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This is the Southern Pacific's railway depot at San Jose and Sickles, with the small signal tower in front. The line began operation as the San Francisco & San Jose Railroad in 1864, and was bought by the powerful Southern Pacific Railroad in September 1868. Freight tracks branched off this line west and north as far as Golden Gate Park at one time, and starting in 1895 the SP ran passenger service on trackage to the Ingleside Racetrack. Passenger service tailed off greatly after 1907, but it wasn't until 1942 that it ended all together. In the 1950s and 60s the bits of track remaining were torn out for Interstate Highway 280 and BART.
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Image: Looking south along San Jose Avenue at Sickles, 1908. Originally from the Randolph Brandt Collection. Courtesy of Greg Gaar.
Thanks to When Steam Ran on the Streets of San Francisco, by Walter Rice and Emiliano Echeverria for information.
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This project is made possible by a grant from the CALIFORNIA COUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES with generous support from the San Francisco Foundation, as part of the Council's statewide California Stories Initiative. The COUNCIL is an independent non-profit organization and a state affiliate of the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES. For more information on the Council and the California Stories Initiative, visit www.californiastories.org.
Page launched 26 May 2003.