SP Cahill St. Depot Buildings
SP San Jose
SP Pages

last addition 5-2023
Although SP started constructing the main line downtown bypass through Willow Glen in 1929, the onset of the Depression and litigation with Willow Glen residents slowed things considerably. It wasn't until late 1935 that Cahill St. finally replaced the dilapidated San Pedo St. facility. In the mid-1990's, Cahill St. received a thorough refurbishing (unfortunately including the removal of the beautiful pepper trees adjacent to the tracks on the west end), and a new name: Diridon Station. Here's how things looked 2-3 decades ago.
At left #122 arrives behind a pair of Geeps in the spring of 1974. By then, SP was starting to retire Fairbanks-Morse Train Masters, but all of the SDP-45 replacements had not yet shown-up (five were leased to Amtrak; two were assigned to the T&L Lines, if I recall correctly), so the Geeps were sometimes run in pairs on Fleet trains. The process was repeated in the late 1970's when SP robbed several SDP's for summertime freight work, and resorted to freight/passenger Geep 9 combos for Fleet trains. A rubber air hose was run along the freight engine's running boards to the passenger unit for the signal line, a necessity because trainmen didn't carry radios in SP days.
Above, is the San Jose Telgraph office in May, 1968. By then the Western Union telegram service had been discontinued.

Cahill St., Spring 1974 Facing north, we see the then ubiquitous self-serve baggage carts that replaced the Red Cap porters in the mid-1960's. At far right, behind the dumpster, is the carmen/switchmen shanty. Notive the large PG&E natural gas tank that sat on the site of the San Jose Arena. The nearest part of the depot building proper was the baggage/express room. In the middle, to the right of the pickup truck, you can make out the archway that serves track one. The line of windows beyond provides light to the platform tunnel's down ramp.

New 5-2023: "Cahill St." (SP vernacular for San Jose) depot oened at the end of 1935. While construction was underway, the former South Pacific Coast one-time narrow gauge station was demolished and an old Commute coach stood in as "West" San Jose. When construction was done, SP's San Jose depot at Bassett Street was closed and its name transfered to Cahill. 12-26-1935. - Shasta Division Archives.
The street side of the depot in December, 1966. Cool cars, eh? The "Arrivals" board at the entrance to the station subway, May 1968 - pretty sparse pickings, compared to the early 1950's, or today. Note that the arrivals are shown from the north and south as shown in public timetables, rather than from the employee timetable directions of east and west.

The archway separating the passenger waiting room (to the right) from San Jose Telegraph and the baggage rooms. Just inside, to the left, is the Telegraph window shown near this page's top. The visible window on the left were for the register room, where the crews would sign-in. Later, in Amtrak times, this became the office of Trainmaster R.M. Bongiorno, an ex Coast engineer who was a fixture on the Peninsula for 50 years prior to his death in 2001. R.I.P., Bob. The depot's carmen/switchmen's shanty in 1974. After lining-up the morning Fleet, maybe spotting some cars in Campbell, then joining a cut of cars onto #108's equipment after the latter's arrival on Depot 2, the night depot job crew would sack-out here until it was time to shove trainsets into the depot behind the Fleet morning departures. Often, an Assistant Terminal Superintendent would arrive here in the early A.M. with new paperwork, being careful to quietly step over the sleeping crew.

Situated half-under the San Carlos Street Overpass at the depot's southern extremity, was this old MW shed, half-buried in the ground. It and the depot shanty appeared to have been constucted no later than the early 1900's, so I'm guessing that they may have be re-spotted when the Cahill St. Depot was constructed. That's the eastbound Del Monte. January, 1968. Eastbound freight trains both off of the Mulford line and out of Newhall Yard often received train orders at this post on the Freight Lead at the top end of the depot, courtesy of San Jose Telegraph. More commonly, orders were delivered to east and west trains at Santa Clara Tower. Milpitas line trains went via Depot #1, and received orders via hoop. The cab hop is likely the returning Gilroy Local, in 12-1966. Engine 3486 was built in 1956 as the 5653, and was upgraded in 1973 to become the 3392.

The Park Avenue Herder and Alameda Herder shanties are shown elsewhere.