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Bay Area wigwags in service  
San Francisco 
Bay Area Wigwags
Point Richmond
Pittsburg

 
As of December, 2004, there are no active wigwags in the immediate San Francisco Bay Area. With the deactivation of the 2 Point Richmond wigwags on December 13th, the closest wigwags in this area are in Santa Cruz (not counting museums like the Niles Canyon Railway). 

Point Richmond
Note:
As of 12/13/04, these wigwags are now on display only. BNSF deactivated them after installing new crossing gates. For more info, check out this page that has the complete history of the battle between the City of Richmond and BNSF.

View a TV news report on these wigwags here -
click on logo below:


 
click to enlarge
1986...
Point Richmond wigwags as they appeared in 1986. Notice the broken up planter box held together with cable.
 
 
click to enlarge
1999...
South wigwag as it appeared on 4/5/99.
Note north wigwag in background.

And 2000...

click to enlarge
Alan Reed sends in this update. Note how the planter boxes
 have been repainted and striped. I hear BNSF is still trying
to replace these with crossing gates and cantilevers. The City of Richmond
is fighting this right now as they do not want these wigwags to be removed.
(8/12/00)

More pictures of Pt. Richmond wigwags



Pittsburg
Note:
This wigwag was knocked down by a truck on 4/14/04.
It has been replaced by highway flashers.

click to enlarge
Photo by David Epling (4/00)

This is the first picture to be sent of this wigwag. David Epling captured this image on 4/9/00. It protects an entrance to the US Steel/Posco plant at the end of Columbia St. and the BNSF main. This is a private crossing, as the public portion ends about 100 feet before the crossing. There is a chain link gate about where David was standing to take this picture. For a map of the area, click here.

As far as I can tell, this is one of the very last "model 10" (ATSF style lower quadrant, with "L-bar" cantilever instead of flat iron) wigwags still in service (if not the last ). This type was the most common style used by Santa Fe in California. There are a few other former Santa Fe wigwags still around, like the 2 in Redlands, one in Vista, and 3 in Lindsay

click to enlarge
Photo by Dan Furtado (4/00)


After knowing that this wigwag was less than an hour from where I live, I finally made a second trip out to Pittsburg to track it down. If David could find it, so could I!

On Tuesday, April 18th 2000, I made my second attempt to locate it. First I paid the Martinez wigwag a visit, timed carefully to catch the 716 (Amtrak SB San Joaquin) at 1:53. It was running a few minutes late, so I waited. After grabbing a few shots of it at that wigwag, I hi-tailed it out to Pittsburg to try to catch it again at the wigwag there. The closest off-ramp from Hwy 4 would be the Loveridge exit. Then follow the map. It's right off E. 14th street at the end of Columbia St. You can't miss it. You can catch the San Joaquins at Pittsburg at the following times:

Southbounds: 8:42a, 11:17a, 2:17p, and 6:57p.
Northbounds: 9:33a, 2:35p, 5:35p, and 8:25p.

There are plenty of BNSF freights too. So catching this one in action is not a problem, except for the chain link fence.


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(4/9/99) 11/24/99