Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

SP Clovis branch

2580 views
6 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: Bremerton, Wa
  • 540 posts
SP Clovis branch
Posted by jguess733 on Friday, December 12, 2008 9:33 PM
I'm looking for information of the SP's Clovis branch that ran from Fresno 20 miles or so to Friant, Ca. I've done a Google search, but other than a brief history, and some background on the San Joaquin & Eastern, there's not a whole lot. Does anyone know of a website with some photographs? Thanks in advance for your help.

Jason

Modeling the Fort Worth & Denver of the early 1970's in N scale

  • Member since
    May 2015
  • 5,113 posts
Posted by ericsp on Friday, December 12, 2008 10:06 PM

The Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society published a book about it (http://www.sphtsstore.org/servlet/the-41/Serving-the-Golden-Empire/Detail). It covers up to the early 1950s. I do not know of any websites with photographs of the branch.

What era are you interested in? Many of the buildings that it served in latter years are still around, as is part of the branch. If you are interested in more recent times, you can try http://maps.live.com/ and use the Birds' Eye View to look at the buildings. 

"No soup for you!" - Yev Kassem (from Seinfeld)

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • 1 posts
Posted by highliner on Friday, December 12, 2008 11:21 PM

When I lived in Fresno (mid to late '70's) the branch ran a daily local with an SW1500 for power. Never saw anything else.

  • Member since
    May 2015
  • 5,113 posts
Posted by ericsp on Friday, December 12, 2008 11:46 PM

They had switched to a GP9 for power by the 1980s. San Joaquin Valley Railroad took over in 1992. They started out with GP9s and GP20s. All of the GP9s have left, except one that I was told was leased to a customer, as well some of the GP20s. Most SJVR locomotives are GP38s (some rebuilt), along with GP15-1s, and all three BL20-2s.

"No soup for you!" - Yev Kassem (from Seinfeld)

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Carmichael, CA
  • 8,055 posts
Posted by twhite on Saturday, December 13, 2008 12:33 PM

Some years ago, VideoRails produced a 3-volume set of Southern Pacific Steam.  I don't know whether or not they're still available, but vol. 3 had about five or six minutes worth of footage on the Friant Branch, with one of their 'Valley Mallet' 2-6-0's working a short freight between Fresno and Friant, including the manual turntable near the Friant Dam.  You might check your LHS to see if the series is still available.

Tom Smile

  • Member since
    May 2015
  • 5,113 posts
Posted by ericsp on Monday, December 15, 2008 2:20 AM

I looked at my copy of the SPH&TS book again. Like almost all SPH&TS publications, it focuses mainly on the 1950s. Most of the photographs are from the mid 1950s. There is some history of the branch, as well as some information on the branch up to about the publication time. There are also some diagrams of certain areas that show what industries were there in the 1950s.

"No soup for you!" - Yev Kassem (from Seinfeld)

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Austin, TX
  • 462 posts
Posted by 4merroad4man on Monday, December 15, 2008 2:52 PM

Use Microsoft Terraserver at www.terraserver.com  type in Friant for the community and CA for the state.  The website will take you to the Friant Dam.  Scroll southwest and follow Friant Road through town.

You can start in Friant, in which case the abandoned roadbed is barely visible in places as it parallels Friant Road on the south side of the road.  A couple of miles north of Gordon, the road turns to the left and the 1979 topographical map view shows an in service railroad with a spur going to a gravel quarry.  Follow the railroad to the right and this remnant of the Friant Branch will take you into Clovis and then to a connection with the SP main in Fresno proper.

The branch served small farm industries and there was a nice little facility in Clovis proper, as well as Friant, however the remnants of the facility in Friant are no longer shown on any aerial photo or topo maps that are older than 1968 or so.

Serving Los Gatos and The Santa Cruz Mountains with the Legendary Colors of the Espee. "Your train, your train....It's MY train!" Papa Boule to Labische in "The Train"

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!