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Home > Richmond shops

  From 1910 until December 31, 1959, The Pullman Company operated a repair shop in Richmond California. Located adjacent to the Southern Pacific main line from Oakland to Sacramento, and the Santa Fe branch from Richmond to Oakland.

Ariel veiw of the shops from the south

Ariel view from the south circa 1950. Richmond Collection

   The development of Richmond as a city is intertwined with the history of the Pullman shops, the railroads the served the city, and the industries that grew up around them. The people that worked for these companies and lived in Richmond contributed much to the early development of Richmond. The contributions of these people and companies during World War II did much to win the war.
  Through this website I hope to give a look into the intricate work that was done at this sprawling shop, and to tell some stories of the people that worked here so their names might live on.
  The Pullman Company built, serviced and operated up to 9,800 cars at one time. This required a huge investment in physical plants beyond the main complex in Pullman (a suburb of Chicago) Illinois. The Richmond facility was the only one west of St. Louis, so was assigned the maintenance of cars for the western carriers in The Pullman Company's San Francisco Zone. The Plant was built in 1910 when the Pullman sleeping-car fleet was approaching 5,000 cars, and a massive changeover from wood to steel cars had begun.
  The Richmond Pullman facility employed as many as 500 at one time. In fullest operations the plant was “ running out” about 260 cars…remodeled or repaired a year.
  The cars moved through the shop in a steady procession, while artisans of every kind swarmed over and under and in and out of them. And when they rolled out on the mainline again they were a glistening beauty to behold.

  The Pullman Company closed it's doors on January 1, 1967, ending a one hundred one year run for this once dominant transportation giant. Although it has been over 35 years, there are still physical and operating memories. Here is where you can see the cars and shops, and find out where you can still "Go Pullman".

Two of the Richmond shop buildings still stand today

Two Pullman shop buildings are still standing today at 350 Carlson Ave. Richmond, Ca. Photo by D.W. Roth

As this site develops, more history of this facility will become available.

If you have any information or pictures to add, send them to:

info@pullmanshops.com


     

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