Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading
This has been bugging me for some time, although it is really relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of life.
I have a recollection of a British passenger train, which for some reason I remember being named "The Flying Dutchman," although that could have come from some other recollection. It travelled the US on a tour. I don't know what for... perhaps a British Rail tourist advertisement or something. I remember it being all in green livery and looking really spiffy, as one would expect of a touring passenger train. I have a vague recollection of it being exhibited down on the old State Belt Line on the Embarcadero in SF, and also in Sausalito, on the tracks running between Napa Street and the old Post Office, where Zack's bar used to be. (Sam Zackesian, the owner of Zack's, was the guy who brought down the box car and caboose that sat forever down by what became Dunphy Park on Bridgeway. This would have been sometime between 1968 and 1972 or so.
Does anybody remember this and have any details... or am I getting dotty in my old age?
Don't have an answer to this, but I do believe that Zackesian got the last shipment in Sausalito. I think Sterling Hayden's daughter's railway car was the 2nd to last bit of business, moved to Morgan Railway Car in Greenbrae.
I didn't know Hayden's daughter had a railway car. I knew Sterling from the boat community back when. Was that the passenger car at Greenbrae that was used as the location in the movie "Harold and Maude?"
Harold and Maude was filmed down on the peninsula someplace. There are good websites about that, I remember looking it up one time.
Did you see this vid about last trains out of sausalito?
note on this website about the vid: http://nwprr.net/video/no-where-in-particular-part-2
Right you are! I looked up the location where they shot Maude's rail car home in the movie and it was actually on Oyster Point Blvd. in South San Francisco.
Bob, Apparently Hayden rented a workspace at the Tiburon Depot and did some work on his book there circa 1960. I thought that was a cool bit of trivia. I liked his book Wanderer.
He wrote Wanderer about sailing to Tahiti with his four kids in defiance of a court order back in 1963, but the book was very well received and "had legs." It's still in print and a great read. (Which reminds me I ought to read it again!) Wanderer would have been the book he was writing then (if not later,) but about that time he was living aboard the old ferry Berkeley which was tied up at the Sausalito ferry slip downtown. It's entirely possible that he did rent some space in Tiburon, although I don't know why he'd need to, writing a book.
If you liked Wanderer, I think you'll enjoy his other book, Voyage, which was published in 1976. I believe he wrote Voyage while living aboard the small houseboat Wooden Shoe, which was berthed in Herb Madden's Sausalito Yacht Harbor downtown, right next to Pelican Harbor marina. I had friends that lived across the dock from him. He'd come by and have a few (well, by today's standards, more than a few) drinks with us. He used to sit out on his "back porch" in his bathrobe in the mornings and drink his coffee. The tourists had no idea who he was and we "wharf rats" didn't care. Voyage is about a mutiny on a turn of the century Cape Horn square rigger named Neptune's Car (there actually was such a ship) making its way to San Francisco. Voyage is a great historical novel (loosely based on a real mutiny of the era), an entirely different type of literature from the factual autobiographical Wanderer, but if you were a member of the Sausalito waterfront community of the time when it was written, it's a lot of fun because some of the named fictional characters in the book are real people who were part of the Sausalito maritime community at the time. Off hand, at the moment, I can only recall Cass Gidley, who owned Cass's sailboat rentals down by the Napa Street Pier, who was the mate. I think one of the characters was named Herb Madden, as well, but I can't remember for sure. I'll have to read the book again!
cool memories Bob. Did you see this interview with Hayden done in Sausalito circa 1980 maybe?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTeyP5MglZg
The thing about Hayden working at the Donahue building/Tiburon Depot came from a remembrance in the Pacific Sun a few years after his death. A guy recalled going and meeting Hayden there. At the time Hayden was living in Belvedere. Fred Codoni confirmed these facts.
Thanks for the video URL... I'd never seen those interviews. It was weird watching them. He was as old then as I am now. It's always amazing to see how totally comfortable that guy was in his own skin. I had a mentor and close friend in college, now long gone. He served in the OSS with Hayden in Yugoslavia with Tito and the Partisans. A lot of those OSS guys were like Hayden... educated, serious thinkers, and wild and crazy at the same time. Most flirted with the Communist Party in their youth. The McCarthy "Red Scare" thing really destroyed a lot of America's "brain trust" across the board with the black listing and all. It really broke Hayden's spirit in many ways. Even though his friends forgave him, or so it's said, he never forgave himself for testifying against others to HUAC. They treated him pretty shabbily for a guy who'd earned a Silver Star. I think it left him feeling like neither fish nor fowl, thinking neither side trusted any more. That probably had a lot to do with the drinking and depression that he battled most of his later life.
Bob Hogan posted this to me instead of here:
At 4:03pm on January 16, 2014, Robert Hogan said…
Alan Pegler's ex-LNE Flying Scotsman 4-6-2 and a British passenger train (8 cars I think) steamed down through central California on the Western Pacific and into Oakland on September 27, 1971. This was the end of a national tour for the train.
The Flying Scotsman and train then operated a three car passenger train along the San Francisco embarcadero on the S.F. Belt Railway during the spring of 1972. Perhaps this is what is remembered. Ultimately the entire train was pulled back to Stockton on the WP and placed in storage at the Army Supply base. Later the "Flying Scotsman" locomotive, a famous and well-loved steamer in the UK, was returned to the UK and remains in steam there to this day.
Hope this helps!
Yep, Flying Dutchman, Flying Scotsman.... close. Thanks for the confirmation. Looks like I dodged that Altzheimer's diagnosis for a little while longer! I guess it never was in Sausalito, which makes sense. Why would they bring it all the way over there?
The entire train did depart the SF embarcadero on Western Pacific's rail ferry, so it DID get a little closer to Sausalito than you might have thought as she backed out of pier 43 and headed east to Oakland. So for real, no Altzheimers yet! ;-)
Bob I foudn this website last night. I thought it was pretty cool. Wild time to live in Sausalito!