mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmSP IndexmmmmErnie Kiesel Collection


last update:6/21/21

I have always maintaine that The best part of railroading is the people. Over the century-and-a-quarter of its existence, tens-upon-tens of thousands of people worked for the Southern Pacific Lines, and even more for Pacific Motor Trucking and other subsidiaries. Yet, how many of we SP railroaders are remembered outside of their circles of fellow rails, family and friends that grows smaller with every passing decade? And more than two decades, an entire generation, has passed since the "Friendly" melted into UP, meaning that even some the most notable and exemplary people that we knew are poised to join the generations previous to them in the thin, black and white veneer of history. This does not speak well of the fate of all of us who quietly went about our daily duties with no fanfare, nor want of same.

Most people want to be remembered and likewise desire that their associates and family members retain a place in human consciousness. This is the "why" of the Southern Pacific Railroaders' Pages. I encourage you to enlarge this place by contributing whatever you can. Likewise, I hope that you Coast Division folks will participate in the Kiesel Collection project, as described in the box in the immediate lower right.

CONTRIBUTIONS: I heartily encourage you to send photos, biographic material and stories about yourself, or other SP railroaders of any stripe, to Wx4! During my time with SP in train, engine and M/W service, I continually happened upon wonderful, fascinating folks whose lives ought not to be forgotten. T&L, Pacific Lines, subsidiaries, it doesn't matter, although I'm especially interested in folks who worked in the places that I did - San Francisco Bay Area and old Coast Division, Dunsmuir and Tucumcari. Likewise, I would be happy to see contributions about women railroaders, who have traditionally received short-shrift in our industry, past and present.

My only request is that your digitally-submitted stories and biographic information be ready for copying and pasting onto these pages, if possible. Scanned, or U.S. Mailed hand-written material / photos are great too! I would love to work something out for you!

- E.O. Gibson


Note: This page is still under construction. Much more, particularly in the People section, is on the way.

Please click on the above link to consult our greatly expanded rosters page. Includes employee time books!
6-2021 1931 El Paso SP, T&L; and also two "off line" rosters for 1955 Eastern Washington and 1968 UP California Div.

People That I Have Known

Many of the stories in this section are technically about post-SP times at Caltrain, but involve ex-SP employees who decided to stay with the Commutes (alway capitalized on SP) when Amtrak began operating them in 1992. For the first few years, these men and women formed the backbone of Caltrain.

People that I Would Like to Have Known

Professional Concerns

The Ernie Kiesel Collection of Southern Pacific
Photographs at History San Jose

History San Jose needs your help in identifying the SP Coast Division railroaders in this collection of hundreds of photos dating 1900-1970, many of which hung on an Engineers Room wall at San Francisco's Seventh St. Diesel Shop from about 1959 to 1973. Perhaps 99% have never been published.

Wx4 is aiding in the search. For details, click on the image above.

June 2021 - Barring derailment, it should be done this summer.

Now on Wx4!

Greg Welker's Coast Engineers' Garden Club
Banquet Photos, 1980-82

Sometime in the primordial past, San Francisco and San Jose engineers formed the Garden Club to lay out and maintain the Mission Bay Garden next to its namesake roundhouse. As things evolved, the group became a mutual beneficial and charitable society that held annual awards banquets each spring.

Greg took photos of the 1980-82 Banquets, which he placed on Flickr awhile back. I never could make the Wx4 link to Flickr work, so Greg has allowed me to place them directly on the Railroaders' Pages. The photos have been particularly helpful in identifying engineers in the Ernie Kiesel Collection (above). -


check out Greg's large collection of railroad photos on zenfolio

War Stories