Welp today would have been Fred’s 92nd birthday and I managed to grab this print of his.
Although undated it represents SP 4449 before restoring to make The American Freedom Train and then the Daylight thereafter.
Dad lived a few houses off the SP Peninsula line where 4449 and friends used to run by all day, shaking the house like a Three Stooges movie. He credited his interest in trains to this Amazon proximity to these giant, fire breathing beasts.
That was when San Mateo Drive was dirt … he told me about the sight of the elephant towing the steam calliope north up the slight hill with the man playing the circus “oomph path path oompah” music frantically, much to his amusement as a little boy.
That makes sense to me, the train connection…. Also the imagination of those traveling passengers and the places that he could only dream about.
Later in life we visited all 50 states, most several times, large part of Canada and Mexico too… all the while photographing the trains you see here.
Happy Birthday Dad, you would have been humbled by the appreciation shown by followers here.
But dude I wish you had marked the date and location on all these…
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.
Now its CALTRAIN that is continuing the tradition of mass transit.