Phillips C. Kauke

Phil photo

Born in Berkeley, California, in 1921, Phillips C. Kauke has been a railroad enthusiast all his life. He worked for the Santa Fe Railway for 38 years in engine service, retiring in 1982. He also worked for the Alaska Railroad and for the Southern Pacific for a time in the 1940s. During World War II, Phil served his country in the South Pacific.

Many examples of his photographic work have appeared in books on Western railroads. He has authored several articles, including a chapter, entitled Mojave Detour, for the 1979 book, Wheels Rolling West, and a study of SP gas-electric cars for the Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society publication SP Trainline.

Mr. Kauke's roots with the Visalia Electric date back to the 1930s when he lived in Lindsay. Here, as an eleven-year-old boy, he witnessed the VE in action and was befriended by crews, early memories which fueled a lifelong ambition to document this diminutive electric line.

Mr. Kauke is a member of the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Tulare County Historical Society, Bay Area Electric Railroad Association, Orange Empire Railway Museum, and is a lifetime honorary member of the International Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.