Southern Pacific Transportation
Southern Pacific Transportation ( AAR reporting mark: SP ) was an American railroad company based in the southern and western United States. The company was based in San Francisco . From 1865 to 1885 the name of the company was Southern Pacific Railroad and from 1885 to 1969 Southern Pacific Company.
The route network operated together with the Central Pacific Railroad and after the merger with the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad was marketed under the name Southern Pacific Lines . In 1996 the Southern Pacific Railroad was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad .
In 1996 the company's route network extended from Chicago via St. Louis south to Houston . From St. Louis, a route led west via Kansas City , Denver , Salt Lake City to San Francisco . In the south there was a connection from New Orleans via Houston, El Paso , Tucson , Yuma , Los Angeles to San Francisco. From San Francisco there is a route north via Klamath Falls to Portland . There was also a cross connection from Kansas City to El Paso.
The company was founded on December 2, 1865 as the Southern Pacific Railroad of California to build a railway line from California to New Orleans. Together with the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad it came into the possession of the " Big Four ", the owners of the Central Pacific Railroad , until 1870 . Construction of the line did not begin until 1871 in San José, led through the San Joaquin Valley to Stockton , in 1872 Fresno was reached and in 1873 the Kern River . The route to Goshen Junction (85 km south of Fresno) was built by the Central Pacific and from there by the Southern Pacific Railroad. A complex route was necessary to overcome the Tehachapi Mountains , including the construction of the 360 ° turn ( Tehachapi Loop ). The route was to be extended through the Mojave Desert to the Colorado River . However, it was decided to connect Los Angeles to the route network first. However, this meant a detour. But the stretch to the Colorado River near Needles was finally completed.
This was later connected to the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad , a forerunner of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad (ATSF). In 1897 the Mojave - Needles line was sold to the ATSF, and in return the Southern Pacific received the Sonora Railway from Nogales to Guaymas in Mexico.
After completion of the transcontinental connection, the owners of the company had a quasi-monopoly for rail transport to the east. They made full use of this. On the one hand, they got municipalities to make appropriate payments for connections to the rail network, and on the other hand, they set extremely high transport prices. With the financial power she gained from this, she exerted influence on politics and the media. The company took advantage of all legal and some illegal means to acquire competing companies or to prevent them from continuing to develop. For these reasons, the Southern Pacific was the fastest growing railroad company in the world at the turn of the century. The SP's rail monopoly was only broken when Portland was reached through the Union Pacific and the Northern Pacific in the 1980s, and the Santa Fé completed its end-to-end connection to California in 1897. At the time, however, the Southern Pacific had 400 different subsidiaries operating in many areas of infrastructure development, including transportation, land, water, oil, and agriculture, so the company's influence on the California economy continued for a long time. Frank Norris wrote his novel "The Octopus: A story of California" based on these activities of the SP.
Construction of the second transcontinental connection
From Los Angeles the Colorado River was reached at Yuma in 1877 . From there, the " Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad " continued the route until 1881 to El Paso. The "Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad" was created in 1870 from the " Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad " and built, among other things, a rail link from Galveston to Houston and San Antonio. The company was in constant competition with Jay Gould's Mississippi Pacific Railroad .
The connection to New Orleans was created by the " New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad ". This was later reorganized by Charles Morgan as the " Louisiana and Texas Railroad " and built a line between New Orleans and Houston. In 1881 the connection with the Texas and Pacific Railroad in Sierra Blanca and with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fé Railway in Deming (New Mexico) was made. This created the second transcontinental rail link. In 1883 the tracks on the Pecos River met the line built from San Antonio. The meeting point, the Pecos River Bridge, was a forerunner of the later Pecos River High Bridge , the tallest railroad bridge in the United States.
In 1924, the Southern Pacific acquired the " El Paso and Southwestern Railroad ". This railway company had a network west to Tucson and east to Santa Rosa . The routes ran largely parallel to the SP routes. In 1934, the subsidiaries in Texas were combined under the name " Texas and New Orleans Railroad " (T&NO). This became necessary because Texas law required railroad companies that did business in Texas to be based there. Thus, these routes were operated as an independent unit.
To the north
In connection with the connection to the north to Portland created by the Central Pacific until 1887 , further route extensions were made. In 1926, for example, the “Natron Cutoff” between Klamath Falls and Eugene was opened . To prevent the Great Northern Railway from building a route from the Columbia River to the Western Pacific Railroad , the SP built a route south through the Klamath Basin. The GN later used this SP route between Chemult and Klamath Falls. This second route had a much smaller gradient than the older route over the Siskiyou Range and therefore became the main route to Oregon. At the same time the company opened a route from Klamath Falls to the Overland Route in Fernely . This route was called the "Modoc Route". In some parts the track bed of the former narrow-gauge Nevada-California-Oregon Railway was used.
The construction of the Pit River Bridge became necessary due to the construction of the Shasta Dam between 1938 and 1942 . At the time it was built, it was the tallest bridge in the United States. When the dam was flooded, the bridge was flooded almost to the supporting structure.
Southern Pacific and Central Pacific
Until 1884, Southern Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad were two independent companies, but they were both controlled by the same people (Big Four) and were therefore operated as a system. In order to simplify social relations, the Southern Pacific Company was founded, which replaced the Southern Pacific Railroad. The Central Pacific Railroad leased their property to the SP and reorganized as the Central Pacific Railway.
The last survivor of the Big Four, CP Huntington, died in 1900 and his stake was bought by the Union Pacific Railroad , which was then under the control of EH Harriman . In the following years he made significant improvements to the overland route that was important to him. With the construction of the “Lucin Cutoff” over the Great Salt Lake , he shortened the route by 70 kilometers. The line over the Sierra Nevada was given a second track, in sections with a lower gradient. He also introduced an automatic block system. In California he had the "Bayshore Cutoff" (along the San Francisco Bay) built.
Efforts by the then President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, to limit the power of monopoly companies led the Union Pacific to sell its stake in the SP. In the same breath it was demanded that the Southern Pacific and Central Pacific separate and that the CP should be added to the Union Pacific. However, this step was prevented by the California government. Real politics thus acted differently from public opinion and the statements of many politicians who, particularly through Frank Norris ' novel "Octopus", saw the company that controls California's rail traffic as a damage rather than an advantage.
The Central Pacific was therefore provisionally managed by the Southern Pacific until 1959. Only then could the Southern Pacific take over the CP completely. The SP's last major construction project was the “Palmdale Cutoff” over the Cajon Pass, completed in 1967, to shorten the route to Los Angeles.
On November 26, 1969, the Southern Pacific Company was renamed Southern Pacific Transportation. At the same time a holding company was created called the Southern Pacific Company .
At the beginning of the 1970s, the Southern Pacific was one of the most economical railway companies, but its decline began in the following decade. The competition from truck traffic (due to the construction of the highways) grew stronger and the previously profitable business of transporting Californian food (salad, oranges) was gradually lost. Due to the onset of the economic crisis, the transport of wood and car parts also declined. In addition, there was competition from the Union Pacific Railroad - Western Pacific Railroad alliance for transcontinental traffic to California. With the “Santa Margarita Agreement” concluded in 1923, the SP had undertaken to direct a certain amount of transport over the UP route. However, since this route was operating at its capacity limit, the Southern Pacific had to direct its transports to the east via other routes. The alternatives via the Rio Grande route from Ogden or the Sunset Route to Kansas City were prohibited due to the agreement. This means that these transports could only be handled by the “Cotton Belt” subsidiary on its route from Texas. This meant that the transport length increased significantly and, in addition to the Southern Pacific personnel, transport agents from the Cotton Belt had to be employed in all important stations. Added to this was the uncertain future of the American railways, as the collapse of the railroad companies in the Northeast feared that all railroad companies would be nationalized. In this situation, the SP began to invest in non-railway operations. However, since profits in these areas were only sparse, if at all, and profits in the transport sector also fell sharply, society was forced to take austerity measures. The result of these austerity measures were increasingly poorly maintained and technically outdated track systems, locomotives and freight wagons. This meant that the transport performance decreased even further.
In May 1980, the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe announced that they would merge. After this idea was revoked in the meantime, the two holding companies Santa Fe Industries and Southern Pacific Company founded the Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corporation on December 23, 1983 . The two railway companies still had to operate independently, but already coordinated the colors of their locomotives and even began to repaint their locomotives in red and yellow. During this time, however, investments were not made in the routes of the Southern Pacific, as the railway company could only be operated in trust by the SFSP. The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), the US antitrust agency, rejected the merger for two years . Since the route network of the two companies covered the same land area, the regulatory authority feared that it could lead to a fiasco similar to the merger of PRR and NYC to Penn Central and therefore did not approve this merger. The new shortcuts SPSF soon as S hould'nt P aint S o F ast (Had you just do not repainted as quickly) reinterpreted. The holding company Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corporation therefore had to sell the railway company Southern Pacific, but kept the other companies of the former Southern Pacific in possession.
There were offers to buy, including from Kansas City Southern and Guilford Industries , the management of SP itself, and from Rio Grande Industries , the parent company of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad . On August 9, 1988, the ICC approved this purchase. When the merger was completed on October 13, 1988, the new system was referred to as "Southern Pacific Lines". The DRGW took over the identity of the SP.
In the following years, many lines of the SP were sold in order to operate the system more efficiently. In 1991 the SP sold its route from San Francisco to San José and its local transport equipment for this route to the neighboring counties. By Amtrak , the company was taken over at this track on 1 July 1,992th On September 12, 1996, the Union Pacific finally bought the Southern Pacific. Nevertheless, locomotives in the original black Southern Pacific design are still in use today.
The St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt or SSW) was Southern Pacific's main subsidiary. The company's route network extended from Texas (Fort Worth, Dallas, Waco) via Texarkana, Little Rock, Memphis to Saint Louis. The company was acquired by the SP in 1932 to gain access to St. Louis. The company remained legally independent, but was run like a department of the SP. The color scheme was the same as on the SP locomotives, with the difference that the SSW locomotives were labeled Cotton Belt or SSW. In 1980 the bankrupt Rock Island Line acquired the St. Louis - Kansas City - Santa Rosa route.
With the acquisition of the St. Louis - Joliet ( Illinois ) line (a former line of the Illinois Central Railroad or Alton Railroad ) in 1989 from the bankruptcy estate of the Chicago, Missouri and Western Railroad by the subsidiary "SPCSL Corporation" (Southern Pacific Chicago St. Louis) the SP gained access to the important railroad junction of the United States Chicago.
Northwestern Pacific Railroad
The Northwestern Pacific Railroad served a route network north of San Francisco. The company was founded in 1903 as a joint venture between Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific to operate the Sausalito - San Rafael - Willits - Eureka route. Several predecessor societies went into it. In 1929 the Southern Pacific got complete control of the company. The company only existed on paper from the late 1950s, but was not fully integrated until 1992.
Pacific Electric Railway
The SP was also the owner of the Pacific Electric Railway , which operated a local service - mostly with Interurbans in southern California. It was founded in 1901 by the nephew of Collis P. Huntington Henry E. Huntington . From 1910 the company was owned by the Southern Pacific. From the 1950s onwards, the lines were gradually shut down. The last passenger train ran on April 8, 1961. The remainder of the company merged on August 13, 1965 with the Southern Pacific. Part of this drawing is from the now light rail from Los Angeles to Long Beach used.
Southern Pacific Railroad of Mexico
The Southern Pacific Railroad of Mexico (Sud Pacifico de México) was founded in 1909. It combined the Sonora Railway ( Nogales - Guaymas ), leased from Santa Fe in 1898 and finally taken over in 1911, and the Cananea, Rio Yaqui & Pacific Railroad, which had started from Guaymas to build along the coastline to the south and several branch lines. In 1927 Guadalajara merged with the route network of the National Railway of Mexico. Society has always been a losing proposition for the SP. In December 1951, due to a change in the law in Mexico, it was sold to the Mexican government, which continued to operate the route under the name "Ferrocarril del Pacifico".
Towards the end of the 1970s, the railway companies began to look for other branches of the economy due to the poor economic situation and the low profit margins in the railway sector. The Southern Pacific therefore laid telecommunication cables along its rail lines and entered the telecommunications market in 1978 with the Southern Pacific Communications Company. First a fax service and long distance calls were offered. Soon the name was for these services Sprint " S outhern P acific R ailroad I nformation N e t work" or " S witched PRI derivatives N etwork T elecommunications". introduced. In 1982 the company was sold to GTE.
Pacific Fruit Express
The Company Pacific Fruit Express was a 1907 joint venture founded with the Union Pacific for the operation of refrigerated trucks. At times the company had the largest fleet of refrigerated trucks in the world. It existed until 1978 when it was split between the two owners.
Narrow gauge lines
In addition to the standard gauge lines, the Southern Pacific also operated a small network of narrow-gauge lines in California and Nevada with a gauge of 914 mm (36 inches). The first routes in the 1880s during the gold and silver boom in Nevada. The Carson & Colorado Railroad (C&C) built a 480 km stretch from Mound House on the Virginia and Truckee Railway south to Keeler . In 1900 the line was taken over by the SP. The SP subsidiary Nevada and California Railway then built a standard gauge connection between Hazen and Churchill . This connected the line to the SP network. Then the line to Tonopah Junctions was converted to the standard gauge. In 1905 the C&C was completely merged. With the construction of the Mojave - Owenyo line, the southern part of the line was also connected to the standard gauge network. A planned reconstruction of the line from Owyeno to Tonopah Junctions did not materialize. On the last operational section between Laws and Keeler the operation was stopped on April 29, 1960.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, the vehicle fleet of the Southern Pacific consisted of the typical locomotives of the 19th century. As early as the 1890s, the Southern Pacific began converting many steam locomotives to oil-firing, as this was cheaper than coal in California. Coal-fired locomotives were only used for a few long distances to the east. When EH Harriman took control of the SP, the standardization of the vehicle fleet began. Until then, most of the machines were very different in their design and execution. In the period that followed, the SP was very conservative in its vehicle procurement and generally bought vehicles whose technical status was more than a decade ago. Even the Depression in the 1920s and 30s did not lead to any further development of the locomotives used. Because of this attitude, the company began to replace steam locomotives with diesel locomotives relatively late .
At the end of the 19th century, the locomotives with the wheel arrangement 2'B [4-4-0] were the most important design, later they were replaced by 1'D [2-8-0] for heavy and 1'C [2-6- 0] replaced on light freight trains. The locomotives of the Harriman era were also 1'D locomotives. The first 1'D1 '[2-8-2] locomotives were procured from 1911. Even more powerful locomotives of the type 1'E1 '[2-10-2] were used from 1917 onwards. After these locomotives also reached their performance limits, the three-cylinder 2'E1 'locomotives of the SP-1 to SP-3 series built by ALCO were acquired from 1925 . These were specially designed for the fast freight trains over the Donnerpass.
The many tunnels and avalanche galleries over the Donner Pass and on the Siskiyou route were a major problem. The train drivers received very little oxygen and therefore had to drive with gas masks. The solution offered was to turn the locomotive and let the driver's cab drive ahead. The so-called cab-forward locomotives of the AC-1 to AC-8 and AC-10 to AC-12 series emerged from this idea . These locomotives were articulated locomotives of the type 2'D (D1 ') [4-8-8-2]. Thus the construction did not lead to any restriction in the running properties. The locomotives were very successful and a total of 244 such locomotives were used.
With the AC-9, however, twelve conventional articulated locomotives were also procured. They were primarily intended for fast freight traffic on the Sunset Route.
The last steam locomotive before a freight train ran on November 30, 1956.
Around 1900 locomotives of the type 2'C [4-6-0] were mainly used for passenger transport. These were procured until 1920. Later locomotives of the type 2'B [4-4-0] were added. These were mainly used on the routes in the lowlands of California. From 1902, Atlantic (2'B1 ') [4-4-2] locomotives were procured. The first two series A-1 and A-2 had a Vauclain compound engine. In the later series, this design was dispensed with and single-acting engines were installed. These locomotives were used until the early 1950s. The first Pacific locomotives (2'C1 ') [4-6-2] were procured in 1904. Most of them came from ALCO . From 1923, locomotives of the type 2'D1 '[4-8-2] were procured. The locomotives of the type 2'D2 '[4-8-4] were then procured from 1930 to 1943. At the SP they received the series designation "GS" for "Golden State" or "General Service". These locomotives were the largest locomotives used in passenger trains. Starting with the GS-2 series, the locomotives were given streamlined cladding so that they could be used in front of the "Daylight" express trains. The locomotive with the no. 4449 from the GS-4 series has been preserved and is now used from Portland in front of special trains.
The last steam locomotive was used in front of a scheduled passenger train on January 22, 1957.
The SP put its first diesel locomotive into service on April 1, 1939. It was a switch engine from General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD). Later locomotives from Baldwin and ALCO were also acquired. For the route service, the company held on to steam operation for a long time. It was not until 1946 that the first EMD E7 series diesel locomotives were purchased. Soon, locomotives of the EMD F3 series were also acquired for freight train traffic. All locomotives were given the black-silver-orange color scheme, which was also known as "Black Widow". Within ten years, over 1000 diesel locomotives were procured so that the steam traction could be stopped. In the mid-1960s, the obsolete E and F series locomotives began to be sold. At the same time, the Southern Pacific began acquiring EMD SD7 and SD9 series locomotives . At first these locomotives were also given the “Black Widow” paintwork, but with a red nose (bloody nose), but later the SP switched to the simpler dark gray paintwork with the red front sides. At the same time, the procurement of locomotives of the EMD GP9 series began .
At the end of the 1950s, the railway companies began to demand more and more locomotive power. At that time, however, diesel-electric technology had reached a limit and higher performance could only be achieved with larger locomotives with multiple diesel engines. The diesel-hydraulic locomotives commonly used in Europe, however, were able to provide higher performance. However, this technology was not widely used in the United States. In 1961, Southern Pacific and DRG & W each ordered three ML 4000 locomotives from Krauss-Maffei . The locomotives met the performance expectations. The problem, however, was the hydraulic power transmission, which is unusual for the USA. The maintenance of this technology required higher costs, trained staff and appropriately equipped workshops. Since the D & RGW was not satisfied with their locomotives, they sold their three vehicles to the Southern Pacific. However, the SP ordered another 15 vehicles. The locomotives were scrapped by 1968.
Another attempt for more engine power were the three U50 series locomotives from General Electric (GE) that were purchased in 1964. This design with two motors and the axle formula B'B'B'B 'did not prove itself, so that no other such locomotives were purchased. The three EMD DD35B locomotives without driver's cab acquired in 1965 with the same design did not meet the requirements either.
As with the steam locomotives, the many tunnels and avalanche galleries also caused problems for the diesel locomotives. Especially when the locomotives were running in the usual multiple traction, the exhaust gases of the first were sucked in by the second locomotive, which led to a loss of performance. For this reason, EMD developed the "Tunnel Motors" for SP in 1973. In these locomotives of the SD 45T-2 and SD 40T-2 series, the air intake was moved downwards.
Due to poor maintenance from the 1970s onwards, locomotive failures began to increase. In addition, the ever longer and heavier freight trains required ever greater tractive forces. Since new purchases of stronger locomotives were not made to the necessary extent, the trains were driven with more locomotives than with the other companies at the time. On the other hand, this also led to a shortage of the available locomotives. In 1993, 300 locomotives had to be rented at times a day in order to be able to maintain operations. Only after the merger with D & RGW did the situation of the vehicle fleet improve. So from 1994 locomotives of the EMD SD70M , GE DASH9-44CW and GE AC4400CW series were procured.
Due to its route network, the most important passenger train connections were limited to California and the Overland route. The first trains were named "Atlantic Express" and "Pacific Express". In 1888 the "Golden Gate Special" was introduced between Council Bluff and San Francisco and in 1896 the "Overland Limited". The latter was later only called "Overland" and offered a connection between Chicago and San Francisco. In the Harriman era, the train was equipped with the most modern equipment and thus lived up to its exclusive claim even more. The era of streamlined trains began in the mid-1930s . First there were the M-10000 multiple units used by the Union Pacific and the Zephyrs on the Burlington Route . After the war, the "City of San Francisco" and the "San Francisco Overland" were used on the Overland Route together with the UP. While the city drove through the sierras at night, the overland used the route during the day. For this reason, a dome car was used on this train in 1954 .
On the route between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the "Coast Line Limited" and the "Shore Line Limited" operated first. From May 1910 the night train "Lark" was used. This was the first pure sleeper train in the western United States and had electric lighting and other luxurious equipment. From 1923 the day train "Daylight Limited" was used. From 1937 this train, with new streamlined cars and a striking orange-red-black color scheme, was marketed as "Daylight". It took him 9.5 hours for the route. In the following years, other trains with this designation were introduced, such as the "Noon Daylight", the "Morning Daylight", the "Coast Daylight" and the "San Joaquin Daylight".
On the route to Portland, the "Oregon Express" was used from 1887 and the "Shasta Express" from 1901. Later the "Cascade" and the "Shasta Daylight" were added.
The most important trains on SP southern routes were the "Sunset Limited" introduced in 1894 between San Francisco and New Orleans and the "Golden State Limited" introduced in 1902 between Los Angeles and Chicago. The Golden State Limited was jointly responsible for the Rock Island .
As with the other railway companies, the decline in passenger trains began in the 1960s. Due to the competition from cars and airplanes, as well as deterioration in quality due to outdated technology and lower levels of service and comfort, the number of passengers dropped sharply. With the founding of Amtrak in 1971, all remaining long-distance connections were taken over by it.
Local transport was an important factor, especially in the greater San Francisco - San Jose area. The first connections were offered in the 1890s. In the period that followed, the network was continuously expanded. This line of business was only taken over by California's Department of Transportation in the early 1980s and continued under the name CalTrains . However, the SP remained responsible for operations until the end of the decade. The last passenger cars of the SP were taken out of service in 1986.
President of the Southern Pacific Company
- 1865-1868: Timothy Guy Phelps
- 1868-1890: Leland Stanford
- 1890-1900: Collis P. Huntington
- 1900-1901: Charles Hayes
- 1901-1909: EH Harriman
- 1909-1911: Robert S. Lovett
- 1911-1918: William Sproule
- 1918–1920: Julius Krutschnitt
- 1920–1928: William Sproule
- 1929-1932: Paul Shoup
- 1932-1941: Angus Daniel McDonald
- 1941-1951: Armand Mercier
- 1952-1964: Donald J. Russell
- 1964-1976: Benjamin Biaggini
- 1976-1979: Denman McNear
- 1979-1982: Alan Furth
- 1982-1983: Robert Krebs
- 1984-1996: DM Mohan
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Chairmen of the Southern Pacific Company Executive Committee
- 1890-1893: Leland Stanford
- 1893–1909: not occupied
- 1909-1913: Robert Lovett
- 1913–1925: Julius Krutschnitt
- 1925–1928: Henry deForest
- 1928-1932: Hale Holden
Chairmen of the Southern Pacific Company Board of Directors
- 1929-1932: Henry deForest
- 1932-1939: Hale Holden
- 1964-1972: Donald J. Russell
- 1972–1976: not occupied
- 1976-1983: Benjamin Biaggini
- Brian Solomon: Southern Pacific Railroad. MBI Publishing 1999, ISBN 0-7603-0614-1 .
- George H. Drury: The Historical Guide to North American Railroads 2nd Ed. Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha, WI 2000, ISBN 0-89024-356-5 .
- George H. Drury: The Guide to North American Steam Locomotives Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha, WI 2004, ISBN 0-89024-206-2 .
- Fritz Engbarth: Southern Pacific: End of the Line , in: EK-Aspects 9: Railways in North America 2nd part, EK-Verlag 1998.
- The construction of the Central Pacific Railway , in: EK aspects 21: Railways in North America (4), EK-Verlag 2004.
- Mark W. Hemphill: And then the Golden Empire came crashing down. In: Trains 03/2005, , pp. 80-89.