click on the map for a larger view
A SP Railroaders' Pages

During Wx4's past two decades, readers have sent us a wealth of material for our Southern Pacific Railroaders Pages, which has become a nice little memorial to the SP family. We are always thrilled to receive contributions of any length- whether they be biographical, geneological, or photographic - that fit outside the scope of the Kiesel Collection. Contact us at:


Dear former SP employees and officials; friends and family; railfans with an eye for faces and places:

The Ernie Kiesel Collection of Southern Pacific Railroad Photographs at History San Jose is a unique look at Southern Pacific Company Coast Division railroaders as seen through their own eyes, circa 1900-1975, and a valuable contribution to railroad genealogy. Most of the collection's 380+ photos came from the engineers' quarters walls at San Francisco's Seventh St. Diesel Shops (post 1960) and predecessor Mission Bay Roundhouse, while a few date all the way back to the original Sixteenth & Harrison Streets shops, which closed in 1907. Coast Division engineers, firemen and their locomotives predominate, but other craft members and company officers frequent the photos, as well. Naturally enough, many images feature their locomotives and trains.While more than 230 people have been identified in the photos so far, many remain anonymous.
Should you be searching for a particular individual's photo, the Index of Names + Biographical Information is the starting point. The Table of Contents (this page bottom right) sorts the collection by subject matter.

Should you have questions, additional relevant information / photos, comments, or corrections, PLEASE CONTACT US AT:

Should you have photos / info about Coast Division employees and officers not addressed in the collection, would be delighted to host your material on its Southern Pacific Railroaders' Pages. See box, this page bottom left.

/s/ E.O. Gibson, and former SP rail; August 2022

The Kiesel Collection at 7th St., circa late 1960's.
Image 012; HSJ access. # 1978-152-3-012

Collection Background

The Ernie Kiesel Collection of Southern Pacific Railroad Photographs was donated by its namesake SP engineer to HSJ's predecessor San Jose Historical Museum in 1979. It is now housed in the museum's extensive Research Library and Archives, across the street from HSJ's History Park display of Southern Pacific 0-6-0 steam switch engine no. 1215.


Kiesel Collection images are the property of History San Jose. Photos may be used for personal and non-commercial use without permission. Please credit History San Jose.

For commercial use and publication, please contact Cate Mills at History San Jose:

Using the Collection

To search for an individual's photo(s), go to the
Index of Names + Biographical Information

Service dates for those not listed in the above may be found on's employee seniority rosters page, which has lists for SP, as well as other Western U.S. railroads.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Engineer Last Runs & Retirements
Part 2: Clerks, Officers, Roundhouse Workers
Part 3: On the job
xxxPage 1xxxPage 2xxxPage 3
Part 4: Social Events
xxxPage 1xxPage 2xxPage 3xxPage 4xxPage 5
Part 5: Off the Job
Part 6: Historical Events
xxxPage 1 - Last Runs #187-188, 1937xxPage 2 - wrecks
Part 7: Trains
xxxPage 1 xPage 2
Part 8: Locomotives
Part 9: Engineer Billy Jones
Part 10: Engineer Ernie Kiesel

-----------------------------------------------------------___----xx_xxxx___ ----- Wx4 SP Railroader Pages / railroad genealogy------------------------------------This page last updated: 8-22