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Nostalgia & History > A young railfan in 1955


Date: 01/18/06 11:42
A young railfan in 1955
Author: TonyJ

Growing up in San Francisco I loved watching the Southern Pacific. My parents encouraged my love of model trains and in 1955 our Cub Scout pack (#59, I think) took a tour of SP's Mission Bay Roundhouse. (I bet it was my mom's idea.) My dad went along and took a few shots with his 1946 Leica 3C and I took a few shots with my Argus "brick". Here is a shot looking back at the "Mission Bay Garden Club" sign near the roundhouse, with six "Den Mothers" along for the tour. (My mom is partially hidden on the right.)

There were two Cub Scout packs this day, and I don't remember who they were, but they made paper engineer hats for the trip. - Tony J.




Date: 01/18/06 11:51
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: TonyJ

After touring Mission Bay Roundhouse we rode on the turntable and watched 0-6-0 SP1297 go on the turntable and rode around with it. Espee 4-8-2 #4337 was there and a few weeks later I was fortunate to get a cab ride in it - from the roundhouse lead, onto the turntable and into one of the stalls. It wasn't a long ride, but a great one to me. Somewhere I have misplaced the two or three slides of us scouts riding the turntable.

After riding the turntable we youg scouts got to climb into the cab of a Espee F-7 (can't recall the number). Here a shot of a bunch of us - including this old fart - waiting to climb aboard the F7. I'm the thrid kid in line, wearing the redish-color jacket with a big smile on his face.

In the backgound you can see the old Third Street overpass - a two-lane road that allowed vehicle traffic to cross over the busy SP track to the ATSF interchange when blocked by trains. - Tony J.




Date: 01/18/06 11:51
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: rdsexton

Ah, San Francisco scouting. It was quite active then. I was a cub scout in Pack 133 in the Mission District late forties. My Dad was Pack master, Scout Master of Troop 33 and also Explorer Post 33. Didn't make it to the roundhouse but did tour the Iowa when she was in drydock at Hunters Point. That was before GGRM, of course, and all the development since.



Date: 01/18/06 11:56
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: TonyJ

rdsexton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ah, San Francisco scouting. It was quite active
> then. I was a cub scout in Pack 133 in the Mission
> District late forties. My Dad was Pack master,
> Scout Master of Troop 33 and also Explorer Post
> 33. Didn't make it to the roundhouse but did tour
> the Iowa when she was in drydock at Hunters Point.
> That was before GGRM, of course, and all the
> development since.


My Dad was also a Scoutmaster when I was a Boy Scout. We lived in the Sunset District. We managed to take a tour of the aircraft carrier BOXER, whih was a lot of fun; especially the ride down the plane elevator. I wish I could have been with your group on the IOWA. Love those old battleships.

I can say with certainty that my days as a cub scout - and especially as a Boy Scout - were some of the greatest days of my life. Of course, live was much simplier in the 1950s. - Tony J.



Date: 01/18/06 12:20
1952
Author: Westbound

What a great tour for boys. My turn came in 1952 when our entire school class got to take a tour - to the crummy local airport! The roundhouse was my dream visit back then.



Date: 01/18/06 13:12
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: dcfbalcoS1

Life was simple and uncluttered by liability, law suits, etc. If you climbed up on a boxcar and fell off, breaking your arm - no problem. No one's fault but your own, end of story and no reports to file.
I used to stand on top of boxcars to see the train coming from 8 or 9 miles out, like it really made a difference. I was going to be there till it came in anyway. When you only have one train a day, it's important. That is where I got my rides, in Santa Fe F7 units, switching the business tracks and loading cattle out east at the sale barn. 30 years later, I would again meet one of those Santa Fe engineers, work with him on weekends and learn how to operate locomotives.



Date: 01/18/06 14:36
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: dmaffei

Good stuff Tony.
We took our Scouts to the Napa Valley Model RR club with a visit to the Wine Train on the side last year. Prototype and scale trains all in one day.

I Know for a fact that John Signor's intrest in Railroading was sparked from a cub scout adventure when he was a Pup...

Scouting is good fun.



Date: 01/18/06 14:45
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: Steamjocky

I never got to do anything like that when I was a Cub Scout(Den 4, Pack 14). :-(

JE



Date: 01/18/06 15:11
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: nycman

Back when parents cared (look at all the den mothers in the first photo) and as others have pointed out, before the litigation explosion. Boy Scouts provided most of my fun in the '50's, and I gave some back as a den chief, later assistant cubmaster, and merit badge counselor.



Date: 01/18/06 15:30
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: Skonk

At about the same time I was a member of Pack 363 Seattle. Instead of going down to the railyards the fathers who worked for Boeing took us brats to Boeing field and we got to tour the B-52 final assemly plant on Saturday morning. The mechs were doing a landing actuation test with one of the buffs up on jacks, very impressive.

As to a train related field trip got ride a NP passenger train between Seattle and Tacoma one morning during first grade.



Date: 01/18/06 16:18
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: SOB

Steamjocky Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I never got to do anything like that when I was a
> Cub Scout(Den 4, Pack 14). :-(
>
> JE


Maybe because your Den and Pack were in lock-up?

Just a thought...

SOB



Date: 01/18/06 16:21
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: KeyRouteKen

Well, I was NEVER in scouts--not ever! Too busy playing with a STEAM railroad in my basement. Beat out Lionel anytime.
Didn't need SCOUTS either, to go crazy all over the SP and see everything I wanted, because the right 'family' connections were there. Right, Mr. Tony J...???????

Cute kid, wasn't he ??

KRK



Date: 01/18/06 18:14
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: TonyJ

KeyRouteKen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, I was NEVER in scouts--not ever! Too busy
> playing with a STEAM railroad in my basement.
> Beat out Lionel anytime.
> Didn't need SCOUTS either, to go crazy all over
> the SP and see everything I wanted, because the
> right 'family' connections were there. Right, Mr.
> Tony J...???????
>
> Cute kid, wasn't he ??
>
> KRK


Correct Ken. I wished I had your family's connections. You were indeed fortunate.

As for me being a cute kid back then, well.... let's just say erosion has set in, but I'm just as excited about trains as I was back in 1955. - Tony J.



Date: 01/18/06 19:08
Re: A young railfan in 1955
Author: Edwardjb

We must be about the same age, but my cub scout den and pack never pursued rail interests. I grew up in Redwood City, the only outing I remember was to Alameda to tour the USS Midway (CVA-41). Little did I know then that some years later I would be LIVING on the Midway, in the Tonkin Gulf! My first interest in trains was, I think, 1957. My mother saw a newspaper article about a "farewell to steam excursion" to Santa Cruz (#4460 to Watsonville Jct, diesels to the boardwalk). That same year saw excursions to Sparks and Fresno.

Ed




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