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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Another Espee Alameda St. memory


Date: 08/05/19 13:45
Another Espee Alameda St. memory
Author: cewherry

The recent spate of postings by myself and others regarding SP's operations along Alameda Street in Los Angeles
brings another experience to mind.

See: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,4837708,4838232#msg-4838232
 and: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18,4838964,4838964#msg-4838964

One of the things that made operations 'exciting', if that's the right word, for the crews as well motorists is the fact that
at two locations between 4th St. and again at 6th St. the tracks veered from the customary one track in the southbound and
one track in the northbound traffic lanes to both tracks in the southbound lanes. Whether these tracks were part of the north
leads into SP's 
​Central Station, which at one time lay between 4th & 6th streets, and that alignment was retained following
the opening of LAUPT in 1939, I don't know.
 What I do know is that sudden 'jog' to the southbound lanes proved to be
a consternation for unwary motorists when the train they might be driving along side of, suddenly decided to 'change lanes'. 

It proved doubly exciting to a motorist and the crew of the afternoon "City Job" one night in 1964 as we were headed north
on the street, destination River Station, aka "The Links".  

We had finished our switching at the 8th St. Team, the switchmen lit our two red kerosene (yes, in 1964), lanterns and hung them
from the hand grabirons on either side of the coupler of the last car. Our 1000 hp Baldwin pointed cab-first toward the Links.
It was dark outside the cab as engineer Frank Wells, myself and the the switchmen looked out the back windows as we eased out
of the yard and into the northbound lanes of Alameda St. Our rear headlight was lit and on bright. Of course, "bright" was a relative
description considering the frosted bulb which was valiantly trying to illuminate our way. I'll say this; the headlight provided us
no help in illuminating our way that night especially considering the abundance of street and building lighting around us. Auto traffic
was sparse considering the hour with but a few cars sharing the road with us. 

As we entered the south 'jog' which took us from the northbound traffic lanes into the southbound lanes at 6th St., I noticed a pair of
auto headlights coming toward us in the outer lane, the only headlights visible, several blocks to the north. Our sudden 'lane change'
seemed to get the attention of the driver for the headlights appeared to slow their approach. Suddenly the headlights changed to the
inner lane. Now were headed for a head-on with the headlights. Frank sees the change and begins to slow from our 10 MPH pace.
About two blocks from the headlights, they changed back to the outer lane. We're OK. The auto is slowing too. About a block away now
and the headlights dart back to the inside. Frank sets the air and we come to a stop. The car slows again but now he's about 50 feet away,
....and keeps coming. Frank blows the whistle and the car heads right into the rear coupler at about 5 MPH!! 

All four doors of the sedan fly open and  6 women passengers jump out. We unload from the cab while the driver tries to figure
what has just happened. In the gutter lays a woman's purse. I pick it up and, turning around ask; "Does this belong to any of you? 
There are no women. They have all simply vanished into the Los Angeles night. Just another day on the afternoon "City Job".

Charlie
  
 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/19 14:06 by cewherry.



Date: 08/05/19 20:00
Re: Another Espee Alameda St. memory
Author: SP4360

Someone you probably know tells of a story while switching one of the many industries they came out of back on to Alameda with a few lit fusees on the ground. An auto came speeding by almost hitting the last car he was riding and instinct kicks in throwing a lit fusee at it.  Said fusee went into the back window of a Cadillac which came to a rather sudden stop up the street with the back seat blazing. They took their train and left without saying a word. Oh My!


cewherry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The recent spate of postings by myself and others
> regarding SP's operations along Alameda Street in
> Los Angeles
> brings another experience to mind.
>
> See: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.
> php?11,4837708,4838232#msg-4838232
>  and: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/rea
> d.php?18,4838964,4838964#msg-4838964
>
> One of the things that made operations 'exciting',
> if that's the right word, for the crews as well
> motorists is the fact that
> at two locations between 4th St. and again at 6th
> St. the tracks veered from the customary one track
> in the southbound and
> one track in the northbound traffic lanes to both
> tracks in the southbound lanes. Whether these
> tracks were part of the north
> leads into SP's ​Central Station, which at one
> time lay between 4th & 6th streets, and that
> alignment was retained following
> the opening of LAUPT in 1939, I don't know. What
> I do know is that sudden 'jog' to the southbound
> lanes proved to be
> a consternation for unwary motorists when the
> train they might be driving along side of,
> suddenly decided to 'change lanes'. 
> It proved doubly exciting to a motorist and the
> crew of the afternoon "City Job" one night in 1964
> as we were headed north
> on the street, destination River Station, aka "The
> Links".  
>
> We had finished our switching at the 8th St. Team,
> the switchmen lit our two red kerosene (yes, in
> 1964), lanterns and hung them
> from the hand grabirons on either side of the
> coupler of the last car. Our 1000 hp Baldwin
> pointed cab-first toward the Links.
> It was dark outside the cab as engineer Frank
> Wells, myself and the the switchmen looked out the
> back windows as we eased out
> of the yard and into the northbound lanes of
> Alameda St. Our rear headlight was lit and on
> bright. Of course, "bright" was a relative
> description considering the frosted bulb which was
> valiantly trying to illuminate our way. I'll say
> this; the headlight provided us
> no help in illuminating our way that night
> especially considering the abundance of street and
> building lighting around us. Auto traffic
> was sparse considering the hour with but a few
> cars sharing the road with us. 
>
> As we entered the south 'jog' which took us from
> the northbound traffic lanes into the southbound
> lanes at 6th St., I noticed a pair of
> auto headlights coming toward us in the outer
> lane, the only headlights visible, several blocks
> to the north. Our sudden 'lane change'
> seemed to get the attention of the driver for the
> headlights appeared to slow their approach.
> Suddenly the headlights changed to the
> inner lane. Now were headed for a head-on with the
> headlights. Frank sees the change and begins to
> slow from our 10 MPH pace.
> About two blocks from the headlights, they changed
> back to the outer lane. We're OK. The auto is
> slowing too. About a block away now
> and the headlights dart back to the inside. Frank
> sets the air and we come to a stop. The car slows
> again but now he's about 50 feet away,
> ....and keeps coming. Frank blows the whistle and
> the car heads right into the rear coupler at about
> 5 MPH!! 
>
> All four doors of the sedan fly open and  6 women
> passengers jump out. We unload from the cab while
> the driver tries to figure
> what has just happened. In the gutter lays a
> woman's purse. I pick it up and, turning around
> ask; "Does this belong to any of you? 
> There are no women. They have all simply vanished
> into the Los Angeles night. Just another day on
> the afternoon "City Job".
>
> Charlie
>   
>  



Date: 08/05/19 23:56
Re: Another Espee Alameda St. memory
Author: Ivar

Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 08/08/19 11:11
Re: Another Espee Alameda St. memory
Author: spider1319

Great job and detailed narrative into the workings of Alameda St switching.Thanks for posting.Bill Webb



Date: 08/10/19 13:23
Re: Another Espee Alameda St. memory
Author: BN4364

MORE CHARLIE, MORE!



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