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Railroaders' Nostalgia > mad dog chronicles #320 Bayshore Yard San Francisco


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Date: 09/18/21 13:48
mad dog chronicles #320 Bayshore Yard San Francisco
Author: mdo

Bayshore Yard.

The yard was constructed on the shore of Visitation Valley in the most south eastern portion of San Francisco in conjunction with the Bayshore Cutoff, a new water level route into downtown San Francisco.  It was several miles shorter and avoided the long climb over the shoulder of San Bruno mountain.
I believe that the new route was in service in 1907.  The shops and yard were completed in 1918.  

This facility became the major marshaling and maintenance facility for the SP' Coast Division.  At its peak it employed more than a thousand people maintained more than 100 steam locomotives and a fleet of passenger cars along with many freight cars.  

In the late 1960s, I worked in this yard as a switchman.  By 1968 the car shops were essentially closed but many diesel locomotives were still being maintained at the Bayshore roundhouse adjacent to the car shops.

Activity at this yard actually increased in the mid 1970s When W M Jones  then Division Superintendent, implemented a plan to make Bayshore a major hub and originating point for all ot the traffic originating in the Bay Area south of Oakland and north of San Lois Obispo, that was destined for the North, East and San Joaquin Valley.
All cars destined for these areas were brought to Bayshore for blocking to these destinations. All the out bound trains originated here, They would then pick up in block at points like Oakland or Martinez.  This was the basic operating plan when I was assigned to the Oakland Terminal as Assistant Superintendent.  it was still largely in effect when I returned to the Western Division as Assistant Division Superintendent in June of 1978.  But traffic volumes were dropping on the San Francisco peninsula and many wearhouses in San Francisco were being converted to offices or living spaces as property values skyrocked.  Freight traffic was rapidly drying up in the City.  Most port traffic shifted to Oakland as containers replaced cargo net and pallet technology in ocean shipping.  

In 1979 gathering and switching operations were all concentrated at Bayshore yard and Mission Bay yard was shut down.

By 1980, when I again returned to the Western Division, this time as the Division Superintendent, trafficc patterns had changed and volumes had fallen so that this strategy no longer made sense.  At this time we began to increasingly use Bayshore to store bad order SP freight equipment.

In the Fall of 1968 on the last day that I worked as a switchman the were 47 regular switch engine assignments and a dozen  Herder positions

After Mission Bay yard closed I think we got down to 24 switch engines in the San Francisco Terminal.  while I was Superintendent, the piggyback terminal and the Roundhouse at Bayshore were closed.  The Commute operation was taken over by the JPB, and with the implementation of Push Pull operations on these trains all of the herder positions were no longer needed.  By the time that I left the Western Division I think we might have been at twelve switch engines.  Also while I was Superintendent, The Mission Bay yard facility and well as the surrounding SP operating properties were turned over to the real estate department and sold (Now fully developed, there is no freight operation or any track north of tunnel two except for the Comute operations.)

Today, there is one freight assignment for what used to be the San Francisco terminal everything is handled out of South San Francisco


(picture when I remember how to attatch one)





 



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/21 15:57 by mdo.



Date: 09/18/21 14:31
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: CarolVoss

Welcome back!!

Carol Voss
Bakersfield, CA



Date: 09/18/21 15:22
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: dan

Why doesn't UP haul data  into the bay area?



Date: 09/18/21 16:29
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: CCDeWeese

Glad to hear from you again here.



Date: 09/18/21 19:47
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: mococomike

Welcome back and interesting information.



Date: 09/19/21 09:47
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: spider1319

Thanks for the concise history of the freight operations on the Peninsula.That story replicates many other locations.Bill Webb



Date: 09/19/21 11:34
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: WAF

Sidebar to this. After Jones's plan was abolished, San Jose orginated a Roseville train and later a Eugene train. When the lumber depression hit in 1982, the Eugene train was ended and replaced by a Alton Southern train that picked up all the long east traffic (PB,MF and AS) at Oakland and Ozol. In particular the NWP traffic for going to WC and beyond. The train would go down the San Joaquin Valley and terminated at either Fresno, Bakersfield. The EUASY would pick up the train in this case. 



Date: 09/19/21 11:58
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: mdo

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sidebar to this. After Jones's plan was abolished,
> San Jose orginated a Roseville train and later a
> Eugene train. When the lumber depression hit in
> 1982, the Eugene train was ended and replaced by a
> Alton Southern train that picked up all the long
> east traffic (PB,MF and AS) at Oakland and Ozol.
> In particular the NWP traffic for going to WC and
> beyond. The train would go down the San Joaquin
> Valley and terminated at either Fresno,
> Bakersfield. The EUASY would pick up the train in
> this case. 

you might consider the San Francisco Bay Area as a highly fragmented classification facility that was geographly dispersed.  
in fact it was in the fifty's through the nineteen eighties, a very complex gathering and distribution network with many nodes.
Starting with W M Jones and continuing with Superintendents Mohan, Bredenberg,Ongerth and Marsh we all tried more than one strategy to
adjust to variations in traffic volume and mix.  This would actually make a good case study for a graduate course in logistics



WMJ actually had developed a detailed plan for the next "West Colton"  to be located just south of Newark on the Coast Sub at 
Albrae.  SP had assembled all the necessary land.  We released the property as operating land to the real estate dept in 1982 when I was the Superintendent of the Western.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/21 13:28 by mdo.



Date: 09/19/21 12:50
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: TCnR

The SF Bay area was so much different back in the 40's and 50's than what many people see looking back, the 60's really clobbered the freight traffic side of the area. Aside from watching the Film Noir channel where the B&W San Francisco is often highlighted, John Signor's books on the SP Western and Coast Divisions were an eye opener for me. The big towns of the area became big with factories and lots of railroad freight traffic, not to mention the huge contributions during WWII.

Highly recommended reading for those who missed it the first time around:
https://signaturepress.com/CoastLine/cl.html
https://signaturepress.com/signor/WD.html



Date: 09/19/21 13:16
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: WAF

mdo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> WAF Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Sidebar to this. After Jones's plan was
> abolished,
> > San Jose orginated a Roseville train and later
> a
> > Eugene train. When the lumber depression hit in
> > 1982, the Eugene train was ended and replaced by
> a
> > Alton Southern train that picked up all the
> long
> > east traffic (PB,MF and AS) at Oakland and
> Ozol.
> > In particular the NWP traffic for going to WC
> and
> > beyond. The train would go down the San Joaquin
> > Valley and terminated at either Fresno,
> > Bakersfield. The EUASY would pick up the train
> in
> > this case. 
>
> you might consider the San Francisco Bay Area as a
> highly fragmented classification facility that was
> geographly dispersed.  
> in fact it was in the fifty's through the nineteen
> eighties, a very complex gathering and
> distribution network with many nodes.
> Starting with W M Jones and continuing with
> Superintendents Mohan, Bredenberg,Ongerth and
> Marsh we all tried more than one strategy to
> adjust to variations in traffic volume and mix.
>  This would actually make a good case study for a
> graduate course in logistics
>
>
>
> WMJ actually had developed a detailed plan for the
> next "West Colto"  to be located just south of
> Newark on the Coast Sub at 
> Albrae.  SP had assembled all the necessary land.
>  We released the property as operating land to
> the real estate dept in 1982 when I was the
> Superintendent of the Western.
If the recession didn't happen, if the mass exit of industry in the Bay Area didn't happen in the late 70s, if the auto industry remained strong it might have happened



Date: 09/19/21 13:23
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: WAF

And if Albrae had opened, Altamont was seen as a gateway to SoCal or RV. Altamont. Might have seen a lot of money thrown at it with long sidings, new ties and ribbon rail rail and possibly CTC. Dreams... where would Nevada be without them?



Date: 09/19/21 13:38
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: mdo

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And if Albrae had opened, Altamont was seen as a
> gateway to SoCal or RV. Altamont. Might have seen
> a lot of money thrown at it with long sidings, new
> ties and ribbon rail rail and possibly CTC.
> Dreams... where would Nevada be without them?

what if games can be fun...... What if West Colton had been located in New Mexico.
or What if the UP built the yard at Mumford.



Date: 09/19/21 13:58
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: WAF

West Colton in New Mexico. Now,that's funny. Lots of land where the SP goes and at dirt prices



Date: 09/19/21 14:11
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: mdo

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> West Colton in New Mexico. Now,that's funny. Lots
> of land where the SP goes and at dirt prices
 Alternate  locations actually considered for constructing the hump yard located at Bloomington (West Colton)
Indio, Niland, Yuma, El Paso and maybe Piccacho.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/21 14:18 by mdo.



Date: 09/19/21 15:30
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: WAF

At the time, Indio would have made sense since it was building a few west trains to NorCal and Oregon. Same with Yuma. West of El Paso would make more sense if you could keep it secure. East of Deming would have been perfect. Indio would ahve be long and narrow as it was hemmed in by I10 to the east and City of Indio  to the West



Date: 09/20/21 12:15
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: mdo

I should note that way back in December, 2005  mad dog chronicles #158 has a detailed description of the operation and layout of the San Francisco terminal



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/21 12:21 by mdo.



Date: 09/20/21 12:30
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: TCnR

mdo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I should note that way back in December, 2005
>  mad dog chronicles #158 has a detailed
> description of the operation and layout of the San
> Francisco terminal

Date: 12/22/05 13:27
Mad Dog Chronicle # 158 District Three, The San Fransis

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18,1063246,1063246#msg-1063246



Date: 09/20/21 12:55
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: StStephen

Was there ever an engineering plan developed for the Albrae yard? I'd heard that it was to have had a layout similar to WC with a short departure yard with sets of departure tracks in the middle of the bowl to allow building longer trains, but have never heard of an actual plan referenced.

Speaking of what ifs, what if SP had held onto all that land that it dumped or was abscounded with during the SFSP fiasco.
Bruce

Posted from Android



Date: 09/20/21 13:28
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: mdo

No detailed plans that I ever saw.  Could easily have been a conceptual plan.  The engineer who would know has passed away.

as to the non operating lands fate, it is anybody's guess.



Date: 09/20/21 20:12
Re: mad dog chronicles #320
Author: JGFuller

Much discussion in the GOB in the late 60s about where the next hump should be built. West Colton and Anapra [just west of El Paso] would up being the leading candidates. WC was built. Anapra appeared later, in the form of the Santa Teresa intermodal yard.

Jack Fuller
Lafayette, CA



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