Pacific Railroad

The Pacific Railroad was a railroad based in the U.S. state of Missouri. It was a predecessor of both the Missouri Pacific Railroad and St. Louis-San Francisco Railway.

The Pacific was chartered by Missouri in 1849 to extend "from St. Louis to the western boundary of Missouri and thence to the Pacific Ocean." Due to a cholera epidemic in 1849, which was a citywide disaster, and other delays, groundbreaking did not occur until July 4, 1851.

The railroad purchased its first steam locomotive from a manufacturer in Taunton, Massachusetts; it arrived at St. Louis by river in August 1852. On December 9, 1852, the Pacific Railroad had its inaugural run, traveling from its depot on Fourteenth Street, along the Mill Creek Valley, to Cheltenham in about ten minutes. By the following May, it had reached Kirkwood.; within months tunnels west of Kirkwood were completed, allowing the line to reach Franklin.

The Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad was authorized in 1852 and split off as the Southwest Pacific Railroad (later the main line of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway) in 1866.

Financial difficulties meant that Pacific Railroad did not reach Washington, eighteen miles away, until February 1855. Later that year the line reached, Jefferson City, the state capital.

By July 1858 the Pacific Railroad reached Tipton, the eastern terminus for the Butterfield Overland Mail, an overland mail service to San Francisco. The combined rail/coach service reduced mail delivery times between St. Louis and San Francisco from about 35 days to less than 25 days.

In 1865, it became the first railroad to serve Kansas City, after construction was interrupted by the American Civil War. In 1872, the Pacific Railroad was reorganized as the Missouri Pacific Railway by new investors after a railroad debt crisis.

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Famous quotes containing the words railroad and/or pacific:

    Though the railroad and the telegraph have been established on the shores of Maine, the Indian still looks out from her interior mountains over all these to the sea.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    The principle of majority rule is the mildest form in which the force of numbers can be exercised. It is a pacific substitute for civil war in which the opposing armies are counted and the victory is awarded to the larger before any blood is shed. Except in the sacred tests of democracy and in the incantations of the orators, we hardly take the trouble to pretend that the rule of the majority is not at bottom a rule of force.
    Walter Lippmann (1889–1974)