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UER Forum > US: Pacific Southwest > Bayshore Roundhouse (Viewed 36610 times)
bonnie&clyde 


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Bayshore Roundhouse
< on 12/20/2009 6:59 AM >
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Classic pix & text from San Francisco Trains


Built in the early 1900's, Brisbane's brick roundhouse has many stories to tell.

The railroad between San Francisco and San Jose was completed in January 1864, but the northernmost section was not the direct route Caltrain travels today. Instead trains ran over hills west of San Bruno Mountain thru Colma, Daly City and the Mission District. Extra "Helper" engines were required to pull trains to the top of this grade in Daly City. It was common at that time to see as many as three engines pulling a train through the residential neighborhoods of San Francisco's Mission District.

A faster route would be built, but not for forty years. Railroad financier E. H. Harriman acquired control of the Southern Pacific in 1901, and initiated many improvements. By the beginning of the 20th century, San Francisco had grown into vibrant center of industrial production and shipping. Harriman wanted to bypass the troublesome line into San Francisco, and had a new route surveyed to the east of San Bruno Mountain. This new line would travel along the bay, but it would require five tunnels, extensive earthwork, and would ultimately cost a million dollars a mile.

Construction began in 1904, and the route later came to be paralleled for much of its length by U.S. 101. From San Bruno the new line was laid northeast to a tunnel at Sierra Point. From there, it continued north to Visitation Point (by the future town of Brisbane), and then along 2 mile long trestle and fill from Visitacion Point to Candlestick Point. At the foot of Visitacion Valley, wooden pilings supported two sets of tracks along the bay. Four more tunnels, fills and trestles brought the rails north through San Francisco's Bayshore and Potrero Hill districts to the terminal at Third and Townsend streets. Delayed by the Great Earthquake of 1906, the new "Bayshore Cutoff" opened for service on December 8, 1907.

The shoreline of the bay had been where Bayshore Boulevard is now. Debris from the 1906 earthquake and the Visitacion Point cut were used to fill in the marshlands west of the railroad. This reclaimed land was named Bayshore by the railroad, and new facilities, including a large switching yard, were established here to serve the railroad's growing operations on the peninsula.

A brick roundhouse and 90' steel turntable were finished at Bayshore around 1910. They served to stable the steam-powered freight engines used on the peninsula. Locomotives required constant maintenance, and most of this work took place in roundhouses. Engines were serviced, and kept warm in such places between runs. Additional shops were later built to perform heavy maintenance on locomotives, passenger cars, tenders, and all other manner of railroad equipment.

While the Mission Bay Roundhouse in San Francisco handled passenger train engines close to the railroad's South of Market terminal, Bayshore was the point where longer, heavier freight engines were hostled and serviced. A four story high erecting hall was built for heavy repairs, and a transfer table was installed to move equipment between repair bays and the new tender/ and boiler shop across from it. Bayshore's facilities grew to include a massive freight yard, scale tracks, shop and store buildings, and an employee hospital. Also, an icing facility for produce-carrying boxcars was built a mile to the south. Bayshore was a complete industrialized facility and employed hundred of people on a daily basis. Goods and produce shipped worldwide passed through Bayshore, shaping many lives and economies until the decline of freight railroads and the closing of the Bayshore yards in the 1980's.

Diesel engines require considerably less maintenance than steam engines, and steam-facilities such as roundhouses were largely obsolete by the late 1950s with the end of steam. The railroad still continued to use the Bayshore roundhouse for another 25 years, but the facility began to suffer from neglect and age. Completely abandoned in 1982, the Bayshore rails were taken up, and most remaining buildings torn down. The erecting building and car shops were already gone, and the transfer pit was only recognizable by a berm of debris.

Despite these losses, several significant buildings have endured. The tender & tank building survived and is currently used by Lazzari Fuel, makers of seasoned cooking charcoal. The icehouse to the south supports Machinery and Equipment Company of Brisbane, and of course, much of the original roundhouse and turntable pit survives as well. A fire in 2001 took away half the remaining roof of the roundhouse, but the brickwork is mostly intact, the doors that remain hanging at odd angles from their hinges. Yet despite the condition, the city and landowners recognize the significance of the building and its site.

San Francisco Trains is working with the landowner and the Community of Brisbane to develop preservation plans as the redevelopment of Brisbane Baylands begins.


1937


1980


1980


Now we jump to present time. This summer we went for a visit. It just so happens it was a clean up day. The group that plans to restore it was out & active. They were cleaning out the brush & debris with bobcats. They also were repairing the fence. Although it currently is heavily burned & vandalized, one day it will be the Bayshore train & rail museum.
















If you walk 500yds or so south you will find this abandoned train tunnel.







The question is not when are we gonna stop, It's who's gonna stop us?

edsel 


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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 1 on 12/20/2009 7:12 AM >
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pretty cool looking site




www.flickr.com/edsel12
Salinas Explorer 

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WHAT?

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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 2 on 12/20/2009 4:38 PM >
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/me likes




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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 3 on 12/20/2009 9:44 PM >
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No. 13, from the left side of the roundhouse is my favorite. Captures both the level of decay and the majesty of the Bayshore's heyday perfectly.




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dirt 


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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 4 on 12/21/2009 4:24 AM >
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Okay, so get this, I was on my way to the cow palace, and I see with big dilapidated looking warehouse and I think to myself: "Hmmm, I should go check out this area it looks like it might have some stuff around it". So I see this thread, and I spent a few moments trying to find the location on Google earth. I find it, not really knowing what is in that area, bookmark it, then goes on to make plans to go there with a friend. Then I go on to think: "hmmm I should find other stuff in the SF since I'm in the area, what about that warehouse?". Not remembering what street the cow palace is on I backtrack and find mission, then geneva and then the cow palace. So I go to find the warehouse and. . .

Such a small world.




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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 5 on 12/21/2009 4:40 AM >
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Nice shots man. That some serious Graffiti... graffiti heaven...




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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 6 on 12/21/2009 8:04 PM >
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Neat! It was nice to see the pics of what it looked like originally. I love how you guys go into detail about sites. YOU GUYS ROCK!




We were here...and it was glorious.
Sand 


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Everything interesting is always behind a fence.

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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 7 on 12/23/2009 12:30 PM >
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RG, you been here yet?




RailGuy88 

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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 8 on 12/23/2009 1:36 PM >
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Posted by sandaili
RG, you been here yet?


Yes, but was in town on business and just drove by.

I plan to do a complete documentation via photography once the weather clears up, or if someone wants to tag along during the cold months, I'm game too. I'd be more than happy to come up via CalTrain and meet at the Bayshore Station if anyone's game.

Oh, here's some historical photos via CTRC and other various SP websites:

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


6.


7.


8.


RailGuy88 never has a shortage of rail photos! ... Ever!




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bonnie&clyde 


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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 9 on 12/23/2009 5:56 PM >
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Posted by lady_elle
Neat! It was nice to see the pics of what it looked like originally. I love how you guys go into detail about sites. YOU GUYS ROCK!


Since this is about the railroad I figured I better have some good stuff to go with our pix. Other wise I'd have RG all over me with the facts. I guess I did a decent job. I should have known he would have more vintage pix then a site dedicated to this place
Also on site is the ongoing restoration of Old #4







Number 4 is an 0-6-0 switching locomotive built by the Vulcan Iron Works (of PA) in July of 1911 for the State Board or Harbour Commissioners for use on the State Belt Railroad of California along the San Francisco waterfront. This is Vulcan's first oil burning locomotive. The locomotive featured a closed cab when delivered that was changed to an open one upon arrival in San Francisco. After duty along the waterfront and the arrival of a fleet of ALCO diesel switchers No. 4 had a unique and diverse career that included shortline, industrial and even a stint for Uncle Sam before sleeping away 30+ years in a Stockton scrap yard. From there she went to Utah for potential restoration, but found her way back to San Francisco.





HP rail yard Dec 1995


She is not much to look at today. But some day in the future she will ride the rails again.










The question is not when are we gonna stop, It's who's gonna stop us?

RailGuy88 

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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 10 on 12/23/2009 11:26 PM >
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Posted by bonnie&clyde
Since this is about the railroad I figured I better have some good stuff to go with our pix. Other wise I'd have RG all over me with the facts. I guess I did a decent job. I should have known he would have more vintage pix then a site dedicated to this place.


Ah, RG comes out of the woodworks. And so does the State Belt RR #4:









More info and pics can be found here...


Word to the wise: I absolutely love doing research for RR history. So when you post stuff like this, expect a friendly return of info and pics.




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Rockinbuss 


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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 11 on 12/24/2009 11:12 PM >
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Awesome location guys!! Next time I'm in the area I'll have to hit you guys up about checking it out!!




Living in the past, one day at a time.
RailGuy88 

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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 12 on 12/27/2009 12:57 AM >
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Since this next part pertains to this subject...

I'm planning on tking the CalTrain up to the Bayshore Roundhouse when the weather clears (regardless of how cold it is) to do some photo documentary work there. Would love to have B&C and a few others from the area join me when I do.




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bonnie&clyde 


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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 13 on 12/27/2009 1:04 AM >
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Posted by RailGuy88
Since this next part pertains to this subject...

I'm planning on tking the CalTrain up to the Bayshore Roundhouse when the weather clears (regardless of how cold it is) to do some photo documentary work there. Would love to have B&C and a few others from the area join me when I do.


Let us know when you plan on going & we will attend if possible. I got Bonnie a camera for X-Mas & she is Hyphy as hell to use it!!!




The question is not when are we gonna stop, It's who's gonna stop us?

spacetimecurvature 


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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 14 on 12/27/2009 4:32 PM >
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I'd love to go out shooting with people. This place has been on my list. PM me if you decide to go.





RailGuy88 

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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 15 on 12/28/2009 2:08 AM >
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Tell ya what, I'll make an event in a few weeks when I know my weekly schedule better. It will solely be on the Bayshore Yard (roundhouse, yard, tunnel, etc). If anyone wants to come with, they can. Just as long as I get my photos I need, we're good to go.

I'll also note what train I'll be coming up on if anyone decides to join me via CalTrain from SJ to SF.

Been meaning to do thing for a long time, just never had the chance with school and all.




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jugglervr 


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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 16 on 5/4/2010 6:51 PM >
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Sorry for the thread necro. Was wondering a few things...
a) are there any access or safety issues with this location?
b) is it populous on the weekends? A friend of mine wants to do some risque' photography down there. wanted to know if onlookers would be an issue.

can't find it in the location DB. ;)




bonnie&clyde 


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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 17 on 5/4/2010 10:37 PM >
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Here it is.




It is fairly secluded. It is just chance on whether there will be others. Good luck.




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RailGuy88 

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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 18 on 5/5/2010 1:40 AM >
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Posted by jugglervr
a) are there any access or safety issues with this location?


Simple fence to climb thru, and watching traffic/caltrain users across the way. Other than that, nope.

Bring back pics or it didn't happen.




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bonnie&clyde 


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Re: Bayshore Roundhouse
< Reply # 19 on 8/23/2010 6:32 PM >
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The question is not when are we gonna stop, It's who's gonna stop us?

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