Southern Pacific San Francisco Peninsula Depots
SP Pages

Unless otherwise described, the following are undated Southern Pacific Company photos of varying eras, courtesy of The Doomster. As things progress, we'll flesh out this section with descriptions and more photos.

Bayshore, circa 1914
South San Francisco, circa 1960
San Bruno, circa 1915
Millbrae, circa 1914
Broadway, circa 1915-25
Broadway, 1940's
Demoro Archives - Ken Meeker Collection
(click on picture for HumongOphotoTM)
Burlingame (post card), circa 1915

San Mateo, circa 1960
Belmont, circa 1960
Redwood City, circa 1930's
Atherton, circa 1914
Above, left (post card): Menlo Park, both circa WWI

El Palo Alto
Nope, it's not a station, but rather, a redwood tree. Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola made camp in 1769 under her bows during the first European exploration of the area. This postcard view was probably photographed shortly after SP built the steel bridge over San Francisquito Creek in 1901. The depicted southbound ("eastbound" in post-1899 SP parlance) train is about one quarter of a mile north of Palo Alto Station. The 1000+ year old tree still stands today, lusher than ever, due to the doting care of local arborists.
Palo Alto postcard c1955

San Antonio: Future Caltrain Depot Site

In the early 21st Century, Caltrain abandoned its Castro depot in favor of a new station underneath and to the south of the San Antonio Road over-crossing. Above, we see SP train 118 (SDP-45 # unknown) a fairly typical (Caltrain: southbound) eastbound mid-day commute, just north of San Antonio, cruising by the Sears - Roebuck warehouse. Below, the train shoots past Bruce Bauer Lumber (still there in 2013) towards the San Antonio Road over-crossing (beyond the engine), presumably at Column 1 speed - 70 m.p.h. If #118 was scheduled to stop at Castro (it wasn't), the engineer would likely have hit the air/dynamics somewhere around the south end of the curve where present day San Antonio station sits. Spring, 1974; Wx4 photos

Castro: Spring, 1974

Train # 143, with a GP9 and a single Gallery arriving at Castro: The combination of a Geep and a single Gallery equated with null braking, particularly if the Geep was aTorpedo Boat with no dynamic brakes. Galleries were notoriously poor in the brakes department, and generally speaking, the shorter a train was, the more reluctant it was to stop. We suspect that there was a good chance that the engineer of this train was using 'emergency' as a routine part of his service braking (full service until the dynamics started to fade around 15 m.p.h., and then 'emergency' to make the stopping spot). It was much the opposite with the old subs: an emergency application at low speed could slide their wheels and prepare the passengers for disembarkation by throwing them into the front vestibules.

At left is the "depot" interior, and below, we look northward, where one can barely spot the San Antonio overcrossing beyound the hood of the Dodge truck. (Wx4 Photos)

Mountain View
Spring, 1974

At left is the north side of the Mountain View Depot, complete with standard 1974 appliances. You young guys probably have seen a phone booth before, but probably have never heard of the "National Observer", a newspaper that folded up shop about three years after Wx4 recorded these photos. The 55 gallon petroleum barrel - undoubtedly meticulously cleaned of all toxic substances by conscientious roundhouse forces prior to its second career handling trash - contrasts from today's recepticles in that it is not designed to direct an explosion upward from a bomb planted by North Korean or Canadian terrorists. Below is the equally economical south and east sides of the structure. Note that the benches aren't "homeless-proof" and parking was 25 cents. Gad, we'd forgotten how crude life was in those days. We're sure that the citizens of Mountain View appauded when, decades later, the city spent mega-millions to construct a station similar to the 1909 version, above. It's a much nicer structure for them to look at as they walk past from the trains to their autos.

Sunnyvale, 2-27-39
Demoro Archives - Ken Meeker Collection
Santa Clara, circa 1895
College Park, early 1970
Wx4 photo