Cotton Belt SD45T-2 9291 roars past the historic Laines Grocery Store in 1983 with a Los Angeles-bound freight.
Alviso is a historic little community that, while technically part of San Jose, maintains its own unique history and atmosphere. The Southern Pacific Mulford Line bisects the village after scooting across the South Bay wetlands on its way to San Jose and the Coast Line from Oakland.
During the 1850s Alviso served as a port town that thrived on the quicksilver trade from the mines at Almaden, in the Santa Clara Valley. More money was made from a lucrative grain trade that also flourished in the valley. The roots of the SP line are embedded in the narrow gauge South Pacific Coast, which built a railroad from Newark to Felton, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Once under Espee control the railroad was standard-gauged and eventually became part of the Niles Subdivision of the Western Division.
Alviso is home to a wildlife
preserve and thus the surrounding mud flats and wetlands are well-protected,
offering the railfan several great vantage points for photography.
(click on photo to enlarge)