Train Station dedication, World War II week by week

Posted by David Middlecamp on September 16, 2013 

Sept. 4, 1943 Telegram-Tribune covered the details of the new railroad station opening.


Whistles in Southern Pacific shops, locomotives and roundhouse sounded at noon along with the San Luis Obispo fire siren signaling the dedication of the new $97,000 mission-style railroad station in 1943.

The improvements included a new control room for handling traffic over the Santa Lucia mountains by remote control. With the increased wartime rail traffic trains could be tracked and switches thrown from the control room rather than giving orders to each train crew. Tours were given through the roundhouse and shops.

Nearly 2,000 spectators turned out for the celebration as the Daylight Limited trains pulled in from north and south.

George C. Paterson, of San Francisco, assistant to the vice president in charge of operations for the railroad, called the station "your home and our home where you can get to know members of the great Southern Pacific family of more than 100,000 persons."

Col. Henry T. Bull, camp commander at Camp San Luis Obispo, spoke as well as Mayor Fred Kimball.

Bull said, "It is a great railroad and has served us at Camp San Luis Obispo with wonderful ability. It helped carry our men to Kiska ant Attu and to many other points and did a magnificent job. It has a large influence in the war."

[The Central Coast Railroad festival will take place in early October with the opening of the new train museum. Details at this link.]

In other local news from the newspapers of Sept. 4 and 6:

New kindergarten classes were starting at Emerson, Fremont, Hawthorne and Buchon schools in San Luis Obispo.

On Sept. 6, Fresno police held 12 youthful members of a zoot-suited gang — two of whom were accused of beating two soldiers with chains.

San Luis Obispo police chief B.J. Epperly called it one of the most outrageous rape cases in the history of the city. A man dressed in a soldier's uniform broke into a home at 3:30 a.m. and attacked the wife of another soldier.

Hundreds attended the funeral Mass at Mission San Luis Obispo for Lt. Cornelius James Norton. The pilot had been killed in a training accident at Ealer Field, La.

At the top of the Sept. 4 front page, Nazi propagandist Lt. Gen. Kurt Dietmar was quoted in the regular feature "So They Say":

"We have expanded our power to such an extent as to permit us to be on the defensive."

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