The Southern Pacific Transportation Company (reporting mark SP), earlier Southern Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Company, and usually called the Southern Pacific or (from the railroad's initials) Espee, was an American railroad. It was absorbed in 1988 by the company that controlled the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad and eight years later became part of the Union Pacific Railroad.
The railroad was founded as a land holding company in 1865, later acquiring the Central Pacific Railroad by lease. By 1900 the Southern Pacific Company was a major railroad system incorporating many smaller companies, such as the Texas and New Orleans Railroad and Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad. It extended from New Orleans through Texas to El Paso, across New Mexico and through Tucson, to Los Angeles, through most of California, including San Francisco and Sacramento. Central Pacific lines extended east across Nevada to Ogden, Utah, and reached north through Oregon to Portland. Other subsidiaries eventually included the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt), the Northwestern Pacific Railroad at 328 miles (528 km), the 1,331 miles (2,142 km) Southern Pacific Railroad of Mexico, and a variety of narrow gauge routes.
In 1929 SP/T&NO operated 13848 route-miles not including Cotton Belt, whose purchase of the Golden State Route circa 1980 nearly doubled its size to 3,085 miles (4,965 km), bringing total SP/SSW mileage to around 13,508 miles (21,739 km).
By the 1980s route mileage had dropped to 10,423 miles (16,774 km), mainly due to the pruning of branch lines. In 1988 the Southern Pacific was taken over by D&RGW parent Rio Grande Industries. The combined railroad kept the Southern Pacific name due to its brand recognition in the railroad industry and with customers of both constituent railroads. Along with the addition of the SPCSL Corporation route from Chicago to St. Louis, the total length of the D&RGW/SP/SSW system was 15,959 miles (25,684 km).
By 1996 years of financial problems had dropped SP's mileage to 13,715 miles (22,072 km), and it was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad.
The SP was 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.
Other articles related to "southern pacific railroad, pacific, southern pacific railroads, pacific railroad, railroad, southern pacific, southern":
... The Central Pacific and The Southern Pacific Railroads ... Riding the Transcontinental Rails Overland Travel on the Pacific Railroad 1865-1881 ... The Classic Western American Railroad Routes ...
... The names Southern Pacific Depot, Southern Pacific Railroad Station, Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, and variations, apply to a number of train stations operated by the Southern Pacific ... Arizona Southern Pacific Railroad Depot (Casa Grande, Arizona), listed on the NRHP in Arizona Southern Pacific Railroad Depot (Safford, Arizona), listed on the NRHP in ...
... The California Pacific commenced construction at South Vallejo (west of the Carquinez Bridge) ... The railroad was built by Dewitt Clinton Haskin ... is now the route of the California Northern Railroad between Vallejo and Suisun and can be seen along portions of State Route 12 ...
... Southern Pacific Railroad Depot in Whittier, California is a train depot built in 1892 that is being preserved by the City of Whittier to house a railroad museum and ... In the 1890s the growth of Whittier caused the Southern Pacific Railroad to build a branch line from its main line in Santa Fe Springs, California ... In the early 1900s, the Pacific Electric Railway built a branch line that paralleled the Southern Pacific track ...
62 1901 Gulf Ship Island Railroad Company v ... Southern Express Company 183 U.S. 1902 ... Florida Central Peninsular Railroad Company v ...
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—William Howard Taft (18571930)