Southern Pacific

In its heyday, the Southern Pacific was the most powerful company in California. Founded in 1865, the Southern Pacific (SP) was originally created as a rail line from San Francisco to San Diego. By 1868, it extended to New Orleans. In 1885, the Southern Pacific leased the Central Pacific Railroad, which was the western half of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. The SP went on to become one of the giants of US railroading, stretching from the Pacific Northwest into Texas and New Orleans. SP’s vast system even included narrow gauge railroad operations in California and Nevada.

Southern Pacific was also a major player in the electric railways of Los Angeles. Fearing competition from Henry Huntington and his rapidly expanding Pacific Electric Railway, SP engaged in a fierce battle for control of the region’s interurban railways in the first decade of the 20th Century. The Great Merger of 1911 finally transferred control of Pacific Electric to the SP, leaving Huntington in control of the city’s local streetcar system, Los Angeles Railway. Financed by SP, the PE grew to become the world’s largest interurban electric railway network.

SP was also famous for its California passenger trains, most notably the “Daylights” between Los Angeles and the San Francisco. The beautiful orange and gold Daylight colors remain among the most recognizable in railroading, thanks in part to preserved steam locomotive SP 4449. After years of declining fortunes and tough times, the Southern Pacific was finally merged into the Union Pacific Railroad in 1996.

In addition to its significant collection of Pacific Electric equipment, the Museum preserves over 25 cars and locomotives from the Southern Pacific including “U-Boat” freight locomotive 3100 and San Diego & Arizona Eastern (an SP subsidiary) passenger combine 175. Several SP narrow gauge cars are also included in the collection.

Roster of Southern Pacific Equipment
Preserved at OERM

Freight Cars
No. Type Builder Built - Retired Construction Notes
1213 Caboose SP 1942 steel
358835 Gondola 1955 composite High-Side Beet Gon
374 Caboose ACF 1947 steel Bay Window
454038 Refrigerator Car ACF 1966 steel SPFE
541411 Flat Car 1945 steel
570 Caboose SP 1924 wood
7091 Relief Tender SP 1912 steel (for derrick)
No. Type Builder Built - Retired Construction Notes
1006 SW-1 Switcher EMC 1939 - Circa 1986
1474 S-4 Switcher Alco 1952
1550 S-12 Switcher BLW 1953
2954 RSD-12 Road Sw. Alco 1961 - 1996
2958 RSD-12 Road Sw. Alco 1961 - 1996
3100 U25-B Road Switcher GE 1963
Passenger Cars
No. Type Builder Built - Retired Construction Notes
122 Business Car B&S 1900 - 1958 wood "Sacramento"
175 Baggage-Coach Pullman 1917 steel SD&AE
2144 Coach Pullman 1923 steel SP "Sub"...
2397 Chair Car Pullman 1949 aluminum "Shasta Springs...
2445 Articulated Chair Car Pullman 1941 steel Later California Western...
2446 Articulated Chair Car Pullman 1941 steel Later California Western...
6340 Baggage Pullman 1909 steel
6796 Baggage steel Econo-Bag, owned by PRS
Work Cars
No. Type Builder Built - Retired Construction Notes
1354 Box Car c1925 wood Supply Car
7090 Wrecking Derrick Ind Wks 1912 steel steam powered

Page Updates

Date Comment Link
September 6, 2013 - 21:15 SP-3100
May 4, 2012 - 20:49 SP-1006
December 5, 2011 - 20:51 MW-7091
December 5, 2011 - 20:50 MW-7090
December 5, 2011 - 20:48 MW-1354
December 5, 2011 - 20:46 541411
December 5, 2011 - 20:45 454038
December 5, 2011 - 20:44 358835
December 5, 2011 - 20:43 1213
December 5, 2011 - 20:41 570
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Orange Empire Railway Museum Inc

OERM 2016 Calendar

OERM 2014 Calendar

The 2016 calendar Electric Railways Of Los Angeles is now available. The calendar features vintage photos of the Los Angeles Railway and the Pacific Electric in operation in the Los Angeles area.

The calendars are available in the museum gift shop or by mail order. The price of the calendar is $12.95 plus sales tax and shipping charges. To order your calendar please call the museum office. (951-943-3020)