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Steam & Excursion > Most Steam Locomotives Unloaded Here Did Not Last Very Long!


Date: 04/01/20 04:03
Most Steam Locomotives Unloaded Here Did Not Last Very Long!
Author: LoggerHogger

We can only imagine what was going through the mind of the photographer back in 1938 as he watched this 1875 built Baldwin narrow gauge 4-4-0 being unloaded at the scrap yard in South San Francisco.  Certainly he must have assumed this would be his only chance to photograph this relic of the prior century before it was reduced to a pile of scrap.  If that's what he was thinking, then he was quite wrong.

The locomotive being unloaded from a standard gauge flatcar on this foggy day in The City was none other that Hobart Estate #5.  She was formerly Sierra Nevada Wood & Lumber #5 at Hobart Mills and prior that she was the "Eureka" on the Eureka & Palisades Railroad out of Palisades, Nevada.  After she was unloaded at the scrap yard the scrap yard operators hung on to her and hoped a buyer would come along.  Sure enough, the next year, representatives from Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood came to check her out and the bought her on the spot.  They figured she would be an ideal locomotive to use on their back-lots in a string of Westerns they had planed.

As we all know, #5 was rescued after her movie career was long over by Dan Markhof who restored to her original "Eureka" appearance and she still operates today on special occasions.  That photographer who captured this image as she was unloaded at the scrap yard could never have guessed that he was watching a new beginning rather than an ending for this locomotive

Martin



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/20 04:17 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 04/01/20 07:18
Re: Most Steam Locomotives Unloaded Here Did Not Last Very Long!
Author: czuleget

There are other items in this picture which beckons one to ask what is it. That is the Wheel to the right and what looks like a stack of Joint bars. 



Date: 04/01/20 08:10
SSF
Author: timz

Did South San Francisco have a gas tank like that?



Date: 04/01/20 08:51
Re: SSF
Author: tomstp

What a neat story.



Date: 04/01/20 09:13
Re: SSF
Author: TonyJ

timz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Did South San Francisco have a gas tank like that?

I was thinking the same thing. It could a bit further north in San Francisco.



Date: 04/01/20 09:17
Re: SSF
Author: TonyJ

timz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Did South San Francisco have a gas tank like that?

​I was thinking the same thing. It could a bit further north in San Francisco as the location doesn't look like that of the scrappers in SSF. From the neatly stacked items ibn the photo I'm wondering if the 4-4-0 is being unloaded in another lot the scapper owns and uses for selling good merchandise. Just my thoughts. - Tony J.



Date: 04/01/20 09:25
Re: SSF
Author: LoggerHogger

HE #5 stayed in this scrap yard all the time she was for sale.  She was there with a number of locomotives from Hobart Mills.

Martin








Date: 04/01/20 09:29
Re: SSF
Author: LoggerHogger

Martin




Date: 04/01/20 10:03
Re: SSF
Author: TCnR

+ Yep, those additional photos show it in that area around Army St and Islais creek. The broad view is interesting showing the PG&E Potrero facility.

++ nope wrong area but nearby:  the photos show the piles of stuff that are visible on historic aerials photos. Pretty wild.

.....
I'm guessing it's around Army st based on the gas holder, but I can't find any decent photos or info. I did find a whole bunch of locations I didn't know about. Looking at Historic Aerials there seems to be some open fields around Army st with equipment lined up, maybe. That area had a bunch of gas holder structures. Another maybe is Oakland over near the WP, they had two gas holders there, one of them looks very similar to the one in the photo, but not enough to go by.

Those gas holders are amazing in that there were so many and they were so obvious at the time, not really many photos of them. Not real pretty when you think about it.

Great photo, fantastic collection.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/20 16:51 by TCnR.



Date: 04/01/20 12:09
Re: Most Steam Locomotives Unloaded Here Did Not Last Very Long!
Author: jcaestecker

czuleget Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There are other items in this picture which
> beckons one to ask what is it. That is the Wheel
> to the right and what looks like a stack of Joint
> bars. 

The wheel looks like a cable spool to me.

-John



Date: 04/01/20 15:18
Re: SF?
Author: timz

If you're hunting for it in SF, don't bother with historicaerials-- go to davidrumsey.com and search for "1938 san francisco aerial" to get a much better view.

Two problems, if it's SF: what's that empty high ground left of center in Mr Hansen's last pic, and where's the SP elevated main?



Date: 04/01/20 16:41
Re: SF?
Author: TCnR

That's an interesting site but I'm seeing some dups and lots of photos of ' other ' places, went back to  https://opensfhistory.org/index.phpt   dug this photo out. It shows the Army St gas holder at Bayshore around 1950, from where hiway 101 is now. If this is the same gas holder then the bare slopes are just north of Army St, now Ceaser Chevaz St, the scrap yard would be a similar angle but on the other side of the gas holder, off to the right.

In Martin's last photo the SP main would be/could be beyond that white warehouse and the hillside, it looks like that building has a black roof in the aerial photos. Note the two distant gas holders which appear to be the PG&E gas plant at the edge of the Bay. There's photos of the overhead section being built in the teens.

What's also interesting is looking at the Historiaerials maps this area had a wye coming in from the west then exiting to the south, the general area of Army St being the third leg of the wye. ( See later comments below ).

If it is the same area the post war aerials show a new warehouse where the 1930's scrap yard would have been. I'm getting lost in all those SF photos and angles, I suspect that's where the scrap yard is but I'm open to ideas.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/20 22:03 by TCnR.




Date: 04/01/20 19:26
Re: SF
Author: timz

Surprised to not see that fixed, no-framework gas tank in your last pic -- the one north of Army St, west of the SP, that lasted until 1987 or so. That freeway opened 1951, which apparently was when PG&E put up that tank.



Date: 04/01/20 19:56
Re: SF?
Author: mococomike

TCNR tracks to west and south are former Ocean Shore RR then WP. SP mainline cut north further west at Alemeny.  After orignal photo was taken the hillsides changed during the 40's and 50's as al the public housing and produce market were added to the area.



Date: 04/01/20 22:00
Re: SF?
Author: TCnR

mococomike Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> TCNR tracks to west and south are former Ocean
> Shore RR then WP. SP mainline cut north further
> west at Alemeny.  After orignal photo was taken
> the hillsides changed during the 40's and 50's as
> al the public housing and produce market were
> added to the area.

Ok, I'll clean that part up a little. I haven't kept up on the Ocean Shore, interesting to see things like that on the old maps.



Date: 04/02/20 22:16
Re: SF
Author: Abqfoamer

We had similar gas tanks in the NYC area in the 50s, Weren't they astoundingly dangerous?
Were they finally outlawed?



Date: 04/03/20 10:31
Re: SF
Author: Arved

Abqfoamer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> We had similar gas tanks in the NYC area in the
> 50s, Weren't they astoundingly dangerous?
> Were they finally outlawed?

Good question! After a bit of googling:

"According to People’s Gas, the last Chicago-area tanks were dismantled by the mid-2000s." - https://news.wttw.com/2014/06/19/ask-geoffrey-619

Not the last, but the last in Chicago area. Reason not mentioned, and still eludes me.

Arved Grass
Fleming Island, FL
Arved Grass



Date: 04/03/20 15:14
Re: tanks
Author: timz

Astoundingly dangerous? Compared to whatever has replaced them? What has replaced them?

Ever see that pic of the Chicago tank after the B-24 hit it circa 1943? It burned, of course, but apparently it didn't explode the way us know-nothings would expect.



Date: 04/03/20 15:45
Re: tanks
Author: LarryDoyle

timz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Astoundingly dangerous? Compared to whatever has
> replaced them? What has replaced them?
>

Astoundingly?  Probably no.  But quite dangerous, as with any large source of energy.

When manufactured gas was the norm it was produced from, mostly, coal.  By heating coal in a retort the released gas was captured and stored in these reservoirs. The by-product is coke.  Production was basically a constant, while demand for lighting and heating varied during the day, so these hugh reservoirs were maintained to store gas for the daily variations. 

Coincident with the switch to natural gas, utilities abandoned these reservoirs and installed regulators at the point of use.  Thus, these reservoirs have been replaced by stored gas in the undergound piping under your city's streets.

-LD



Date: 04/26/20 10:43
Re: tanks
Author: phthithu

This might be the Learner Company. Based on TCnR's identification of this area as being Islais Creek I'm looking at the SPINS for this area. The Learner Co. had four long tracks and interchanged with the SP. I just googled them and cursory review of the results suggests this was a scrapyard. I bet this is the same block that TCnR was looking at in the 1938 aerials with the piles of stuff in it--if those were the historic aerials he was checking out. 

Learner Co. yard was roughly bounded by Napoleon, Toland, and Jerrold. 

Great photos Martin thanks for sharing.  



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/20 10:55 by phthithu.



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