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Passenger Trains > Then and now at Magnolia

Date: 10/16/09 03:28
Then and now at Magnolia
Author: Evan_Werkema

1. The marine layer was in full force on the morning of August 25, 1996, covering the greater San Francisco Bay Area in low clouds and fog, with enough left over to cover the not-so-great parts as well. To most folks, the Adeline St. overpass at the east end of SP's West Oakland yard would easily qualify as one of those not-so-great-parts, but for railfan photographers, it's another story. On this day, UP GP40 682, a former Katy unit originally built for Penn Central, has just come out of the former WP Oakland Yard with mechanical reefers of frozen chickens and clumped across three diamonds' worth of SP main lines behind us at what WP called Chestnut Junction, and SP called Magnolia. Just shy of 3rd St., the crew threw a switch and shoved their cars into the small interchange yard behind SP's retired and denuded Magnolia Tower. The reefers were destined for the small metal warehouse on the right, and the tracks in the distance curved around onto the Union St. trackage of the Oakland Terminal Railway. UP had half-ownership of the OTR, another inheritence from the WP, and they dropped off interchange cars here as well. Further in the distance, the new I-880 freeway is taking shape, a replacement for the infamous "Cypress Structure" that had collapsed during the Loma Prieta earthquake back on October 17, 1989.

2. Run the clock ahead 13 years. The ex-WP Oakland Yard is gone, the ex-WP main no longer crosses the ex-SP, and Magnolia Tower has been cut up and hauled off to Portola, CA for preservation at the WP Museum. UP 682 was renumbered 9964 in 2000, and dropped off the roster in 2001. No more frozen chickens call at the metal warehouse, and the OTR hasn't been down this way since 1999 at the latest. The new 880 is alive and humming, but you'd hardly notice it for the new Amtrak coachyard and maintenance building that has sprung up in front of it. Instead of a GP40 and reefers, it's CDTX Dash 8-32BWH 2052 shuffling California Cars at Oakland on the crystal clear morning of October 6, 2009. What hasn't changed, thankfully, is that the Adeline St. overpass still provides a commanding view of it all.

Date: 10/16/09 17:31
Re: Then and now at Magnolia
Author: IC_2024

Great shots and story, too, Evan! Oakland's an excellent subject for this before and after series--tempus fugit!

Date: 12/28/09 12:18
Re: Then and now at Magnolia
Author: ClipX

Ugh!!! The OTR!! Switch a many of car when Amtrak was in the freight business.

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