Thursday, August 24, 2006

CP/SP Depot Bollard Question

From: "Randy Ruiz"

I am looking for drawings or any other information that exists documenting what appears to have been a standard Southern Pacific bollard design. In case you do not know, a "bollard" is a short vertical obstruction set into the ground used to protect buildings and such from vehicles. The current operators of the Sunol depot may want to install replicas of these bollards. Since identical bollards are visible in photos of other S.P. depots, I thought that perhaps the railroad had fabricated them. Any leads would be appreciated. The [Southern Pacific Photo from the Union Pacific Museum Collection showing bollards in place at the Sunol Depot in 1913 is displayed on] the Centerville Depot website. The roof ridges and finials are interesting details as well.

Randolph R. Ruiz [Architect]


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "John Snyder"

The bollards in question appear to be tapered, and were very likely cast in iron at the S.P. foundry in Sacramento.

—John Snyder, Architectural Historian

8/25/2006 7:27 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Chris Graves"

Identical items at the New Castle station in a photo dated 1909. (Not on line, just one of a bunch of old photos in the drawer.)


8/25/2006 8:14 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


Ah yes, the Sunol Depot. I know it well. Everyone should restore a 120 year old building. We've discussed these bollards, as well as many other things. Our best guess is that they were made of local materials, such as well pipe and filled with cement or some other material.

I don't think there's room to put the bollards back. There is a water cabinet where the bollards would go if they were put back in their original spot. Besides, the Clampers put a hunk of granite at the corner facing the parking lot with a plaque on it, so it will serve the same purpose as the bollard.

And speaking of original spots . . .

The depot was moved about a mile down the canyon after SP stopped passenger service in the 1940s. When we moved it back 50 years later, we found that we couldn't put it back in the original location. The original site is now in the middle of a county road (Kilkare Rd.) In addition, there is a high pressure gas pipeline that would be directly under the building, so we had to place it nearer the main track that it was. If you locals remember the Walnut Creek gas line fire a year or two ago, that's the same gas line. What you see at the right hand edge of the photo is a house track that was between the main and the depot. There isn't room for that now either.

The next part of the restoration project is reconstructing the freight platform. The original extended 40 feet past the end of the depot, so we're going to have to put in an abreviated version. We also have to be aware of FRA clearances as to the width of the platform because the house track isn't there anymore.

One of the tough parts of restoration is that we also have to meet certain building codes that didn't exist 120 years ago. For example, when the depot was built, it was just set on the ground. No foundation. It has a foundation now. It also has interior fire protection that it didn't have back then.

—Paul, Sunol Depot restoration crew

[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]

8/26/2006 9:38 AM  

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