Northern California railroad pictures are from past calendars by the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society. Become a member!
No. 35 of The Pacific Lumber Company, a 2-8-2, switches the Carlotta mill with NWP boxcar #1959, one of 100 USRA double sheathed 40-foot boxcars acquired by NWP in 1919. The brakeman seems to be a happy car hugger. NWPHS member Ed Nervo bought No. 35 from TPL to save her. Sold to Heber Creeper RR, Utah, in 1971. - Fred Stindt collection, NWPRRHS.
Overview of Tiburon yards shortly after the Tiburon lne was opened by San Francisco $ North Pacific RR in 1884. Large structure to the right of roundhouse was the machine shop, which burned in 1922. White building to its rear was the car shop. Note track curving behind roundhouse which was used to dump fill, scooped from the borrow pit out of sight to the bottom of the photo, into Tiburon Cove. - Print from Jeff Craemer collection, NWPRRHS.
Conductor Clyde Berry stands in front of Petaluma & Santa Rosa No. 51, Petaluma. Berry recorded that from January 1911 to January 1912 as a P&SR conductor he traveled 63, 718 miles covering 328 working days, averaging 194 miles per day. P&SR records show annual patronage was over 750,000 in 1911, or 2,050 per day. That worked out to the equivalent of half the entire population of Petaluma at that time traveling over the electric road on any given day!
North Shore Mason Bogie No. 2 stands on the San Quentin pier with a train carrying extra flags front and rear. Bumped off her assigned Mill Valley branch service by the new electrics in 1903, she has been converted to oil burning, outfitted with a three-way coupler pocket for switching interurban cars on Sausalito Pier, and given an acetylene headlight with fancywork trim on its base. Fireman Roy Graves took the photo and the brakeman at right is Al Murdoch. - Print from the Roy Graves collection at Bancroft Library, courtesy of Jeff Craemer.
Santa Rosa photographer John Pedro Silva shot this terrific view of NPC steamer San Rafael from the deck of SF&NP's Tiburon in 1884. Captain John McKenzie has San Rafael's engines "All ahead Full" and then some, and you can bet the Tiburon is not standing still. Racing? Oh, no, absolutely positively without exception forbidden. Just don't lose. Which makes this beautiful photo all the more remarkable and a tribute to photographer Silva. - Original at Sonoma County Historical Society, print from the Craig Hoefer collection, NWPRRHS.
Outfit cars of the scrapper train at Occidental in 1930, preparing to take up the narrow gauge. The unusual car numbered 025 appears to be a hot shower car created at Sausalito Shops from an old Carter flatcar, NS#1697. NWP called it just a water car. Bunk car 027 was ex-NWP coach No. 705 originally built by Carter Bros. for the South Pacific Coast. The building in the background was a tanbark storage shed. View is looking north. - Jeff Craemer collection, NWPRRHS.
Sonoma Lumber Company No. 2, Bully Boy, about 1892 on Hurlburt Creek near Guernewood Park with a train of redwood logs and firewood. Principals in Sonoma Lumber included Robert Dollar and D.L. Westover, the latter being the General manager. They acquired the interests of Heald & Guerne, for whom No. 2 was built in 1886 by the Globe Iron Works Company of San Francisco. Globe built a number of logging locomotives in the 1880's, including NWP's No. 99, the Coffee grinder. Sonoma Lumber ran the big sawmill at Guerneville until 1901.
California Northern assembled a rainbow consist with this three-unit lashup approaching Willits in January, 1994. On the point is venerable SP SD-9 No. 4412 in traditional scarlet and grey. Sandwiched in the middle CNR No. 200 sports a clean looking green and white. Trailing is SP Kodachrome SD-9 No. 4420. The Conrail blue boxcar's reporting marks have been cleverly removed. - Angelo Figone photo.
When NWP acquired General Electric gas-electric No. 900 from Visalia Electric in 1921, Tiburon Shops applied a full make-over with this yellow paint scheme under a black roof and white lettering outlined in black. The car went on the Manor-Lagunitas/Point Reyes Station locals replacing steam trains there. It was a natural in that service, as there were no turning facilities at Manor or Lagunitas and the car features controls at each end. Large locomotive style headlight and bell decorated the roof. No. 900 lost lost distinctive rounded windsplitter end in a collision. It close out passenger service to Point Reyes Station when the branch was abandoned in 1933. - NWP photo, Fred Stindt collection, NWPRRHS.
SF&NP No. 18 had this fine portrait taken at the Ukiah roundhouse by A.O. Carpenter. Posing in his Sunday best with bowler hat is engineer George Bradley. Standing in front of the center driver is his son, Paul Bradley, clearly already enrolled in the trainman's profession with his watch chain. Paul's son the late Bill Bradley would become the third generation Bradley to work the NWP trains and an active NWPRRHS member. - Original photo in Robert J. Lee collection, Mendocino County Historical Society. Print from the Ted Wurm collection NWPRRHS.
A rainy day at Hopland, October of 1972. A pair of Cadillacs running as Extra 3954 East drop into the house track to pick up a ballast gon while further down the same track a speeder watches the move. Angelo Figone's camera captures the raindrops glistening on the leaves of the shrubbery and on the telephone wires too, as well as the reflection of Hopland's buff colored depot in the mud puddles at trackside. The rain washed ballast looks as clean as if it were brand new. Notice the old wooden boxcar serving as a storage shed.
NWP Engineer Bill Silverthorn made an unscheduled 12:30PM stop at Ridge this winter day in early 1942. Grabbed his camera and made this wonderful snow scene while his engine's safety blew impatiently. No. 143, wearing her wartime headlight hood, was heavy power for the Tiburon-Eureka day train. The road foreman called her this morning to deal with any snowdrifts enroute, the evidence of which sticks to her pilot. - Fred Stindt collection, NWPRRHS.
California Western Skunk M-100 negotiates the switchback curves at Crowley enroute to Willits. Passengers aboard the gas skunks enjoy views of wildlife which the steam trains scare away. These cars would stop anywhere along the line you flagged them. - Jeff Craemer collection, NWPRRHS.
Photographer Burr Wilson caught this bright Eureka Southern freight breaking into sunlight on the Cairn Rock bridge in 1985. Twin scarlet and yellow GP-30's power the consist, which is Willits bound. NWP men would say the train is westbound. The compass read south. Two of the three spans on this bridge were swept away by the 1964 flood and had to be replaced. - NWPRRHS collection.
The late Jack Eisen wrote that while San Francisco had its cable cars, Fairfax had the Funicular on Manor Hill. Built by a real estate developer in 1913, it rose 1,500 feet up a 33% grade. They unloaded it to a restaurateur, who let maintenance slide until the California Railroad Commission closed it as unsafe in 1929. - Jeff Craemer collection, NWPRRHS.
Northern California railroad pictures are from past calendars by the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society.