When he forwarded these 1981+- images of Mission Bay Yard to Wx4, SP/Caltrain Engineer Greg Welker claimed them as his work, and staff posted them as such. Now we have learned that the actual photographer was his fireman that day, Dana Dillard. Shame, Greg! The situation is further complicated by the fact that Dana is now his wife. We at Wx4 wish to state emphatically that IT WASN'T OUR FAULT, DANA!

After bayshore Yard closed completely in the early 1980's, Mission Bay became the terminous (after MB closed, freight trains began terminating at South San Francisco). We can't provide exact dates for the yard's closure, nor its opening, for that matter. Greg thinks it shut down about 1986 (a mid-1986 X2200S says that the yard was still open). There is a well-known story about the yard office's closure, however, which was in about 1979. Apparently there was bad blood between San Francisco Terminal Superintendent Jim "The Bear" Bays (a man held in the highest regard by his employees) and Division Superintendent W.M. Jones (a hard-nosed, old-school railroader). Rumors circulated that Jones was out to get Bays, but Bays had some kind of pull with #1 Market that always thwarted Jones' plans. One day, as the story goes, Bays was down at the Mission Bay Yard Office overseeing the upgrading and rearranging of the phone system when he got a call from Jones, who purportedly said, "Shut down the yard office tomorrow." Just the rumor itself (true, or untrue) was an embarrassment to Bays, but it didn't matter to we employees - The Bear was the tops to us.

...looking northest across 16th Street (see map) on the west side of the yard
(two photos above)...the western edge of the yard, looking north and northwest
...east side of the yard, looking northeast
...the southeast yard throat, looking south
...the yard leads between the former roundhouse and 16th Street, looking east
...Lucius Beebe/Charles Clegg's Virginia City sitting at the MB Yard throat. To the south, between the car and the freeway overhead is the former site of the MB roundhouse. Beyond, on the flank of Potrero Hill, tands the very large and now gone natural gas storage tank, whose opposite side shows in one of our Freedom Train photos. Greg thinks that the tiny little guy at the left of the group is Bill "Rocky" Fonti, Caltrain's recently-retired San Francisco Yard Job foreman. The guy in the photo looks short enough...

Beebe died of a heart attack in 1966, but at the time of the photo Clegg still occasionally came down to the car to do maintenance. Says Greg, I was at MB one afternoon when he showed up, and Joe Knowles was the yard master. Joe got Clegg to give us a tour of the inside. It was super gaudy inside but plush non the less. It had a working fireplace in the living room and showers in the bedrooms.

The car was purchased from the Clegg estate in 1984, repainted to Pullman two-tone grey the next year, and has been available for charter ever since. You'll find it in San Jose several times a year. A more complete history may be found HERE.

Thanks for the corrections/info to Wade at Virginia City Rail Corp, http://www.vcrail.com/

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