Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The Shell of Southern Pacific's Mojave Station, c.1993

As with the section gang housing that I wrote about in an earlier posting, the SP was determined to rid itself of as many fiscal drains as it could. I recall hearing that the property tax burden was enough motivation for them to abandon round houses, crew quarters, medical clinics and stations.

When I was working the railroad in the seventies, we always picked up train orders here. For east-bound trains this was the end of double track for trains proceeding on to Los Angeles or Palmdale and the Cutoff. Either way, the eastbound train had to have orders because we were running against scheduled trains that had the right over our extra or non-scheduled trains.

Up until about 1970 Mojave was a small but busy hub of railroad activity. It had a functioning yard with a crew on duty perhaps day and night (I would need to fact check to be sure), several local trains a day, and what I recall was called a station agent or telegrapher. I think all were gone by the time this photograph was taken.