to cut down #3027, fill the remaining carbody with concrete and christen it as brake sled SPMW #9100. Ultimately not successful enough to duplicate, #9100 nevertheless worked into the 80's. John Sjolander's photo dates to February, 1979. - Wx4 Collection

Train Master #3033 sits in gentle repose on December 8, 1974 after being sidelined for the last time.

At the same time as above, #3033 shared the terminal with #3003, #8726 and #8663. - Wx4 photo

Up close & personal: San Jose Roundhouse, Fall 1973
Wx4 photo

Five - count 'em - H12-44s over-populate the San Francisco Diesel Terminal (aka: Shop) on July 1, 1973 - photographer unknown, Wx4 Collection

On this December, 1974 day, the 4th Street Job is dragging a cut of cars from San Jose down to Luther Junction, where it will travel over the connection to the WP interchange at Valbrick. After sorting cars, the crew probably will go to beans at their 4th and Virginia Streets shanty, which like all the others, had inside walls lined with Playboy centerfolds. We would guess that very few, if any, women worked as switchmen in San Jose before all of the outlying shanties were demolished.

The interchange traffic could be heavy. Wx4 Staff's San Jose Depot goat once performed helper service by pushing the caboose of a nearly 100 car drag over the slight hump at the depot. The 4th St. Job was allowed a caboose - if one was available at Newhall Yard.

The photo's location is at today's Tamien Caltrain station. The nets are for a driving range where Wx4 Staff used to practice hooking and slicing.
Charles Lamphere photo, Wx4 Collection

It appears that the Brokaw Road job at Santa Clara Yard has elected to go to coffee after "capping" (adding a caboose) a train. But coffee could mean Old Crow and railroad pinochle, as the daylight lead job drew very high seniority on account of its generally light work and far proximity from the Newhall Yard Office. Officers would call ahead before visiting, pretty much standard procedure in yards, which tended to be soaked in alcohol. On my first student switchman trip one Saturday afternoon, the crew kicked five cars, then filled out the remainder of the shift with booze and cards. I was cut loose after less than 10 minutes work.

By the mid-1970's, crews switching the remaining industrial customers on the Old Main Line out of Third & Townsend Depot had plenty of spot time on their hands, thus idling FM's routinely could be photographed near the outer reaches of the remaining trackage at 18th and Harrison Streets, about three blocks south of the original SF&SJ / SP roundhouse (demolished in 1907) site. R.W. Bierman recorded this photo of #2381 late in the FM game, on April 9, 1975, one week before it, the last active San Francisco FM, went into storeage. In August it and other remaining Bay Area FM #2372 departed Bayshore for the last time. Wx4 Collection

Below is the same spot 19 years earlier, when SP hosted two days of excursions on freight-only trackage that included both ends of the severed Old Main Line. The last car of the train is located at #2381's later resting spot. - photographer unknown, Wx4 Collection

Peter F. Arnold recorded this rather striking shot of #2372 (see also photo at left) working near the College Park piggyback ramp on August 15, 1974. - Wx4 Collection

Below, the 2393 seems to be having air issues at the switch for College Park track #20, the Milpitas Main that cut through the middle of the yard. On the ladder is Mike Kadlubowski, one of a host of his family to work for SP, along with what may be the late Bill (later known as Will) Hastings, an engineer who became an Amtrak official when the Joint Powers Board took over Peninsula operations. R.W. Leymouth photo, Wx4 Collection

SP #2390 is making a shove of Fleet equipment at Third & Townsend in a late October, 1974. The crew foreman is controlling the shove with a tail hose and since there are cast iron clasp brake shoes on the Subs, he will gently stop the train near the bumper with a modest air reduction. Were these SP or later Caltrain gallery cars with less-grabby disk brakes, he would simply dump the air at the proper spot. An engineer could get himself in trouble by shoving at speed towards his normal stopping spot for this train's cars, because on occasion there might be an additional car. Wx4 Staff was never guilty of this, but once did note a Caltrain gallery which the yard job had neatly spotted atop a bumper.

All it needs is a parrot. Peg-legged and blind #2362 looks rather forelorn in this August, 1972 image by Karl. R. Koenig.

El Paso, another H12-44 stronghold, found itself as a repository for some of the last Bay Area units, #2357, 2377 (right), 2379 (this photo) and 2380 in November, 1974. Her we see a motley collection of units at El Paso in August, 1975, two months after SP vacated its last H12-44, #2391 there.

Very lonely #2377 presides over the top end of Bayshore Yard as it watches a 'Plug" recede into the distance in July, 1969. - photographer unknown, Wx4 Collection

An equally lonely #2380 sits on one of the leads up at Mission Bay Yard, with the Bay Bridge in the background, on November 29, 1969 in this photo by Gordon Lloyd Jr. - Wx4 Collection

Bayshore on an October 26, 1973 night - photo possibly by Karl R. Koenig, Wx4 Collection