Bakersfield
Home<California<Historic Railroad Stations<Bakersfield SP Station

The historic large Southern Pacific Depot in Bakersfield was last home to regularly scheduled passenger train service by the San Joaquin Daylight that was discontinued on the eve of Amtrak in 1971. The stop has been used by Amtrak more recently as a service (and smoke/fresh air) stop when the Coast Starlight has been rerouted via Tehapachi Pass due to track work along its normal coastal route (I was supposed to ride this, and was hoping to photograph the Starlight stopped in this very station on February 19, 2012 when it was scheduled to be rerouted but the track work unfortunately ended one day early).

The historic station that first started opening in 1889 is a sprawling multi-winged one and two story building and is still in railway use today as a crew base and maintenance shop for the Union Pacific Railway. For example 'Sig. Dept.' is hand stenciled onto a sign for one of the secondary smaller buildings (all in a similar old style) at its fenced off parking lot. I assume this means the signal department. The station takes up the entire block bounded by Sumner Street, Baker Street (that crosses the tracks at a grade crossing) and across from where King Street ends at Sumner Street before the railroad tracks. The depot is on the edge of a freight yard about 6 blocks from where the ATSF (now BNSF) joins the SP (now UP) line for their shared trackage over Tehapachi Loop and Pass to reach Southern California. The building and its surrounding little parking lots have been surrounded by a chain-link fence on all four sides (with a few openings for parking) including between the train tracks (and the level-crossing with Baker Street) and depot. The surrounding sidewalks still offer good views inside, particularly down the long arched canopy structure that looks like an extension of the depot that is trackside and was designed to provide shelter to waiting passengers. Each end of this structure still has an old hand-painted black text on white wooden Bakersfield sign with a more recent Union Pacific logo added above. A portion of the east side of it has been sealed over to create more space. On the streetside of the depot is a communications tower that must be used by the railroad for communications.
All Photos taken on 14 February, 2012

1889 SP Station|Modern Amtrak Station
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A backhoe loader working on the surface in front of the depot
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One of the historic signs and the historic platform canopy
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Close up of the historic sign, the UP logo above is a more recent addition
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This line of concrete must be the platform
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Crossing lights down, crossing lights down!
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The two connected buildings that make up the depot, the roofs are most noticeable
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GP38-2 #841
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More of the rail yard and locomotives are beyond the station
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Notice the southern end of the fomer canopied area has been sealed in
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Other buildings also belonging to the railroad are beyond the depot
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GP38-2 #841 attached to a FURX hopper car and a cabbose
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The caboose is labeled for the railroad police, luckily I am observing the station from public streets!
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GP38-2 #841 and the depot beyond
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1889 SP Station|Modern Amtrak Station
Home<California<Historic Railroad Stations<Bakersfield SP Station

Last Updated: 22 March, 2011
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