I have stated before that I always like the actual workers and teh SW1500 by EMD is right there among the best. I recall Dad and brother would curl their lips and snarl “Just a Crud” and begrudgingly they would snap a photo.
Perhaps I felt sorry for these workhorses and they do remind me of the good times in rail yards all over the US. These images are also not location marked but I believe they are in the SF Bay Area from October of 1975
Funny how Dad never marked any slides so when I came to these I was almost surprised. But not really, the 4000s were special as far as I can tell and I guess that the fact that we can read the engine number in the image was too obvious. I don’t know where these were taken but I still bet on the San Jose, California area.
Found a box of SP. When I say a box I mean a copier paper sized box full of Kodak slide boxes – see below. The marking says SP + SP Special three boxes. Looking at the first slide I’d say they are pretty likely to be special
Sometimes Dad would organize by company when sorting slides for Friday night slide night at Iron Horse Hobbies. This box must be one of those. As usual, the slides are only marked with the Kodak mount date but I recall that year’s trip was in August from home to South Dakota on another meandering route.
I have always liked switchers and these are no exception. The shadows and textures of the first two contrast nicely against the fresh looking paint.
The last two are washed out – I skipped Photoshop this time – but they are a study in weathering and details.
I can smell the creosote and oil on the ties. The smells of my childhood.
I think we are in San Jose or Santa Clara but I don’t know. What I do know is that in June of 72 we lived in Burlingame and Dad worked in the San Jose office sometimes so I base my guess on that alone.
The website that I get information from is http://www.rrpicturearchives.net and it’s not looking good today so I cannot state what type of engine this is. I mean I can guess its an Alco product but I am unsure.
After all a boxcar full of stuff doesn’t have a personality outside that of the logo, for me anyway.
Here we are in the Ozol, Ca area again with SSW Caboose 50
The interesting difference between the posting here at the RR archives is color and condition. Also notice the welded up windows. If I recall, Dad mentioned that the crews were getting shot at and the reduction of openings was for safety.
I wonder if anyone can confirm this ?
I also appreciate the D&H box car “snip” and of course SP 2626 that. according to teh RR Archive was revived by the UP in the 90s .
We moved back home in April and I finally have time to post. We have been unpacking and remediating the mess left by the renters and making improvements and setting up the garage and offices and working from home and and and !
Strange how moving back to your childhood home can make you think.
For example, there are some taller trees here about and the road names are the same but they are not as ingrained as they were when they were on my paper route.
Occasionally I am struck by the same difference from 1974 to now. The bad memories are stifled and the good surface more often lately.
Interestingly, “my” office was my late brother’s bedroom and then mine in the early 2000s and Dad’s (Fred III)’s office after he retired.
In this same room these same slides were stored for years.
They were sorted and thinned – but not labeled ( Thanks Dad ! )
And now here I am sharing these same slides. Is it weird? Yeah, it is. But it’s sure nice to be home.
Many of the SP slides are in a foot locker – like an Army one – that I think was my Uncle’s from World War 2. Its stuffed with yellow boxes and therefore it’s a grab – bag to start posting from again.
Yes it’s a little blurry – I thought it was me but it is – still kinda neat and it “feels” fast.
1981 was a 9 weeks on the road year like 1978 was. Leave in June when school ended and return in September when just before school started.
It’s kinda funny that just yesterday my oldest friend and I were discussing my strange memory and then I came across this box of Milwaukee Road images.
I seem to have the ability to recall in great detail places I visited once or twice while on the road and I still ” see ” my hometown as it was in the 70s… drive’s my wife nuts when we are there and I call out lunch at Arthur’s liquors ( its been a Mexican place since about 1980 ) .
See I can recall precisely the place this was taken, the heat and even a bit of the discussion Dad and I had about the “domes that contained palm trees”.
This terrarium seemed odd since we have three palms in the yard at home. “…think winter… ” was his reply. Oh, yeah.
I did check Google for confirmation – that the spot was the same.
Dad loved Washington and Oregon and the Milwaukee was there with his beloved SP&S.
This is August of 1973 and was probably a weekend between weeks that he had while working out of the Portland office.
See way before work at home and the internet, you actually had to leave your family behind and go to a different city to work when “Voluen-Told” to do so. Also that was how you proved your self & ascended in a company. Yep days gone by for sure.
Based on the RR Archive, this would have been five years into the upgrade from U28 to U30B.
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.
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.
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 :
This part looks like a face looking away and sticking it’s tongue sticking out.
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.
That font is so stylish and hand painted I am sure
Also the J.B. Sherr Co Wholesale adds a nice reverse space in classic 70s brown.
Struck out on Sherr.
I did Google around and spotted a Feb 15, 1983 Note in the NY Times:
“Amfac Inc., a diversified company based in Honolulu, said its Distribution Group had acquired the assets of three subsidiaries of Supply Corporation International of Houston. The units are the Tyler Dawson Supply Company, T-D Group and Mar-Ind Supply Inc. Terms were not disclosed.”
Also one was in San Diego :
MAR-IND. SUPPLY OF SAN DIEGO, INC.
MAR-IND. SUPPLY OF SAN DIEGO, INC. is company based in NATIONAL CITY, CA 91950, California. This company was established on 2000-08-17 and registered under entity number C2258912. MAR-IND. SUPPLY OF SAN DIEGO, INC. was founded8142 days ago.
The company is classified as FTB Suspended
So I am unsure if this is Oakland California but I suspect it may be.
Alright reader I need your help placing the location of this slide.
The building in the background and the interchange make mw think Oakland but I am more often wrong than right in these things.
I like to use the original scan to look for clues. It’s 4.5 MB and I use a 32″ TV screen to play detective.
Things of note the new GM’s – Oldsmobile I think – for 1976 are open to the air – not clad to avoid damages and the Dr. Pepper logo above the “5” is probably not official. The engineer has his long sleeves rolled up, glasses a watch and a wedding ring.
The building is quite distinctive and quite formidable but I cannot place it at all.