SP Commute Trains in San Jose Photo Gallery,
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SP San Jose
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Darned fixed-length telephoto lenses!
OK, so my big brother advised me to buy an Exacta (East German) 35 mm camera, because they were of reasonable price and quality. Not - the first one had light leaks, and the replacement had pretty soft optics. Mistake #2: buying a fixed-length mondo-telephoto lense. Variable telephotos cost an arm and a leg in 1969. Result: I missed getting a reasonably good shot of the only meet between double-headed Trainmaster-powered trains that I ever witnessed. Oh well. The following photos, though low on quality, may still be of interest to you.
A very overpowered #151 with the 3030 and 3032, pulls one car out of San Jose. Try 'Googling" the date of the photo: July 20, 1969. What ho? Sneaking-up from behind came the 3025 and 3023 with all of two cars. Drated telephoto!
The 3025 and 3023 head into the depot. My old timetables are still packed-away, so I'll have to get back to you about the train number. Number 151 headed west towards the roundhouse. The photo's details are described elsewhere - click on the photo to take you there.

Color film and processing came extremely dear in my teenage years. Here's one of the few: The 3033 pulling #118 by those auto racks full of '66 Buicks at the west end of College Park Yard, in January of that year. For a large (434k) pic, click here & notice that the switch stands still had hay-burners atop them. Perennial fixture on #151, when she wasn't out prancing on the Daylight, ex Cotton Belt FP-7A 6462 heads towards San Francisco in May, 1969. I purposely didn't close-crop the photo so that you can see some of what is now parking lots.

One March evening in 1974...
Even though FP-7 6462 was no longer around, 1974 probably offered SP's best assortment of commute diesel power. By then, Fairbanks-Morse Trainmasters were on the wain, and the big SDP-45's had started to muscle-in on their territory. Double-headed GP-9's, including ex Sacramento Daylight engine #3010 also supplanted the rapidly declining FMs. Below you'll find the San Jose arrivals of Fleet trains 122 - 138. The exact date is lost, but maybe it's better that way.
5:49 pm: Train 122 with GP-9's #3002, 3004 and six Subs.
5:56 pm: Train 124 with GP-9's #3001,3007 and five Galleries.
6:05 pm: Train 126 with H24-66 #3023, three Subs and three Galleries. Note that, prior to Amtrak, this train would have been the Del Monte. 6:09 pm: Train 128 with H24-66 #3031 and six Subs.
6:26 pm: Train 130 with SDP-45 #3203 and NINE Galleries. 6:35 pm: Train 132 with SDP #3205, two Subs and five Gallleries.
6:39 pm: Train 134 with H24-66 #3024, three Subs and four Galleries. 6:44 pm: Train 136 with Train Master 3029, two Subs and five Galleries.
6:50 pm: Train 138 with SDP #3200, one Sub and five Galleries at the Alameda Herder shanty. "Power to the house", Alameda herder permitting. id3122

Not shown:
Train 151 with #3006, two Galleries and one Sub
Train 153 with #3006 and two Galleries

Train 122 with the 3020 and 3033 on April 22, 1968. Train Master #3035 leaves San Jose on #151 late in 1968. Like non-turbocharged EMDs, Fairbank-Morses could put out sometimes tremendous plumes of white smoke, if they had been sitting for awhile. I recall pretty-well fumigating Dunsmuir with a mere pair of SD-9's once upon a time.

Here's why old heads shake their heads at today's lawyer-induced frenzy about stopping trains with all cars on the platforms, not-to-mention keeping the doors closed. In 1968 (indeed until the Subs met their demise) these gentlemen were preparing to dismount #124 at nearly 20 mph. The train had barreled down the Peninsula at speeds up to 70 mph, with doors wide open, traps down, with eight cars, which meant that the train did not even fit on many platforms. Yet here we are, arriving on time with nary a problem. Today, if an engineer puts even one vestibule in the ballast, the Caltrain Board fines Amtrak $250, and the hoghead gets called on the carpet. It sure would help if the newer equipment braked as well as the old stuff - boy would those Subs' wheels be smoking by San Jose! Incidentally, I tried to get off on Depot 1 at 20 mph just once - I can still feel the jolt. Yet, these guys did it every day - I worshiped their skill.

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