Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by Tadman
Got a quick question - earlier tonight I was watching "Pal Joey" with Frank Sinatra. He hops off a train at the Oakland Mole, grabs a ferry, and arrives in San Francisco. There's a tiger-striped SP switcher sitting outside the ferry building in what would today be the median of Embarcadero. Was this just a studio shot somewhere or did they really run freight through downtown like this? Time was 1957.
  by bdawe
You're probably looking at the tiger stripes of the State Belt Railway, which was a state-owned terminal railway that operated along the whole waterfront servicing all the numbered piers of San Francisco. They interchanged with SP near where the Caltrain Depot is today, and by car ferry with SP, WP, and ATSF across the bay. the SF Waterfront was still a major port until containerization, and they needed a railway to move all those goods around
  by Tadman
Interesting, thanks!
  by Tadman
Confirmed, that's definitely it. I came across a video of the modern iteration of this railroad featuring #23, an identical Alco S2.