Photograph developed September 1968, identified as the Whites Canyon intersection. The date and the train in the distance tell us it's the
intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Whites Canyon Road in Saugus (later called Canyon Country), looking south. The street would be eastbound
Soledad; the arrow indicates a left turn onto Whites, which is at the photographer's back — as is the North Oaks housing tract, which started
construction in 1961.
That's an eastbound Southern Pacific passenger train; the SP discontinued passenger service less than three years later on May 1, 1971, when
Amtrak took over long-distance passenger service in the United States. Today this view would show a four-way, signalized intersection at left, with
a bridge over the Santa Clara River (which lies between the photographer and the train, not really visible from this camera angle), and the train
would be obscured by a shopping center built in 1975-1976.
About the photographer:
James Krause was a 20-year-old art and history student at San Fernando Valley State College (now CSUN) when, in February 1967, his family moved to 19549 Fairweather St. in Saugus — later called Canyon Country. After graduating in 1968 and aspiring to become a teacher, James worked at the Flare-Northern division of the Atlantic Research Corporation in Saugus, a defense subcontractor that manufactured explosive devices for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Flare-Northern was located at 19701 W. Goodvale Road, in the hills west of the Krause home.
Lucky for us, James enjoyed touring the canyons and shot numerous photographs from 1967-1970, focusing particularly on Soledad Canyon from present-day Canyon Country
to Acton, and on its Southern Pacific Railroad features. He shot many of the photos in November 1970 while on leave from Vietnam. His teaching pursuits had been derailed; he entered the Army on Nov. 5, 1968, and went through basic and infantry training at Ford Ord, Calif., followed by NCO training at Ft. Bening, Geo. In October 1969 he served as a staff sergeant with the 101st Airborne Division in the northernmost part of South Vietnam, operating from the DMZ to an area near the Laotian border. In November 1970 he transfered to the 14th Armored Cavalry (later the 11th Armored Cavalry) in West Germany, patrolling the border with East Germany until his discharge in March 1973. By that time, the earthquake of Feb. 9, 1971, had hit the Santa Clarita Valley and his family moved away from Saugus.
James' early interest in railroads was no passing fancy. Following his military service he joined the Union Pacific Railroad, first as a maintenance-of-way foreman for about a year and then as a locomotive engineer, a position he held until his retirement Aug. 29, 2011 (except for brief try at the restaurant business from 1992 to 1995). He drove trains in California, then Missouri and finally in Texas, where he lives as of 2012. He had three children with his first wife who, like James, was a Union Pacific Railroad engineer in Southern California. According to James, the UP believes they may have been the first husband-and-wife locomotive engineers in the United States.