Southern Pacific

logo_SPIn 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.

Freight Cars

Image 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)

 

Passenger Cars

Image 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” commute car
  2397 Chair Car Pullman 1949   Aluminum “Shasta Springs” owned by P.R.S.
  2445 Articulated Chair Car Pullman 1941   Steel Later California Western 683. Owned by P.R.S.
  2446 Articulated Chair Car Pullman 1941   Steel Later California Western 683. Owned by P.R.S.
  6340 Baggage Pullman 1909   Steel  
  6796 Baggage       Steel Econo-Bag, owned by PRS

 

Locomotives

Image 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      

 

Work Cars

Image No. Type Builder Built Retired Construction Notes
  1354 Box Car   c1925   Wood Supply Car
  7090 Wrecking Derrick Ind Wks 1912   Steel steam powered