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Brightside Yard Tour 3/13/2021

by Chris Guenzler

We found Glenn Fountain who led us over to the Brightside Yard. I became a member of Niles Canyon Railway in December 2020 and in the welcome letter was an offer for a yard tour when we were next in the area. This is something that is offered to all members and a guest, regardless of whether or not they actually volunteer. Elizabeth, of course, was my guest. Greg Smith also joined the Pacific Locomotive Association and his brother Marty was his guest. Marty was quite amused by the electronic gate that Glenn opened with a key card and it closed the same way.

A Southern Pacific block signal before we entered the property.

A recent donation of a working fire truck.

A broken traction motor from Western Pacific GP7 913.

Southern Pacific SW900 1195 which pulled our photo train during the Skookum charter in December 2020.

Niles Canyon Railway's tree cutting hi-rail truck.

The Niles Canyon Railway chipper.

Union Pacific mongo (per the Niles Canyon Railway website).

Niles Canyon Railway tie crane.

Fairmont Tamper TT-519.

Niles Canyon Railway Fairmont motor car.

Niles Canyon Railway compressor.

Niles Canyon Railway ballast regulator.

Niles Canyon Railway spiker.

Tie remover.

Niles Canyon Railway crew car.

Crew car and derrick car.


Santa Fe CE-1 steel cupola caboose 999081 built by the railroad in 1942 as Santa Fe 2163.

Santa Fe CE-1 steel cupola caboose 999261 built by the railroad in 1949 as Santa Fe 2115.

Western Pacific F7A 918D built by Electro-Motive Division in 1950.

Traction motors.

Pickering Lumber 3-truck Heisler 5 built in 1913 as Sugar Pine Railway 5 in Standard, California .

Yosemite Valley Railway observation car 330 built by Hick's Locomotive and Car Works in 1907. While we were not able to go inside any of the cars, the incredible restoration work was easily seen in the stained glass windows above the seats.

Brightside Yard scene.

Yosemite Valley Railway baggage/railway post office car 107, built by Pullman in 1911 as Texas and New Orleans 193. This was the first piece of passenger equipment acquired by the Pacific Locomotive Association in 1968.

Firebox door of Pickering Lumber 5.

Oakland Terminal DS-4-4-1000 101 built by Baldwin in 1948.

Southern Pacific commuter coach 2154 built by Pullman in 1924 and acquired from the California State Railroad Museum.

Santa Fe 44-ton switcher 462 built by General Electric in 1943 and became E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company 2 in Antioch, California before being acquired by the PLA in 1971.

Southern Pacific heavyweight business car 121 built by Pullman in 1903 for the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railway and numbered 200 "Wildwood"; bought by Southern Pacific Railroad in 1907 and became business car 121 "Wildwood". It was renamed "Western" in 1939 and used as business car for the Superintendent of the Southern Pacific Western Division then presented to City of Oakland for display at Harrison Park in 1960 and leased to the PLA by the City of Oakland in July 1990.

Western Pacific bay window wooden caboose 649 built by Pullman in 1916 as an outside-braced boxcar. In 1943, it was rebuilt by Sacramento Car Shops as a caboose by adding bay windows and end platforms.

Yard scene.

Wheel sets.

Santa Fe outside-braced wooden boxcar 213612 built in 1930 as Santa Fe 10529.

Niles Canyon Railway switcher 103 nicknamed "The Dinkey" built by Plymouth in 1929 for the Santa Catalina Island Company.

Southern Pacific diner and lounge "Cascade Club" 10280-10281-10282 built by Pullman-Standard in 1949 for the Southern Pacific's first class Cascade overnight sleeping car train from Oakland to Portland, Oregon.

Phillips Petroleum Company tank car 7501 built in 1925 and holds the fuel for all of the steam engines that Niles Canyon Railway operates.

Niles Canyon Railway flat car 306 built in 1942 for the United States Navy.

Niles Canyon Railway burro crane on a siding at the east end of Brightside Yard.

Early container flat car.

Southern Pacific NW-2 1423 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1949.

Our tour group.

Fruit Growers Express refrigerator car 59412 built by American Car and Foundry in 1948 used in Western Pacific ice service.

Quincy Railroad 2-6-2T 2 built by American Locomotive Company in 1924.

Santa Fe box car 10529 built in 1930.

Southern Pacific 2-6-0 1744's driving wheels under restoration.

Pickering Lumber wooden caboose 4 built by the company from a shortened log car.

Santa Fe box car 193149 built by Haskell and Barker in 1916.

Associated Oil Company tank car 848 built by American Car and Foundry in 1929.

Union Refrigerator Transit car 29330 built by General American. Union Refrigerator Transit was a subsidiary of the Milwaukee Road.

Santa Fe sleeping car 1129 "Gothic Peak" built by Pullman in 1926. This car was named for a 6,213' high mountain peak located east of Seattle, Washington. It was bought by Santa Fe in 1953 and renumbered 1129 and used as a chair car on secondary trains then converted as a maintenance-of-way Foreman Sleeping and Shower Car and renumbered M/W194286, the drawing rooms were converted to showers, but the the rest of the car retained its open sections as used in Pullman service. The car ended up in work trains in Southern California around San Bernardino and Bakersfield.

The cab of Southern Pacific 2-6-0 1744.

Southern Pacific commuter coach 2114 built by Pullman in 1924 for commute service on the Peninsula between San Jose and San Francisco. It was retired in 1985 and sold to the California State Railroad Museum and acquired from them in 2004.

Clover Valley 2-6-6-2T 4 built by Baldwin in 1924 under restoration. In late 1956, the Clover Valley Lumber Company sold out to the Feather River Lumber Company, but the rail operation remained the same. In late 1957, the railroad became history when the logging operation switched to trucks. It was at this time that 4 was sent to the Tahoe Timber Company's mill near Reno for stationary boiler service. That service lasted only a few weeks, but the locomotive was to remain there for many years. Between 1978 and the end of 1985, the steam engine was in regular operation at Castro Point. In addition to passenger operation, she was also called on to carry out special operations on occasion. One of these was the movement of the former Western Pacific F7, No. 918, into our facility at Molate Beach in 1982. On December 1, 1985, 4 had the honor of handling the last passenger movement on the Castro Point Railway. When the 4 arrived at Molate Beach, the passenger-carrying days on the railroad were over.

Southern Pacific baggage car 6235 built by Pullman in 1921.

Yard scene.

United States Navy 80 ton switcher 298 built by General Electric in 1943.

Santa Fe Pleasure Dome 505 "Plaza Zuni" (name not applied) built by Pullman in 1950.

Great Northern Ranch Car 1242 "Hidden Lake" built by American Car and Foundry in 1951 for the Empire Builder. It was sold to the Sierra Western Corporation and renovated for use in the North Coast Daylight, a joint venture with the Eureka Southern Railroad, which I rode.

Southern Pacific Krauss-Maffei ML 4000 diesel hydraulic 9010 built in 1964.

The rear motor of the Krauss-Maffei.

The builder's plate. We heard a Union Pacific freight train so we all headed outside. I asked if I could walk down to take pictures of the engine and was given the all clear by Glenn.

Southern Pacific caboose 1101 built the railroad in 1942.

Western Pacific maintenance-of-way flat car 276.

McCloud River Railroad water car 1711 built in 1914 as outside-framed boxcar 3029, converted to log flat car 2325 in 1938 and a tank and fire pump was added in 1941 to create the fire car.

United States Army 65 ton switcher 7348 built by General Electric in 1942.

Union Pacific gondola car 61078 built by Gunderson in 1960.

The second train of the year came through and I took pictures of it as it was going away from my photo location.

Southern Pacific coach 10040 built by Pullman in 1927 for the Southern Pacific subsidiary of Oregon and California. It became a dining car and was retired in 1958.

Southern Pacific SD9 5472 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1956.

Southern Pacific S6 1218 built by American Locomotive Company in 1955 and purchased by Foster Farms after 1980 before being donated to PLA in 2004.

Southern Pacific GP9 5623 built by Electro-Motive Division 1955.

Western Pacific GP7 713 built by Electro-Motive Division 1953 and recently restored and painted.

Southern Pacific SW900 1195 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1954.

The Niles Canyon Railway map in their office. We thanked Glenn for an excellent tour then walked out with him through the gate, which he closed, and our tour was officially over. We returned to the car where I put the pictures into the computer before we took Greg and Marty east along the railroad to show them the future expansion. We then drove back through Niles Canyon to Niles where we let them look around the station, caboose and crossing signals because we had already photographed everything in this area, so we thought.

Capitol Corridor Train 737 at Niles. We took Greg and Marty to the next station.

The Southern Pacific Niles station built in 1869, now a residence. From here, we got directions from Elizabeth's phone and Dynamic Depots to get the Irvington station.

The Western Pacific Irvington station which was moved to Niles at some point. We drove to the Habit in Pleasanton for a late lunch then returned to the Best Western where I then watched the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 before working on the stories and calling it a night.