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One Spot Opening

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused some significant reconstruction of the Southern Pacific facilities in Oakland. Due to the inability of Caltrans to replace the collapsed Cypress Freeway in it's original location, they had to acquire land to build a replacement. The only viable land in the vicinity belonged to the S.P. and so it came to pass that the S.P. was able to consolidate all of their old repair and storage areas into a new, modern facility expressly designed for car maintenance.

While the primary thrust of the new One Spot facility was freight car repair, the passenger car fleet was also stored and maintained there.  Today,  the Daylight painted "Pony Show" fleet is long gone and none of the business cars remain, but in January, 1996, all was still right with the world. The folks organizing the opening celebration invited us to bring the 5623 over for display and it came to pass that the OTR crew set the 5623 out on the S.P. 7th street interchange where Errol and I took over and ran her into the One Spot yard. And then, the darndest thing happened. We realized that one track over was the entire Daylight fleet, just crying out for a locomotive. A call to the yardmaster yielded permission to enter the track, blue flags were placed and the following never to be duplicated photographs resulted.

Once spotted where we belonged, the 5623, privately owned Silver Lariat and the S.P. PV #150 Sunset, formed an interesting little train that several hundred invited guests toured during the day. Also on display was a new SD70, Kershaw re-railing crane and a line of maintenance of way equipment. SP box car 246466 was in the shop building being used to demonstrate the process of changing a truck. There was a great barbecue prepared by the Safety Committee and mother nature managed to keep the rain away for the day.

And then, later that afternoon, it was time to go home. Since I was playing switchman and carrying the camera, I snapped this shot, never realizing that 3 years later, in 1999, the trackage we were exiting (the base leg of the Oakland Wye) would not exist.

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