Larry Valterza sends two historic photos of trains in Stockton.
“One is the Southern Pacific depot before Union Pacific decided to rip up all the concrete so the depot could not be used for loading and unloading passengers,” he writes.
“The second picture is of a steam train that used to pull the train from San Francisco to Sacramento (large driving wheels for speed). The engine is parked in front of a round house that was used to repair passenger train engines. The round house located on the other side of tracks from the depot, you can see some of the cement from the station platform in the foreground of the picture.
“All of this was great fun for use kids in the neighborhood because they used to change the engines at the round house because it had a round table located almost directly in front of the station. The round house had three bays with different engine in different stages of repair.”
When I travelled in Spain in the 1980s I was amazed to see its rail system still used steam engines. Not everwhere, of course. But every switchyard had at least one. Stockton may one day see a modern high-speed rail system. Sleek as it may be, though, it’ll never boast the fire-breathing presence of those old steam locomotives.