Original negatives are restricted; patrons can view the images online.


The Middlebrook Photographs of San Diego & Arizona Railway Locomotives is comprised of black & white negatives and gelatin silver prints from 1910-1948. The collection documents the San Diego & Arizona Railway and includes images of locomotive engines, railcars, rail workers, and track scenes.


R.P. Middlebrook worked as a locomotive engineer for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF). Because of his interest in trains, he photographed, wrote about, and collected materials related to locomotives and railroad history. Several of Middlebrook's articles were published in the The Journal of San Diego History.

Scope and Contents of Collection

The Middlebrook Photographs of San Diego & Arizona Railway Locomotives is comprised of black & white negatives and prints of locomotive engines, railcars, and track scenes in Southern California and Mexico. The images document the San Diego & Arizona Railway (SD&A), a short line railroad founded by John D. Spreckels, later named the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway (SD&AE). The collection is arranged in two series: 1) NEGATIVES and 2) PHOTOGRAPHS.


The NEGATIVES series is comprised of forty-three images scanned from original negatives taken by R.P. Middlebrook. The bulk of the negatives were nitrate film, which after scanning, were removed from the collection. Two original safety film negatives remain and are restricted. A copy of Middlebrook's list of negatives is also found in the collection and the folder list was transcribed from this list.


The PHOTOGRAPHS series contains four contact prints made from the original negatives, as well as seven gelatin silver prints from negatives not located in this collection. Along with images of locomotive engines and railroad scenes, several images include engineers and yard crews posed with the trains. One additional photograph is labeled "Movie company in Carizzo Gorge," and shows a group posed with two locomotive engines.


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Box Folder Oversize
1-A10/09 46689. New at 26th & Main Sts., 1910.
2-S 1893 4138. 8th St. yard. Former SP 1046, 1935.
2-Porter. 8th St. yard. Former SD&SE 2, 1913.
10-S/87 2470. Calexico. Former SD&SE 21-SP 2125, 1942.
11-R/81 2883. 10th St. Former SD&SE 22-SP 2112, 1919.
12-A 2/13 52884. Roundhouse SD. Former SD&SE 23, 1945.
20-B/06 29727. Roundhouse SD. Former Bullfrog-Goldfield 12, 1948.
23-A 2/13 52844. 10th St. Former SD&SE 23, 1917.
24-B 6/07 31093. Roundhouse. Former LV&T, 1926.
26-B 11/07 32251. Salt Lake City. Former LV&T 10, 1935.
27-B 12/07 32360 Roundhouse. Former LV&T 11, 1942.
41-GE-Sch 3766. 12th St. Former MN&S-SD&SE, 1945.
42-GE-Sch 3767. Santa Fe Station. Former MN&S-SD&SE, 1935.
43-GE-Sch 3707. 13th St. Former BR&P, 1935.
50-B 1/11 35953. National City Troop train from Tijuana, 1916.
50 - In Sweetwater River during 1916 flood, 1916.
50 - In Sweetwater River, 1916.
50 - 10th St. Bought new, 1935.
101-A 12/14 54664. Santa Fe Station. Bought new, 1935.
103-S/07 31453. Roundhouse. Former SP 2523, 1934.
104-B/04 23899. Roundhouse. Former SP 2712, 1935.
105-SP Shop, LA, 1918. Roundhouse. Former SP 2843, 1936.
208 - Coach, bought new. 10th St., 1930.
1 1 1175 - Former Parlor-cafe. Bought from SP, 1945.
Original negative located in AN5/M438/1. Restrictions Apply.
Three engine train near Dos Cabasos, 1946.
SD&AE Roundhouse, 1948.
1 1 Hipass, 1947.
Original negative located in AN5/M438/2. Restrictions Apply.
Coyote Wells, 1922.
Tecate, Mexico, 1922.
Bridge over highway 94, near Hipass, 1943.
Hipass, 1922.
Carrizo Gorge, 1922.
Carrizo Gorge, Big slide, ca. 1922.
Carrizo Gorge, Big slide, ca. 1922.
Carrizo Gorge, Big slide, ca. 1922.
Bridge bypass slide, ca. 1922.
Carrizo Gorge Station, 1923.
Gorge, 1923.
Gorge, 1923.
Gorge, 1923.
Gorge, 1944.
Gorge, 1944.
Near Campo, 1927.
1 2 Copy of Middlebrook's negative list.


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Box Folder Oversize
1 3 Contact prints from negatives.
1 4 Photographs, not from negatives, 1947 & undated.
SD&A yard crew, undated.
SD&AE 451, near Dos Cabasos, undated.
Elks Special - Engineer: Earl Youngs; Fire: Ed Enright, undated.
SD&AE at E Street, undated.
SD&AE, Coyote Wells, undated.
SD&AE X2360, Coyote Wells, Calif., January 20, 1947.
Movie company in Carrizo Gorge, [1920s].

Finding aid generated: 2013-01-02