Cahill Street Portrait

Photography by Ken Rattenne

The Southern Pacific (now CalTrain) Cahill Street depot has long been a great place to watch and photograph trains. From the time of the depot's opening there has always been an amazing amount of train activity. Interestingly, during the 1970s and 1980s Cahill Street could claim the distinction of busiest depot in California. However, with the advent of Southern California's Metrolink commuter rail system, that honor now goes to LAUPT (Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal). Nonetheless, Cahill Street still sees 60 CalTrain movements, several Amtrak Capitol trains and a pair of Coast Starlights pausing at its platforms. Add to that through freight trains and the occasional special movement (like steamer 4449 or the Olympic Torch train) and you have one of the best railroad photographic opportunities in the South Bay area. -- Ken Rattenne


"Now Loading On Track 2" A Daylight-painted coach awaits the boarding of ticketed passengers for an NRHS special on July 23, 1992.  SP Northern 4449 is doing the honors on the point of this Sacramento-bound train. 

Back in 1981 a pair of  passenger GP9Es hostles from the San Jose Roundhouse to the Cahill Street coach yard. Each unit will be used on an off-peak train. In the foreground is the approach signal at milepost 46.3. (Ken Rattenne Photo)
In 1972 the coach yard switcher was H12-44 2350. The San Francisco Bay Area was the last bastion of SP Fairbanks-Morse diesels, and several could be found working the local switching jobs in San Jose. 
 The Morning Crush!

Morning commuters frame a Sumitomo-built CalTrain coach during the morning rush in December of 1992.


F40PH-2 903 awais the call to duty as a Danish-built Flexliner readies for departure on Track 5 on 8/05/96. The Flexliner was yet another in a string of tilt-technology trainsets under investigation by Amtrak during 1996.

A Tower's Heartbeat !
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This document is © Copyright 1998-2011 by Ken Rattenne and KPR Media Services.