Exploring The Ruins of an Abandoned Train Yard

Updated : Nov 08, 2019 in Articles

Exploring The Ruins of an Abandoned Train Yard


This building stands
as a sort of tombstone for a former American giant. You might pass this
and assume it’s the byproduct of some
failure, that it probably deserved to be forgotten. But dilapidated,
collapsed, and broken doesn’t mean it was a failure. It doesn’t mean it
was unimportant. This is what is left of
the Bayshore Roundhouse on the outskirts of
San Francisco, one of the only remaining buildings
of the once flourishing rail yard that was referred to as
the jewel of Southern Pacific’s Coast Division. These walls were put
up over 100 years ago on landfill made partially
from the debris of the 1906 earthquake that devastated
much of the Bay Area. This is where steam locomotives
were sent for maintenance and storage after long journeys
up and down California, where tens of thousands of freight
trains were inspected and sent off to their
next destination. 3,000 men and women
worked at this train yard. For 50 years, through
two world wars, this train yard was
full of steam and smoke and the sounds of monstrous
engines and metal tools. But by the end of the
1950s, steam trains were on the way out. They were replaced with
more efficient diesel trains that needed less maintenance. Trucking became the
standard for shipping, and people traveled
by car or plane. Over time, the
Bayshore Roundhouse became a storage
facility and a place where mighty old steam
engines came to retire. Finally, on Monday,
October 25, 1982, work stopped at the Bayshore
train yard altogether. It became an
industrial ghost town. Fences went up,
buildings came down, and the train yard
became past tense. A skeleton, a time
machine, a giant defeated by
advancing technology, abandoned and discarded but no
less important to our history. Abandonment Issues is
part of Seeker Stories, so to get all the new
videos we release, subscribe to this YouTube channel now. And check back soon for
more Abandonment Issues. Thanks for watching.

52 Comments

  • I've been working on this project for a year, and it's finally come to fruition!

    #AbandonmentIssues  are the stories of the forgotten and decrepit places of our history. We explore the places and find the history. It's the best of  #ruinporn  and #history  together.

    Here's the first episode!! It came out so great! 

  • To bad some one does not restore it back to original.
    It would cost a bunch but steam engines are so cool even if they are way obsolete.

  • 2 things. 1, I love urban exploration. it's really fun to experience and interesting to research the history of the places you find. 2, it's hard to image watching videos without aerial shots now. as soon as drones became widely available we pretty much use them every time.

  • Anyone see the two people running out of the I am guessing drones top down shot? 2:15 – 2:17 Was that you Trace?

    Nvm.. I read below and found out they were drones ^_^ 

  • Omg yay! I have been looking for a channel just like this. Thank you Trace, i patiently look forward to viewing all your videos! Sincerely, Jamie.

  • As a kid my friends and I use to hang out and explore the Delaware River and in our city at the river you can see the track from trains that use to go all the way to the river to pick up or drop off it loads onto ship. One of the train trestles I guess you could say is still standing and is in amazing conditions like it was in use only yesterday. It amazing how what America built back then was built to last. We use to explore the abandoned build in the area too. The one place we always tried to explore but we're never able to find a way in was the now abandoned under ground train stops. They have been shut down since 60-70s but there's whole train networks down there and even stops people use to get on and off the trains. I would be so cool to use sit at one of them stop and think of what it use to be

  • i love things like this, old buildings, ruins, seeing what they once were. but its also sad they're no longer intact =/

  • It would be more interesting if it was more comprehensive, but the same length. Like Brian Cox's documentary style.

  • DIS is what I like to seek my eyes into! haha I had to say that…O.O Very interesting :] I'm happy for you Trace!

  • If this is an ongoing project, please get straight the differences between the words "train," "locomotive," and "railroad." Thanks.

  • I would argue that this place is not truly "abandoned." It's no longer owned, but just look at all that graffiti. Clearly people still come to this place. Instead of trains they now find escape, adventure, history, opportunities for artistic expression. It's owners may have abandoned this place, but the people around it have made it their own; it is their collective spirit that inhabit it now.

  • Can Seeker add the background music in the description. I want to find it because it sounds relaxing.

  • Put functional gyms,urban agriculture (vegetables and maybe hemp? ) and small green hemp house community and give houses to people who need them.
    http://www.fastcoexist.com/3035029/in-portland-these-tiny-houses-will-bring-the-homeless-off-the-street-and-under-a-roof
    http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/tiny-house-villages-for-the-homeless-an-affordable-solution-catches-on

  • Trace, I lived near this yard for over 20 years and watched as operations wound down and the buildings and track were gradually removed. I used to buy 100# sacks of Mesquite from Lazzari Charcoal which uses the old car shop for it's production facility. I haven't been there for a while but it seems that the future of the yard is looking brighter. Your production is short but very nicely done. Your writing and editing chops are first rate.

  • u guys should really do an abandonment issues at the buffalo central terminal, which is huge and has been abandoned for some time now.

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