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