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Nostalgia & History > Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub


Date: 09/27/13 20:51
Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: Railfan4Christ

It is March 25, 1992, another cloudy, gloomy day in California’s San Joaquin Valley during the closing days of Santa Fe’s operation of the Porterville Subdivision. Santa Fe’s operation of this line was mostly at night; however, there was an occasional daylight trip made, and on this day I was home and had film in the camera. I lived about 2 blocks away from the old Porterville depot, so when I heard the train whistle for the crossing, I rearranged my schedule and headed out on the chase.

#1 The Ultra Turn passes the former AT&SF depot in Porterville, CA which is now part of a senior citizens complex. Power for today is GP35’s 2849 & 2851.

#2 The train is climbing the hill toward Magnolia Packing house. The track crossing the road at right is the Sunland Spur leading to the Sunland Packing House, which will not be switched today. Notice they have not picked the oranges on the trees at the left. These are Valencia oranges, which will be picked in the summer.

#3 Pulling into Magnolia, they are going to pick up and set out some cars. I count 13 that I can see, which is pretty this line considering most of the citrus traffic is going by truck



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/13 21:01 by Railfan4Christ.








Date: 09/27/13 20:53
Re: Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: Railfan4Christ

Photos 4-6 the train is switching the Magnolia Packing house. It not go all the way to Ultra (Terra Bella), but will push its train back to Porterville will the power will turn on the wye there before going back to Calwa Yard.








Date: 09/27/13 20:54
Re: Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: Railfan4Christ

#7 Train is going backward crossing Scranton Ave. headed back to Porterville.

#8 The power has turned and is headed back to Calwa yard and is now climbing out of Porterville headed toward Lindsay.

#9 I was able to chase them into Lindsay where they pass one of the many wig-wag signals that were still operational along this line. This would be the last Santa Fe Ultra Turn I would see or photograph along this line. Thanks for looking back with me.

Tom








Date: 09/27/13 21:06
Re: Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: ATSF100WEST

Very nice, Thomas! Thanks for making the effort to document history...

Bob

ATSF100WEST......Out



Date: 09/27/13 21:41
Re: Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: coach

These postings of old San Joaquin branchlines are priceless. What a wonderful part of California history. Wish these lines were still seeing big carloadings of reefers. Such a shame to see many of them gone. The trees, fruit and packing sheds, in many cases, are still there.



Date: 09/28/13 01:31
Re: Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: wpdude

I agree with coach! Great stuff, thanks for sharing your gems!



Date: 09/28/13 02:46
Re: Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: ats90mph

Excellent...

Except for the last photo (wig wag) It's all gone, probably forever...

I had an idea, that south of Fresno, Amtrak could do an "East Valley" service thru Reedley, Exeter, Porterville, Lindsay and go back to Bakersfield on the old Minkler Southern. That idea probably registers about nil on the "Probability Scale"...



Date: 09/28/13 19:32
Re: Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: SPDRGWfan

Cool, lotsa FGE reefers there.



Date: 09/29/13 21:55
Re: Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: MyfordBrowning

Great photo of a train on the Santa Fe branch. An impressive train for that late in the Santa Fe operation of the line. The station sign at Magnolia once had Santa Fe and Southern Pacific on it as the once SP had trackage rights between Porterville Junction and Ducor.

Cliff



Date: 09/30/13 10:44
Re: Friday Night Bytes-Santa Fe's Porterville Sub
Author: Lone Star

Thomas,

Thanks for sharing these. An interesting tidbit is that the trackage from Porterville Junction to Magnolia and Sunland (on the Sunland Spur), was originally laid and first operated by the Visalia Electric Railroad, which used a gas-electric loco to do so. This lasted for a very brief time until the line was sold to the Minkler Southern. In addition, various trackage rights were negotiated at that time between the MS and the SP.

John Ford



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