WARNING TO DIAL-UP USERS: The Del Monte pages were composed for viewing with high speed connections. You know what that means...

(above) posted 2003

Photographed from a Sub vestible, the southbound Del Monte, headed by GP-9 # 3002, leaves San Jose in May, 1968, after undergoing its San Jose metamorphosis from a commute train to a (not so) long haul passenger train. Fittingly, the Del Monte cannery water tower appears at top right.

As a commute train, the afternoon Del Monte was heavily traveled, both due to its 4:50 p.m. San Francisco departure at the early end of the peak rush hour, and also because it ran on a quick, hour-and-a-quarter express schedule, making only ten intermediate stops. On April 22, 1968, when the above photo was taken of #126 arriving in San Jose. Behind the train's standard two car first-class consist was at least seven, probably eight, Subs, with eager commuters hanging out of their open vestibules, ready to jump off when the train's platform speed reduced to ten m.p.h., or so. Until January 4, 1961, the Del Monte ran purely as a long haul tain, sans commute cars, and also featured locally famous heavyweight parlor "Oliver Millet" which was retired at that time, or slightly prior.

The first order of business while arriving was for the head-end crew to grab the train orders, here being hooped up by San Jose Telegraph's telegrapher. On weekdays, # 126 usually arrived on Depot 4, because Tracks 4 and 5 were the only ones long enough to accomodate a ten car train. Early 1969.

As soon as the train stopped, the depot carmen, under the supervision of the Car Foreman, immediately scrambled between the units to make the hose and cable cuts between the units. At the middle of the train, more carmen performed the same chores between the lounge car and the lead Sub. Early 1969.

The carmen made the cuts with considerable speed. Here, while passengers were still boarding, we see that the Park Avenue Herder had already cut-off the lead Geep and the hostlers were proceeding to The House. April 22, 1968.

Before departure, one chore remained for, the "fake head" (fireman): remove the Del Monte's #126 identification and replace it with the engine number for the run south. In 1967 the SP discontinued the use of train numbers in number boards everywhere on the system except the Peninsula passenger trains.

Note also that, atypically, the consist is trailed by a Gallery car. The "Men at Work" flag hung on the engineer's window (SP's passenger Geeps featured dual controls until they were rebuilt into the 3186 series in the mid/late '70's) probably meant that the car was to be left in San Jose. I've never seen a photo of a Gallery on the Del Monte south of San Jose (clearance issues on the branch???). Normally, a Sub was placed on the rear of the weekend consists to handle the Peninsula local traffic, and it was hauled through to Monterey. April 21, 1968.

Flags are down and the Del Monte is all dressed-up and ready to go. In the meantime # 128, which left San Francisco five minutes behind # 126, has arrived over on Depot One. Early 1969.

Off to Monterey! In the upper left is the shoo-fly around the under-constuction Interstate 280 underpass...and of course, the OSH boxcar. June 1968.

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