The Daylight In and Around San Jose

The Above Painting
It's a beauty, and it's part of an SP ad that hangs on the Wx4 office wall. It came fron the September 8, 1945 issue of the Saturday Evening Post.
Last Stand for the 6003

After the rapidly-dwindling Alco PA's retrenched to the San Joaquin and Overland routes in late 1964 (or so), F-Units predominated on Coast Route trains, and the 3200 series SDP-45's were showing-up with ever-greater frequency by the beginning of 1968. So, when I showed-up at the San Jose depot the Sunday evening of April 21, 1968, I couldn't believe what appeared behind the oscillating headlight in the distance - # 99 had a genuine E-7, the 6003! She absolutey glimmered in the distance, and the smaller commute power (the 3006 and 6462) trailing her served to make her stand out even more. She had returned to the Coast because the the Golden State had quit the previous February, making the 6003 and her fellow E-9's available for Coast passenger pool work , and the supplanted F's available for freight work. For other looks at the consist departing San Jose, click here and here.

The next morning, April 22, I cut school to see if the 6003 would return on # 98, and I wasn't disappointed. She was back in San Jose with the 3006. The 6462 went back to the Commutes. For more on the last days of SP's E-7 fleet, see 6003: SP's Last E-7A
The 6003 and two mates, the 5916 and 5900 await # 98's departure time at San Jose on June 19, 1968. At that moment, these locomotives represented three-quarters of SP's remaining E-7 roster, and they, along with the 5909, would all be gone in a few months. The 6003's last run came less than three months later, on September 8, on # 98. The 5916 was a year older than the rest of the group, having been built in 1946 for the jointly owned City of San Francisco. It, along with mate 5917, and E-7A 6017, rebuilt E-2A dubbed the "Queen Mary", came to SP when the joint ownership was dissolved at the end of 1948.

Quite possibly, the depicted train was the last time SP lashed three E-7's together. Those six normally-aspirated 567's sure sounded sweet accelerating out of the depot. Note that only a sole (ex-Pennsy) E-7 still exists.

Major Cheating
First: This is not a photo of a Coast Daylight car. This was a "semi-streamlined" baggage rebuilt from a Harriman-style car for the San Joaquin Daylight .

Second: The car was not on the Coast Daylight (rather, the Coast Mail) when I took the picture in 1964.

Third: This originally was a black & white photo, which I Photosclocked with coloration. The car was painted in full Daylight cloors, however.

Nevertheless: I like the shot, which I took with my freebie 120 box camera, and it's MY Web site!

(note: the star above the logo meant that the car contained express messenger 'facilities')

The One and Only...I think
As an impoverished teenager (meaning: too lazy to work in my spare time), I had few spare funds for the comparative luxury of color film. Thus, I think that this is my only color photograph of the head end of the Daylight, but I haven't searched my chaotic slide collection yet... Here we see a very typical year-end holidays train in the mid-1960's: F's, baggage-coach combo, ten or so cars, boat-tailed parlor-observation. That's F-7 6389 out front, followed by an FP-7 (not the 6462) and an F-7B accelerating along Monterrey Road in south San Jose, at the now-gone Baroni Road crossing (north of Skyview) on December 30, 1966. The west side of the tracks was still mostly orchards then, save Frontier Village and "the IBM" as SP crews used to call it. East of the road, however, suburban sprawl was beginning to get a foothold. Those mustard fields made wonderful playgrounds.
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