I photographed this SPRR switching yard, located in the small town of Los Nietos, California, fifty years ago. I still live nearby and recently, as I scanned the B&W negatives from that time in my life, I became curious about the yard as it exists today. I visited the yard with the intent to photograph the changes from fifty years ago and the effects of the absorption of the SPRR by the UPRR. The images below are the result and they reveal the many changes over the past fifty years.
Look at the major changes in the areas outside the yard. Notice the trees, farm house, outbuildings, and oil-well derricks. In one of the images, a Ford pickup truck can be seen on Los Nietos road, crossing the drainage ditch by the adjacent trestle. The trestle, drainage ditch,and the pickup are long gone, but the road still dips a little. To this 82 year old man, the place where I grew up exists only in photographs and my tattered memory. My world has faded away as “progress” marches forward. I sometimes wonder if we are better off now.
There is one thing that has not changed. The railroad employees are just as friendly now as then. All one needs to find this out is to respect the railroad craftsmanship of the employees and the property of their employers.
Click any image to enlarge.