Saturday, June 2, 2012

"City of San Francisco"

Southern Pacific 6034, Richmond, California, April 1966. Gads! What a sight and sound as a quartet of PA’s heading for 16th Street in Oakland, with ferry connection to San Francisco. This is a perfect example of being at the right place at the right time, having camera in hand.

I was stationed at
Hamilton AFB in Marin County, and had been visiting my Uncle in Oakland for a Sunday afternoon of TV beer and football. I was heading home via the San Rafael Bridge when I decided to check out the SP.

This is Train 101 the westbound streamliner “City of San Francisco” looking like fuel injectors need some attention! These four ALCo PA’s were in a group of 38 units dedicated to the West Oakland pool, for San Francisco to Portland, and San Francisco to Ogden varnish.

Note the icicle cutters on the roof, to deal with icicles in the tunnels and snow sheds on the Donner Summit.

The “City of San Francisco” made the headlines twice:

The first time was in August, 1939 when it derailed in the desert near Harney, Nevada. 24 passengers and crew were killed, and 121 injured. There was speculation that a saboteur had created the disaster, but there was no solution to the incident.

The second headline occurred when the “City of San Francisco” was caught in a blizzard in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Yuba Pass in 1952. From January 13th through January 19th, 20 crew and 196 passengers were stranded, until relief lead them out by foot to a nearby highway.

The leg from Omaha to Chicago was pulled by Chicago & Northwestern power. In 1955 the Milwaukee Road assumed the service. In a cost-cutting move, the "City of San Francisco" was combined with the "City of Los Angeles" in 1960.

Here is the
timetable for the “City of San Francisco”, with equipment list. A detailed consist is found here. It all came to an end when Southern Pacific turned over the keys to Amtrak in May, 1971.

Railroad Stuff: SP 6034, ALCo-GE PA-3. 2,250 hp, built 1953.

1 Comments - Click here:

LinesWest said...

A quick time table check shows a real difference of decades: Today's varnish (The California Zephyr) logs a Chicago-Oakland trip in 51hrs 20min. Yesterday's City: 45hrs 45mins.

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