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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 roundhouses, which closed in 1906. 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.

The Index of Names + Biographical Information is the starting point, should you be searching for a particular individual. The Table of Contents (this page bottom right) sorts the collection by subject matter.

Should you have additional relevant information or photos - or comments, corrections - PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE EMAIL ADDRESS, BELOW.

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

Contact us at:

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. Permission to use these images for commercial purposes must be obtained from History San Jose. Inquiries should be directed to Catherine Mills, who is in charge of the collection, or Ken Middlebrook, who is overseeing the identification project:

  • Catherine Mills, Curator of Library and Archives
  • Ken Middlebrook, Curator of Collections

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: 9-29-22