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Southern Pacific Railroad freight train symbol PSSE at Sandcut, CA

Southern Pacific Railroad freight train symbol PSSE at Sandcut, CA

It is hot and dusty in the lower valley. The slightest breeze picks up the dust from the recently plowed or planted fields and turns the air a light brown color. Train PSSE (Extra 5317 East) eases into the first turn on the Tehachapi line on May 16, 1973.

photo of my wheels next to dead boxcar

That was my little buggy in the late 70s. The boxcar lying on its side is the result of a minor derailment that happen the week before while cutting in the helpers. The helpers had coupled to the rear third of the train and was rolling down the slight grade to couple to the rest of the train. The engineer tried to stop using only the engine brakes and skidded into the train ahead. The resulting crunch was enough force to knock a couple loaded cars over on their sides fowling the number one track. For your information this boxcar was loaded with toilet paper. Disk 40