Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More SP Engineering Drawings... From the Dome of Foam!

Last year, I told you about going on eBay and buying a 170 SP engineering drawings from the 1940's, then scanning them all and putting them up on Flickr. I don't think I mentioned that I'd also bid on a couple other sets, but managed to get outbid.

Well, luckily, one of those high bidders was E.O. Gibson, Caltrain engineer, train order instructor, and owner of the Dome of Foam, one of my favorite railroad (and San Jose-related) web sites. (Haven't read the Dome of Foam yet? Go do it now! Shoo!) E.O. just scanned his set of drawings, and put them up on the web.

Dome of Foam Southern Pacific Engineering Drawings

There's some cool details for both San Jose modelers and SP fans whose interests run a bit further from the main office. For us San Jose fans, there's a great plan of the tracks around the United States Products and Contadina cannery off of Race St. The plan shows way more spurs branching off the Los Gatos branch than either the SPINS books or Sanborn maps show. There's also some nice plans of tracks near Bassett St. and Ryland St. up by the Market Street station. Another drawing hints at the location of the Drew Canning Company, formerly in the Ainsley cannery, now off of Lafayette Street in Santa Clara.

Going further afield shows additional cool drawings, such as a great sketch of the buildings at the Surf depot near Lompoc, and another showing all the packing houses along the tracks in Winters.

Go check both sets out and see what bits of history you discover. If you check out my Flickr set of drawings, add comments right on the pictures; if you see something interesting on the Dome of Foam drawings, drop a note to E.O. with your discovery!

Question TimeAnd here's a question for all you smart folks out there: why would SP build a switchman's shanty and bathroom off at Race Street and Moorpark in San Jose, when they're so close to Cahill St. Station?

[Drawing of Race Street switchman's shanty and toilet from the Southern Pacific Coast / Western Divisions Engineering Drawings on / the Dome of Foam. Great thanks to E.O. for sharing them!]


  1. Southern Pacific Engineering Drawings from the 1940's The morton street station one, I could not find. Thank you Robert for all the research you do! You are an endless well of information. :)

  2. Fixed - the Morton St. property sale is at
    It was a 20 x 5' plot of land near the corner of Encinal and Benton.