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Southern Pacific In San Francisco


While it could be argued that Sacramento California was the point from which the vast Southern Pacific Railroad system grew, it was San Francisco which became the nucleus of wealth, power and political influence that was to become the Southern Pacific Co. Here the railroad system was planned, financed and managed. Southern Pacific was one of the first large corporations to make San Francisco its headquarters and was for many years California’s largest employer, and largest land owner – except for the federal government – in most of the states it operated in. Underscoring the city’s importance, San Francisco was milepost zero in a system that identified the location of all points of the vast Southern Pacific Railroad, west of El Paso, by their distance from San Francisco. Within the city itself, SP employed thousands of people over the years in its offices, shops, yards and on its trains, streetcars, ferries and steamships. The railroad gave unselfishly to the relief work that followed the earthquake and fire of 1906.

Ultimately by 1996, and the merger with the Union Pacific Railroad, Southern Pacific for all intents and purposes had disappeared from San Francisco entirely. This then is the story of the rise and fall of this once great corporation in San Francisco in all of its manifestations spanning 132 years, focusing primarily on its rail operations within the San Francisco Terminal.

Author John R. Signor, hardcover 344 pages, with over 500 photos and 33 maps.

SKU: 3045