About The Southern Pacific Railroad

(In Memory of my GrandPa C.F. Gillaspy-Southern Pacific T&NO  1919 to 1951)




 About The Southern Pacific Railroad

The Southern Pacific Railroad (AAR reporting marks SP) was an American railroad. The railroad was founded as a land   holding  company in 1865, forming part of the Central Pacific Railroad empire. The Southern Pacific's total route miles has varied significantly over the years. In 1929 the system showed 13,848 miles of track (in contrast to 8,991 miles of track in 1994). By 1900, the Southern Pacific Company had grown into a major railroad system that incorporated a lot of smaller companies, such as the Texas and New Orleans Railroad and Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad, and that extended from New Orleans through Texas to El Paso, across New Mexico and through Tucson, to Los Angeles, throughout most of California including San Francisco and Sacramento; it absorbed the Central Pacific Railroad extending eastward across Nevada to Ogden, Utah and had lines reaching north throughout and across Oregon to Portland. On August 9, 1988, the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the purchase of the Southern Pacific by Rio Grande Industries, the company that controlled the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. The Rio Grande officially took control of the Southern Pacific on October 13, 1988. After the purchase, the combined railroad kept the Southern Pacific name due to its brand recognition in the railroad industry and with customers of both constituent railroads. The Southern Pacific subsequently was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1996 following years of financial problems. The railroad is also noteworthy for being the defendant in the landmark 1886 United States Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad which is often interpreted as having established certain corporate rights under the Constitution of the United States.

  SP Railroad Map


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