Re: Train Hopping LA-SFO /Good Way to Die
Date: 03-15-2018 - 10:15
You didn't mention the kid that got killed at Capitan in 69. He was riding that cut in caboose on #373 when it went in the ditch. The caboose, a few auto-racks and pigs stacked up and caught fire. It took a while to get the fire out. It started from gas tanks on the autos.
GM posted guards around everything and would not let any salvage start until they got there. Their crews cut every engine, transmission, rear ends and other pieces with a torch so they could not be reused.
The started clearing away the wreckage and got to a pig flat with two trailers that was way billed mty. They were full of Bud. When they got to the caboose they found what was left of the kid who was riding in it, going home to SF.
The operation was the train would go to San Jose, a cut was made behind the cut in cab and the head section would go to the City. The rear section had power added went to Oakland.
The engineer on the Zipper that night was Frank Jackson. He went over a section that had washed out. The lead engine and two more made it over, the rest derailed along with part of the train. Squeaky Milsap was the swing brakeman riding in the rear unit. He had just got out of the jump seat and was tossed to the floor when a rail came thru the front door and went through the seat he had been sitting in. The power was all covered wagons.
Chuck Chambers was in the siding going east when he saw sparks. He called Frank and told him and about that time the red mars went on. After checking things out, there wasn't anything they could do so they cut the two lead units off, put a couple of Chucks engines behind, grabbed the caboose off Chucks train and went to SLO on #373 head rights.
Jumping on trains is not the thing to do.
As far as stealing stuff off the autoracks, It was a ring that did it and were finally caught in Margarita. There was a game at Cal Poly in SLO one night and the lights lite up the side of the train as it passed by. It showed hoods up, etc and about 10 people hard at work. They were waiting for them at Margarita.