SP 2685 EMD SW1500

Southern Pacific EMD SW1500 number 2685 likely in the San Jose area approximately 1971.
SP 2685

Although a little shady at the left this image was worth the scan and adjust. The unit is EMD SW1500 and based on the RR Archives; its all of about two years old here … estimating by the other prints in this box.

That archive link shows it in pretty rough shape and makes me think that this little work horse was never repainted.

Also a guess but I think San Jose, California – or thereabouts. Dad did work in the Houston office for a time in 1970 where he bought a used Ford Maverick but the hills say California to me.

SP Budd RDC-1 No. 10 and you can help save it!

Front end view of Southern Pacific number 10 Budd Manufacturing  Rail Diesel Car type 1
SP RDC-1 #10

This is from September 1969 and although I am unsure where teh time line is right for Dad being in San Jose office.

Budd made quite a few Rail Diesel Cars however, SP only purchased one unit. This car is alive and here is the history : https://www.splives.org/wp/sp-10/history/

There is one photo RRARCHIVES from a few months ago that states this car is actually slated for restoration at the planned Southern Pacific History Center

They have a donation pager here : https://www.splives.org/wp/

SP 3030 San Jose Service

Southern Pacific engine 3030 at the service center in San Jose California
San Jose Facility

The Peninsula Commuter started in 1863 and made it as a private enterprise until Southern Pacific petitioned for dissolution in 1977.

Dad rode it from Burlingame to San Francisco and occasionally to San Jose for work. Mom & I used to take him in the ’62 Chevy Biscayne or he would take the Jeep. I recall him saying that if he was running late, he would get on at the California Drive Station and shut the Jeep off and hop out letting it “self-park” by rolling to a stop in gear and stalling against the parking stops made from telephone poles. Was ahead of Tesla on that score.

In the 1930’s and 1940’s, he and grandma would ride from San Mateo (well, Broadway, Burlingame Station) to San Francisco to go to Emporium for a day of shopping.

Kudos to Wiki for the link and the maps below here.

1885
1955

Now its CALTRAIN that is continuing the tradition of mass transit.

CalTrain public transit map
Cal Train 2020

SP 4001 Nose Detail MAR 71

Scanned at 600 Dpi – no adjustments
SP 4001 levels adjusted

Dad could, when he chose to, compose a photo.

If he was alone and unhurried he would take his time to assemble an image. Some of his earlier work was that way, like from the 40s … and of girls mostly. Some of his Hawaii images from the pre statehood days are pretty good too link to : Wix FredsSlides.

The magic of black and white is never lost when one composes a shot. Matthew Brady, Ansel Adams and Dorethea Lang proved that.

Here we have the luxury to play with settings in Photoshop and I do that on occasion. I do more now that I am using Wordlress.Com (I cannot put the time in for .ORG version that is much more robust).

So I did that here.

I like the moody shadows of the Alco and the crisp detail of the support structure at left and the Chevy or Ford van. Even the ballast has depth and shadows.

Lighter brightness and lower contrast does enhance dome of the shadow surfaces and reveals the brake wheel detail.

I see some value to this of course. But I am no photographer and it can be learned I suppose.

Below reveals what a simpleton I am though :

Close up of front of engine with chains and brake wheel.

This part looks like a face looking away and sticking it’s tongue sticking out.

April 1968 SP 475 CABOOSE

Railroads did a lot of recycling.

I mean I think its an old Harriman type car by the shape and roof but maybe it is purpose built? Google failed me.

From box cars used as storage, to flat car bridges over maintenance vehicle drive access and the Maintenance of Way crew cars railroads got their money’s worth of their assets.

This little fella looks pretty tired in 1968. I am assuming that it is a recycled passenger car turned Caboose but this is where a comment can help educate me.

There is a photo here as well from the rrachives.

Also note that this would have been made with Dad’s Rolieflex camera that he gave away ,,, grr.

Also note that Dad and brother both had a habit of slanted photos. Not sure if they had one leg longer than the other or a list issue but man, so much straightening to fit the photo frame only to see the +/- 2 to 3 degrees ha ha !

Southern Pacific passenger car that has been turned into a caboose.
SP Caboose 475

Anyway, comments that help educate the guy that has all this stuff (who was 3 1/2 years old when this image was made will help me learn.

Thanks …-rob

SP 4003 – ALCO RS 32 March 1971

Black and white photo of Southern Pacific 4003 engine near a highway underpass.
SP 4003

This print has a dated frame making it March of 1971. I feel like this is in Southern California, Sierra St. Colton, CA , but that areas has changed a lot.

I looked at the rrarchives again and found a little rabbit hole of the history – I highly recommend it .

For those that are making models I have added a close up here of an interesting detail :

Close up of the number boards of SP engine 4003 above the cab
Up close on the brow
Close up of side lettering showing Kern and vertical alignment issues of letters.
The Wavy SP

I find little slices of details are helpful when one looks at an era for models. Weathering is one thing….but the this is a unique “Wave” lettering scheme for sure.

SP 6451

Southern Pacific EMD F A unit and two more with not visible numbers at Oakland California.
Southern Pacific 6451

Another undated black and white 4×6 inch print.

I am guessing that this is pre Amtrak or right at the start when they didn’t re-logo for a while.

This time I think we are at Oakland, California 16th Street passenger station based on the tower, the overheads behind and the assembled power pole at the right.

There are still a few along the Nimitz freeway (CA Highway 17 now Interstate 880 for more funding ).

The area is mostly condos now and the station is ruined by vandals.

SP 3031

Southern Pacific engine 3031 with six passenger cars headed south toward San Jose, California.
SP 3031 headed South

If you don’t know, you are supposed to post an Alternative Text in a box when you post on a blog. It helps the sight impaired to have their computer read the caption for them; it’s an ADA thing. Some folks don’t do it but I always do…. My eyesight is shit and so was Fred III (Dad) and Fred IV (brother) were the same – so it’s respect.

The best part is that I have to actually think a bit about things when I post and really try to get an accurate description.

Part of the Alt Text rule is that you can’t just copy/paste over and over because it’s a disservice to the sight impaired and I agree.

Here is the copy/paste of that text “Southern Pacific engine 3031 with six passenger cars headed south toward San Jose, California”.

The page gets read as well and I feel like I can add more here :

First, giving credit where credit is due, there is a link to the rrarchives here that tells the history.

Secondly, I am pretty sure that this was in the South Bay where Dad and Brother would go photograph FMs on weekends, and Dad would on week days – they knew this generation of SP diesels was aging out.

Third, I did fiddle with the brightness and contrast since the original shot is dark. Nowadays, that is done in Photoshop and super easy. Honestly though, posting a dark shot of history still counts, so I’ll share good and bad.

…-rob

SP 2664

Also 298 and 475

Southern Pacific engine and baggage car in San Jose by water tower.
SW 1500 SP 2664

I really like this undated print. I am sure its about 1970-1971 in San Jose (water tower is the tip off).

At the center is SW1500 2664 looking pretty sharp doing the usual yard work of shunting SP Commuter equipment at the South end of the line.

The Economy Baggage Car 298 is a M510 type similar to this.

SP 475 peeking at right is marked “caboose” and has a sad looking color photo here.

My favorite part is the ground man with teh wide brimmed hat :

Man with hat on train steps

did he (or any of us) ever think we would be able to share this moment at work about 50 years later with the entire world?