May 27, 1999 at 1050 PDT, the Stockton Tower was razed, apparently in the name of progress. to see photos of the destruction, click Here. On January 12, 1999 at 0759 PST, BNSF closed the tower, control of this area is now done by BNSF's dispatch center in Ft. Worth Texas. The uncompleted connection from the BNSF to the SP was completed on July 27th 1998. BNSF trains coming off the canyon Sub now use this track. On April 20, 1999, the WP through downtown Stockton, died a quiet death as UP crews removed the former WP diamonds crossing the BNSF seen at the top of the photo, a new connection between the UP and the SP is in place at both El-Pinal and Charter Way allowing Canyon Sub traffic to come through downtown Stockton via SP tracks. Scroll down to see a map of the current track configuration through downtown Stockton.
More direct overhead view of the Stockton Tower. Stanley Keiser photo
Directional views from Inside the Tower
Looking North up the Southern Pacific Tracks
Looking East up the BNSF Tracks. Union Pacific's Main is visible in the center of the Picture.
Looking South up the Southern Pacific Tracks
Looking West up the BNSF Tracks
Between I-5 and Hwy 99 there is a Connector
freeway designated Hwy 4, also called the cross-town freeway, from
either direction get on Hwy 4, take the Wilson Way exit go south
on Wilson Way, go 5 blocks to Scotts Ave. go west on Scotts Ave.
The Tower is 4 blocks on the left side. A brief note for SAFETY
1. The tower no longer stands but the area Law Enforcement remains for the most part, railfan tolerant, so please observe common sense safety rules, as they will not hesitate to ask you to leave if you are being blatant in your disregard for safety. So far I, nor any of the people that I railfan with or run into regularly at the Tower have not bothered by Railroad Police Officers. but this can change if people do not follow common sense safety rules.
2. Keep an eye on your surroundings, this is not a secure area, there's a lot of foot traffic and this is not the best area of town. As such when it starts to get dark, for personal safety reasons...LEAVE
Rules for safe railfanning
1. Never enter a railyard without seeking permission, if denied, leave immediately without being rude.
2. If you "must" enter railroad or private property seek permission, and treat the property as if it were your own.
3. Never walk on the inside of tracks. If you must trespass, then walk on the outside of the tracks.
4. Always expect a train, from any direction at any time.
5. RAILFANNING IS A HOBBY, NOT A RIGHT, IT'S NOT WORTH LOSING YOUR LIFE OR YOUR FREEDOM
Stockton only has one "Hobby" shop. Pacific Trains located inside Pacific Bowl on Pacific Avenue, But I do not recommend it as their stock is limited and they seem to have some difficulty with simple orders. However, in Lodi, there is Roger's Railroad Junction, which I highly recommend you make the 11 mile trip to Lodi to check out Roger's Railroad Junction located at: 105 S. Sacramento St. Lodi, CA (209)-334-5623
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