SP's Cahill St. Depot Goat
SP San Jose
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Fairbanks-Morse H12-44 #1582 (later #2380, retired in 1975) grabs a Harriman 60 foot coach, which will be added to the rear of the westbound Coast Mail, at left on Track 5. Early 1964.

The race is on! The afternoon goat pulls #124's equipment out past the San Carlos St. overpass. As soon as the southbound Del Monte passes on the main track, the Park Avenue herder will line the movement across for shove into the field. July 1968. Alco S-4 was retired in 1975. When not rearranging commuter cars, the depot jobs performed freight switching on the Vasona Branch as far away as Campbell. Here, from the San Carlos overpass, we see a FM spotting cars at Del Monte cannery. I recall that the vacant tracks to the right were used to store commute equipment in the 1950's. July, 1968.

In the summer of 1968, S-6 #1275 showed why Alcos are famous for their black smoke, caused by rapidly opening the throttle, before the revs catch-up enough for the turbocharger to cut-in. This resultis in poor combustion during the lag period. EMD's load more slowly, thus giving the engine time to rev up. In 1965 I recall driving across Nevada thinking that I was following a steam engine, for all of the smoke. Nope - it was three Alco PA's on the head end of the Overland Mail. Sometimes Alco's smoke no matter what the engineer does.
After engaging in a little pre-Fleet switching, the afternoon depot job is seen here readying to drag an empty corn syrup car to College Park Yard, probably. I kinda remember them pulling the car out of Del Monte, but it could very well have originated at one of the Vasona Branch's other two large canneries: Contadina or U.S. Products Corp., which were located across the branch tracks from each other between Lincoln Avenue and Race Street. Vasona Branch junction switch, August, 1971.

SW1500 #2689, c1978: I cut my teeth as a switchman on this engine, here shown at its accustomed parking spot on the east end of depot #6. This engine held the depot goat assignment for several years on either side of 1980. I still vividly recall the many nights that old-head engineer Butch Nesbitt looked down at me and screamed epithets over my rookie mistakes. I always have had a soft spot for her, but sadly never ran her as an engineer. She was sitting in a Desert Yard, Oakland dead line in 1984, the last time that I saw her.