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?
Interesting website! Thanks.
Yes, "them were the days..." but, believe me, they grew in the telling.
Bob, Here's something on the Hayden car. The thing about it being Hayden's daughter may be related to an IRS attempt to take the car from Hayden over tax issue.
This is from a 1968 article reprinted here: http://saltwaterpeoplehistoricalsociety.blogspot.com/2011/10/sterli...
Hayden the social critic is only slightly different from Hayden the windship man. When he started his novel two years ago he looked for a place to work where he wouldn't be distracted by 'a houseful of kids.' His first thought was a railway caboose.
'There's something complete and self-contained about a caboose. Like a ship, only cheaper. About $600, but I couldn't find one.
Then the CB&Q railroad in Chicago offered me an executive car built in 1890. The price is a secret between me and CB&Q. The date of the car's origin struck me as significant--only six years prior to the year (1896) my novel deals with.'
An executive car is about the size of the private railway cars built for the tycoons of that era, but less ornate, more functional. The one Hayden bought has an oil-burning heating system, a brass bed secured to the bulkheads of the master stateroom, two smaller staterooms, something railroaders call a 'Kitchen' and a spacious office area aft.
Hayden arranged to have his car towed to Sausalito behind a freight train. He calls it 'the best land voyage I've ever made.' He also arranged to park the car on a Sausalito railroad spur hidden by a building and an embankment, giving him almost complete privacy, but with a view of San Francisco Bay and the rotting GALILEE, a dismasted bark killed off the Australian trade in her prime by the coming of steam.
The workroom reflects Hayden's character--his things are sturdy and old, like the teapot he uses to brew tea so strong a mouse could walk on it. One of his two typewriters, an ancient Underwood, is reminiscent of clicking telegraph keys. The other is a modern machine on a desk so high the big man can stand before it as he works.
'I'd rather sit, but my war-time back (he was hurt in a parachute jump) bothers me if I sit for any length of time.'
And there he looked at the bay and worked for two years on his novel. It deals with the social and moral revolution he sees attuned to 1896, the year of Bryan, silver, and social evolution. That was a year, too, of windjammer men, wandering windship men. It may have been a very significant year.
Hayden thinks so."
Thanks, Tommy! Great article. You realize, of course, that in such interviews Hayden was "on stage," presenting a carefully crafted personal developed over a lifetime. Not that it wasn't true. No mistake about it. He was "the real deal," but I think he enjoyed playing the role of "Sterling Hayden" more than anything else.