Complete View of Modern Steam Boiler Plant; Fire Department Building: also Containing Shop; Men's Assembly Hall; and Boiler and Machine Shops from South End (Railway Age, April 10, 1926)
Santa Fe Completes Reconstruction of Coast Line Shops
Locomotive repair plant at San Bernardino is rebuilt on enlarged scale and fully equipped with the latest labor-saving machinery.
The major part of the extension to the locomotive department at San Bernardino began in 1922 and will be completed this year . The new shops occupy the site of the old shops established in 1887.
The new plant includes a 43-stall engine house and a repair plant having a shop capacity of 315 freight cars and 30 passenger cars.
The most important building in the locomotive repair plant is the 673-ft. machine shop made up of three bays: a 90-ft. erecting bay next to the transfer table; a light machine bay of 46 feet and a heavy machine bay of 65 feet.
The boiler shop (also 673 feet in length) is 164 feet wide being made up of two bays, the erecting bay 90 feet wide, and the machine bay 74 feet wide.
Both the locomotive and boiler shops are of the transverse type and contain 30 pits and 29 pits respectively and both of these buildings face a transfer table of 65 feet.
Another transfer table 120 feet in length is situated 260 feet east of the boiler shop.
The fire-proof power plant is 103 feet long and 81 ft. 9 in. wide. A concrete wall longitudinally down the center of the building divides the boiler room and the engine room. The boilers are oil fired but the boiler room affords adequate space for the installation of coal handling equipment.
Other new facilities include: a 306 ft. blacksmith shop; the flue shop; sheet metal and flue storage shop; a concrete building used for reclaiming oil; another for reclaiming magnesia lagging; a shed for storing fire brick; a new two-bay fire station; a new hospital; offices and an apprentice school; and an extention of the 1909 fireproof storehouse and construction of a new platform.
(Extracted from the April 10, 1926, issue of Railway Age)
Click here to see additional track charts.
For over 11 months the Southern Pacific Railroad prevented a train from entering San Bernardino from the South. Southern Pacific used legal and physical means to prevent the train from crossing the SP east-west track at the Colton Crossing.
Virgil Earp (a special agent for Southern Pacific and later the first City Marshall of Colton) led the group that prevented California Southern Railroad from heading north to San Bernardino.
On September 13, 1883, after a court order was issued and an "at grade" crossing (called a "frog") was installed, the first train arrived in San Bernardino from National City (just south of San Diego). The train, pulled by Engine No. 4, was operated by the California Southern Railroad, later owned by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
Fred T. Perris, a civil engineer and surveyor for the railroad, was at the whistle. (Photograph by H. B. Wesner)
Note: On August 28, 2013, a public celebration was held to dedicate the opening of the new Colton Crossing Rail-to-Rail Grade Separation. After 130 years the east-west Union Pacific Railroad tracks were raised to pass over the north-south BNSF Railroad tracks. This will alleviate congestion at the crossing, which accommodates more that 100 trains each day.
This chair was in the personal box of James Waters, who is pictured at the right. James Waters, along with Herman Brinkmeyer (seen on the balcony of the Opera House), built the San Bernardino Opera House in 1882, four years before Los Angeles had an opera house of its own.
The Opera House featured everything from Italian Grand Operas and Shakespeare's plays, to musicals and magicians, and to vaudeville and silent movies. All of the greats performed in San Bernardino's finest theater, including Lillie Langtry, Al Jolson, Lillian Russell, Harry Houdini, Will Rogers, Sarah Bernhardt, Edwin Booth, the Barrymores and many more.
The Opera House was located on the east side of D Street between 3rd and 4th Streets and was torn down in 1927.
The chair and the painting of James Waters were donated to the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society by Mary Renter, the great-great-granddaughter of James Waters.
Click here for a detailed look at the Opera House.
Click here for the story of Jim Waters, from mountainman to builder of an opera house.