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 scannergeek
I have a couple of questions about SP's Bay Area commuter service:

First of all, where did these routes go? Does anyone have a scan of an old route map/timetable?
Never mind, I found a timetable here: http://espee.railfan.net/1976_commute_tt.html

I'm curious about the consists as well. Were the bilevel gallery cars HEP? How did they provide power (or steam) to them, because the GP40's and GP9's look like ordinary "freight" locomotives...it doesn't look like they could cram a generator or boiler in there.

Were these locomotives geared for commuter/passenger service, or were they just freight engines pulled from the yard for the day?

Thanks, sorry for being all over the map with my questions.

  by sp engineer
The service ran from San Francico to San Jose.
Steam was used to heat the cars .
The gallery cars had diesle generators on each car for air conditioning . The commuter locomotives were equiped with steam generators.
The locomotives were assigned to commute service and suplimented freight service on the weekends. 70 mph was the top speed.

  by scannergeek
Thanks! :-D

  by Guest
AFAIK Fairbank Morse H24-66's were also used in Bay area commuter service.

  by westernrrtx
Yes the FM Trainmasters were used on the commutes. They were the only models that could keep schedule on the intermediate station stops.

Also interestingly, the Amtrak P30's spent a summer leased to the SP. They were used on the commutes during the late 1970s during a power shortage.