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The San Jose Mercury called it "SP's $1 Million Train Wreck", and in 1966 that amount of change would buy you a like-new Boeing 707. The afternoon following the pileup, my dad, a railfan of sorts (unfortunately he didn't carry a camera on his occasional Alviso-to-Mt. Herman forays on the South Pacific Coast narrow gauge) suggested that we investigate the scene. I managed to squeeze off the following shots before the SP bulls herded me back the their delineated viewing area.

We arrived not long after the line was opened. The gang above had been at it about sixteen hours when they took this well-deserved break. Nobody on the railroad works harder / gets less pay or recognition than track workers. While furloughed from train service, I spent about six months in the track department. In the first month I lost 25 pounds, and I wasn't involved in any hectic buns-over-elbows wreck duty. The guys (mostly Mexican-American) that I worked with were the nicest and least complaining bunch of railroad people with whom I ever worked. Note that the above gentlemen appear to be talking to the fellow reviewing the lineup. While they were working, however, their foreman undoubtedly enforced a strict policy of silence

The spring switch was located just this side of the signal, just opposite the bull who was headed my way to flush me back into the observer area. Before the bulldozers came, the whole area on both sides of the tracks was filled with bent cars.

Sometimes, those Hydra-Cushion underframes just don't suffice.

With some forethought, I probably could have acquired a chunk of that WWII-era Santa Fe "map" boxcar side for a couple of cases of beer. Whaddaya think it would fetch on eBay?