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Nostalgia & History > Tehachapi earthquake 1952


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Date: 06/15/11 10:13
Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: Copy19

While working to avert a disaster here from the Missouri River flood of 2011 I came across a huge album of pictures of the earthquake damage on Tehachapi in 1952. I took a break to quickly scan these samples. The first shot shows the interior of Tunnel #5. The next two show a cab ahead on work train duty. We also have albums of SP floods in California and the snowbound City of San Francisco on Donner. It seems 1952 was a tough year on the Espee. JEB








Date: 06/15/11 10:30
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: NscaleMike

Fascinating images JB! Keep 'em coming, while you man the sandbags!!



Date: 06/15/11 11:00
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: WAF

It was DJ Russell's first year as President of the SP, too. Photographer Edwards who took those shots of the tunnel collaspes had to crawl inside Tunnel 4 and 5 on his chest with flash bulbs in his mouth. An aftershock happened while he was inside one of tunnels scaring the s*** out of him.
He developed and printed pictures on sight in his truck converted to a darkroom and showed Russell that a shoofly had to be built around tunnel 5. Russell, being an engineer himself, had no trouble understanding what work was needed to reopen the Tehachapis.
Most of the SP photographs were done by Edwards in the 50s and 60s.



Date: 06/15/11 11:21
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: DocJones

I was age 5 1/2 and living in Pasadena when it hit. It was a rough ride even 120 miles away. Even at that age I loved trains but I was unaware of the damage and destruction on the SP's Tehachapi line.
Have fun, be safe,
Doc Jones



Date: 06/15/11 11:36
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: elu34ch

The guy holding up that tunnel wall has brass journal bearings!!!



Date: 06/15/11 11:40
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: WAF

What, no caboose on that work train? They were ahead of their time



Date: 06/15/11 11:43
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: whistlepig

If you closely at the first picture of the work train, I think there's a caboose coupled to the engine.



Date: 06/15/11 11:52
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: WAF

whistlepig Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you closely at the first picture of the work
> train, I think there's a caboose coupled to the
> engine.
Aww, yes, a BWC



Date: 06/15/11 12:02
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: CarolVoss

John Signor's definitive book about Tehachapi covers this event quite thoroughly.
C.

Carol Voss
Salinas, CA



Date: 06/15/11 12:34
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: bnsfbob

elu34ch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The guy holding up that tunnel wall has brass
> journal bearings!!!


There is no way that anybody should have been allowed in that tunnel.

Bob



Date: 06/15/11 12:39
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: CarolVoss

bnsfbob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> elu34ch Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The guy holding up that tunnel wall has brass
> > journal bearings!!!
>
>
> There is no way that anybody should have been
> allowed in that tunnel.
>
> Bob

There was no OSHA in 1952. :-)
C.

Carol Voss
Salinas, CA



Date: 06/15/11 12:39
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: mojaveflyer

Excellent photos but this story is absolutely amazing! Thanks!

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It was DJ Russell's first year as President of the
> SP, too. Photographer Edwards who took those shots
> of the tunnel collaspes had to crawl inside Tunnel
> 4 and 5 on his chest with flash bulbs in his
> mouth. An aftershock happened while he was inside
> one of tunnels scaring the s*** out of him.
> He developed and printed pictures on sight in his
> truck converted to a darkroom and showed Russell
> that a shoofly had to be built around tunnel 5.
> Russell, being an engineer himself, had no trouble
> understanding what work was needed to reopen the
> Tehachapis.
> Most of the SP photographs were done by Edwards in
> the 50s and 60s.



Date: 06/15/11 13:48
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: agentatascadero

I think I was the only kid in Atascadero who slept through that quake. Over 100 miles away, it woke up most of the town very early that morning. JEB, I wonder if your fabulous albums contain any images of the massive traffic over on the Coat Line during the repair period? I can remember hanging out at the station and experiencing nearly continuous traffic, including more diesels (ATSF) than I had ever seen before. AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 06/15/11 13:51
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: Copy19

agentatascadero Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think I was the only kid in Atascadero who slept
> through that quake. Over 100 miles away, it woke
> up most of the town very early that morning. JEB,
> I wonder if your fabulous albums contain any
> images of the massive traffic over on the Coat
> Line during the repair period? I can remember
> hanging out at the station and experiencing nearly
> continuous traffic, including more diesels (ATSF)
> than I had ever seen before. AA

I've only leafed through the Tehachapi album. It appears to be focused on damage and reconstruction on Tehachapi itself. JEB



Date: 06/15/11 14:19
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: timz2

Can't tell if the track the cab-forward
is on in the last pic is on the present
alignment. Seems like Tunnel 4 should
be visible on the left side of the pic?



Date: 06/15/11 14:28
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: YG

Holy cow - three dramatic photos! And the story about the photographer....yikes!

Great post! I hope you have others when you have more free time.

Steve Mitchell
http://www.yardgoatimages.com



Date: 06/15/11 14:31
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: WAF

timz2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Can't tell if the track the cab-forward
> is on in the last pic is on the present
> alignment. Seems like Tunnel 4 should
> be visible on the left side of the pic?

Tunnel 4 was completely removed. The last shot is what is left of tunnel 4



Date: 06/15/11 14:46
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: timz2

Tunnel 4 wasn't removed, was it? The track was
shifted around it, but weren't the remains of
the tunnel concrete visible decades later?

(Maybe still?)



Date: 06/15/11 15:17
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: YankeeDog

Actually that tunnel held up fairly well considering the force put on it. The SP's tunnel at Sylmar has held up in two major quakes (1971 and 1994) when the I-5 -- SR-14 interchange above it collapsed both times.



Date: 06/15/11 15:28
Re: Tehachapi earthquake 1952
Author: WAF

timz2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tunnel 4 wasn't removed, was it? The track was
> shifted around it, but weren't the remains of
> the tunnel concrete visible decades later?
>
> (Maybe still?)

All that remains is a portion the side of the tunnel against the hillside. I don't have my Signor book with me, but someone can check.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/11 15:53 by WAF.



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