how many railroads served el paso by the 1940s
Only a simple pyramid-type concrete monument remains in a nearly deserted region to mark the historic spot. It is an excellent resource with thousands of historic maps on file throughout the country. Freight handled by train to central "set-out" points was distributed from there by trucks to adjacent towns where the best available train service was too slow; or where small towns were too numerous to permit expedited trains to stop at each station without impairing their fast schedules; or to reach territory contiguous to but not served by the railroad. But his proposal was branded by many as fantastic or a vicious money-grabbing scheme. You will be hard pressed at finding a better online resource regarding diesel locomotives than Craig Rutherford's TheDieselShop.us. This route had its origin in the San Francisco & San Jose Railroad, which was opened between those two cities on January 16, 1864. The workers were provided with six-month contracts, subject to renewals for six month periods. The trip between Sacramento and San Francisco was by river steamer. Relief supplies of food, medicines and other articles were immediately collected in numerous towns and cities on the SP system and moved rapidly and continuously toward San Francisco. Points on the Coast and Western Divisions also came in for lots of trouble. To the right, the El Paso del Norte Hotel can be seen (today Camino Real Hotel). [NOTE: The contention that the CPRR's Chinese laborers were swung in "baskets" during the construction of Cape Horn, located just East of Colfax, is a long time and often repeated misconception. Most were completed without delay, such as the Martinez-Benicia bridge already mentioned, while a few were deferred. PE is also an important freight line serving communities and industries throughout, its territory. With new efficiencies learned under wartime exigencies, the railroad looked ahead with confidence in its ability to meet the keen competition for peacetime business. Southern Pacific's dining car service likewise operated at an all-time peak despite labor shortage and other handicaps common to the entire railroad. The Last Spike was "unspiked" during a ceremony at Promontory on September 8, 1942, the track materials for 120 miles between Corinne and Lucin being salvaged for the war effort. When war broke, the program of equipment maintenance and repair stressed during the defense period was greatly intensified in the three general shops on Pacific Lines and the two general shops on T&NO Lines, as well as in all divisional shops. At New Orleans the SP rail lines connected with ships of the Morgan Line, one of America's oldest shipping concerns, dating from the late '40s. The EP&N dated to 1896 chartered by Charles Eddy who had Freight cars were especially built or equipped for the fast merchandise trains. Ferry boats carried passengers across the bay to San Francisco. The plan aided in making travel for coach passengers much more comfortable, at a sacrifice of revenue. From beginning of the war through August, 1945, SP's system lines handled 28,349 special government passenger and mixed trains, comprising 437,567 cars, exclusive of freight trains. way services were tied up. although the Great Depression The New Orleans to El Paso mainline is still a key part of Union Pacific, while most of the branchlines have been spun off or abandoned. In this area of the company's Pacific Lines were located 290 military and naval establishments, as compared with only 15 major installations before Pearl Harbor. Construction was commenced there in May, 1876, and the line opened into San Jose the latter part of the following year. While construction was under way on the transcontinental route over the Sierra and across Nevada to Promontory, Utah, the Big Four began extension of the line between Sacramento and the San Francisco bay. What is the name of the full-sized train built by Mathias Baldwin? The El Paso & Southwestern Railroad logo. At that time Tucson was the only town of any size all the way to El Paso, about 560 miles. Train routes were abandoned by successive stages starting early in '41, and by July 26 that year SP's East Bay electric interurban passenger service faded into history- Auto ferry service to all points on San Francisco Bay ceased to exist on May 16, 1940. Construction between there and El Paso was carried on partly by GH&SA and partly by the construction forces that built the SP line from the Pacific Coast. SP's own steamships operating between Gulf and Atlantic ports were acquired by the government during March-July of 1941. Rights & Permissions; Homework, An Historical Sketch of the SOUTHERN PACIFIC 1869-1944, [with Historical Map of Southern Pacific's Rail Lines], by Erle Heath Editor, The Southern Pacific "Bulletin", (Transcribed and annotated by Bruce C. Cooper). One of the biggest was a line change of nearly six miles in San Jose, which involved construction of eight grade separations, considerable trackage and facilities, and the erection of a new passenger station. Numerous projects conceived by him were advanced beyond the preliminary blueprint stage by his engineers, under Chief Engineer William Hood. The Southern Pacific Motor Transport Co. was organized in April, 1927, and began motor coach operations over interurban routes in Oregon. 1955. SP had control of the capital stock and guaranteed the principal and interest on the first mortgage bonds of this company up to 1903, when a court decree required SP to relinquish its control. Heavy construction had been encountered in the 150-mile section of the line north of Santa Barbara. Land acquisitions and other preliminaries on the project began during the few years prior to 1900. between El Paso and Tucumcari as well as a few branches in southern A new position of chairman. Sensational improvement was made in the "Daylight" on the 470-mile scenic Coast Line between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The government, through its military, naval and other agencies; and the shippers, through thirteen Regional Shippers Advisory Boards, perfected rail transportation procedures in a highly coordinated degree of teamwork with the railroads that was to pay off handsomely some twenty years later when rumblings of another war emergency gripped the nation. which were incredibly rich with iron (concentrated at 20% or more). Only stage coach and freight stations dotted the route, except at a short distance northerly there were the villages of Florence and Tempe, also the store, blacksmith shop, and a few buildings at a crossroads, the site of present-day Phoenix. Here the engineers faced the problem of raising the railroad 2,734 feet from the valley at Caliente to scale the mountain pass at an elevation of 4,025 feet in about 16 air-line miles. By end of the war it was estimated the land grant rate reductions for all railroads reached a total in excess of one billion dollars, or more than eight times the $123,000,000 value of the lands at the time they were granted to the railroads. The road was opened for traffic to Klamath Falls in May, 1909, and to Kirk, Ore., in September, 1912. The financial aid was not a donation, but was in the form of United States 6% bonds which were a lien against the railroad property, with repayment to be made in thirty years. By 1932, this traffic had increased more than 43 per cent over the previous year, and the service was available to most communities served by SP in California. Working conditions were difficult at all times, but the severe winters of 1865-6 and 1866-7 called for superhuman courage to keep things going. Hundreds of carloads of freight were also tied up at construction projects where work was not advanced sufficiently to make use of the materials. On January 1, 1929, the Pacific Transportation Securities, Inc., was organized to consolidate SP's motor bus operations with those of its principal competitors, the Pickwick and Greyhound corporations in the territory west of Salt Lake City and El Paso, and south of Portland. Through consolidation of seven short lines operating steam and electric serv-ice in the north coast counties of California, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company was formed January 8, 1907, under joint ownership of the SP and Santa Fe, to complete construction and weld the various units into one property extending from Sausalito and Tiburon on San Francisco Bay through San Rafael, Santa Rosa and Ukiah to Eureka and Trinidad, together with ferry boat service to San Francisco. It was one of the nation's most popular trains when the depression hit and it was reduced in 1932 to local train status. Its completion gave birth to a new era, and the expansion of its western lines is evidenced today in the far-flung properties of the Southern Pacific Company. Although New York capitalists were not interested in the railroad as an investment, they were impressed with the high credit rating the Sacramento businessmen held in the commercial world. capacity. Built by Alfred E. Davis for James G. Fair and the latter's mining associates of Comstock Lode fame, the company was incorporated March 25,1876. The reports led to incorporation and organization of the Central Pacific. The company was organized in 1901 by Henry E. Hunting-ton, nephew of Collis P. Huntington. The amount of information found there is quite staggering; historical backgrounds of wheel arrangements, types used by virtually every railroad, preserved and operational examples, and even those used in other countries (North America and beyond). Of 59,514 freight-train cars owned, an average of about 28,000 operated on SP lines during 1944, the balance of company-owned •cars operating on foreign lines. Construction on the western end of the Sunset Route was started December 31, 1869, branching from the transcontinental line at the newly established town of Lathrop. Construction of the line had progressed so rapidly that Central Pacific was not equipped with sleeping cars during the first weeks of operation. Their work was highly satisfactory, and from the start the railroad made the visiting workers feel as much at home as possible. Hardly had the lines in northern California recovered from storm onslaughts than southern California was swept by the worst rains and floods in its history. To provide motor truck service for store-door pickup and delivery of less-than-carload freight, there was organized the Pacific Electric Motor Transport Co., which commenced operation March 11, 1929. The SA&AP's 725 miles of Texas lines extended from Waco on the north, Kerrville on the west, and Houston on the east, to Falfurrias and Corpus Christi on the south. Companies were organized and some construction done in that section of the state, but it was not until the Big Four got behind one of the projects that Marysville greeted its first train from Sacramento, via Junction (now Roseville) and Lincoln on June 1, 1869. 1929, experimenting with motor trucks operating in conjunction with freight trains in the delivery of less than carload freight from store-door of the shipper to store-door of the receiver. Today's BNSF Railway is the product of nearly 400 different railroad lines that merged or were acquired over the course of 170 years. Hooded lights for signals, locomotives and trains had their American debut on SP lines in the first weeks of the war and remained effective throughout the Pacific Coast combat zone of 150 miles inland until military restrictions were removed early in 1944. Be sure to include video, images, or quotes that help your points effectively. Eleven months passed before the five miles between Newcastle and Auburn was opened to traffic May 13, 1865. Out of wartime operations the railroads, the government and the nation's shippers gained valuable experiences. As of August 15, 1945, a total of 41,602 had been imported by SP for its Pacific Lines and affiliated companies, and 12,865 were then working in track, shop and stores jobs. Also locomotives had to be quickly available. Total number of employes on the entire transportation system dropped to a low of 41,863 in March, 1933, as compared with a total monthly average of 89,304 in 1929. The colonel believed such a venture would yield strong profits thanks to plentiful trade found along the famous Santa Fe Trail and the Gulf's deepwater ports. Central Pacific provided buffets on most of its Silver Palace cars, as did Pullman on its Hotel Cars. Since the company's primary freight was ore it employed a fleet of fairly respectable steam locomotives including heavy 2-8-0 Consolidations, 2-8-2 Mikados, 2-10-0 Decapods, and 4-8-2 Mountains (other wheel arrangements included 2-6-2 Prairies, 2-6-0 Moguls, 4-6-0 ten-wheelers, and 0-6-0/0-8-0 switchers). Most intense construction came in the early months of 1869. Contributions of SP men and women to the war effort on the home front did not end with the performance of a top-notch transportation job. Everywhere, and in every department of operations, the railroad was being geared for a bigger job. The image shows El Paso Street in the 1940s. Arrival of the first train in Tucson on March 20, 1880, was celebrated with great enthusiasm, and the banners of all nations fluttered from the outer walls of the ancient pueblo. Explosives, stores of gasoline, etc., were issued free to city authorities. Southern Pacific was appealed to for finances and assistance. The citizenry was not entirely asleep. Each company was alert to the advantage in future earnings from every additional mile of railroad built. How vital the railroads were to victory is emphasized by the fact they handled throughout the country during the war about 97 per cent of all organized troop movements and about 90 per cent of all Army and Navy freight and express. backing the system continued to grow from its original founding in the Harriman was elected chairman of the SP executive committee in April, 1901, and became president on September 26 the same year, a position in which Charles M. Hays had served for nine months. Stanford was the principal instigator of the Last Spike ceremony on May 10, 1869, an historic even that will live forever in the annals of colossal construction achievements. give it a seat on the board). During the twelve and a half years after 1887 a total of 2,630 miles of lines were added to Southern Pacific's operations, about 70 per cent of it being on the Pacific System. 1 position during the closing months, the Navy also built there the world's largest naval supply base, with an extensive branch at nearby Stockton. The Imperial Valley rail connection (Inter-California Railway Company) through Mexico, connecting SP's main line near Yuma, was completed July 24, 1911. During 1859-60 the road was graded about 60 miles to Suisun. average distance of each trip was 1,159 miles. One of the most ambitious projects undertaken during the Harriman administration was the extension of the Southern Pacific lines on the west coast of Mexico south of Guaymas. Sacramento Shops also came to the assistance of the West's new steel mills by helping to build six 150-ton and 160-ton "hot metal" cars for hauling molten metal. Principal officers of the new company, elected with President Stanford at the first stockholders' meeting on April 8, 1885, included: Huntington and Crocker, 1st and 2nd vice presidents, respectively, each with offices in New York City; Timothy Hopkins (foster son of Mark Hopkins), treasurer; J. C. Stubbs, traffic manager; A. N. Towne, general manager of the 3,004 miles of Pacific System lines west of El Paso and Ogden; and A. C. Hutchinson, general manager of the 1,692 miles of Atlantic System lines east of El Paso. Traffic on the bridge trains toppled as tolls for auto travel were gradually lowered. Southern Pacific gave $200,000 for relief work and in 35 days moved over 1,600 carloads of relief supplies and over 224,000 passengers free of charge. However, SP was not in a financial position to launch the full-scale program until Harriman's reorganization made finances available. It was not until June 4, 1869, that the first of the company's Silver Palace Sleeping Cars arrived in Sacramento from the eastern manufacturer. Near the northern edge of the system, El Paso & Southwestern 2-8-2 #367 is seen here in Santa Rosa, New Mexico on October 25, 1920. The "mile a day" program went into high gear. For miles and miles they rode without seeing any sign of habitation, except an occasional sheep border's shack. Use of many critical materials was eliminated, the shops changing some 450 items formerly made of brass or aluminum to castings or forgings of cast iron or steel. 1903. Actual construction started in October, 1904, involved extensive grading along the shore of the bay, building of bridges, and boring of five tunnels totaling nearly 10,000 feet. Meantime, Congress had passed the Transportation Act of 1920 which conferred power upon the Interstate Commerce Commission to authorize any carrier to acquire control of another carrier by lease or stock ownership, such control being relieved from operation of the Sherman Act. Many locomotives, some of them built as far back as 1901, were brought in from the lines in Mexico and from lines of other affiliated companies. On April 11, 1933, Pacific Motor Trucking Company was organized to own franchises and operate trucks in coordinated rail-truck service and, later, to perform a major-portion of the job of handling local store-door pickup and deliveries. Interests in the Fresno Traction Co., Stockton Electric R. R. Co., San Jose Railroads, and San Jose & Santa Clara County R. R. Co., were disposed of on April 1, 1939. Over the coming years some expansions continued, mostly in the way of additional branches from its through routes although the road did open a significant 66-mile extension west between Fairbank and Tuscon that began service on November 20, 1912. The Texas & Pacific line had reached Dallas and was pushing westward rapidly to check the drive of the SP into Texas. White labor was scarce in California, for men were more interested in digging for gold than in working on a railroad. When Southern Pacific regained control of its properties in March, 1920, it faced, in common with all other rail-,road companies, abnormal operating conditions. The telephone board staffed by 16 operators in San Francisco was enlarged for 22 operators in 1943-44, making it the largest railroad telephone switchboard west of Chicago. Since a large portion of SP's main line is single track, the company faced the problem of increasing the traffic capacity of various key sections to speed war trains. If you are researching anything EMD related please visit this page first. (Thanks to "The Strange Story Of The El Paso & Southwestern" by author David F. Myrick from the February, 1966 issue of Trains as a primary reference for this article.). Rather than resign itself to wartime difficulties or to inferior service, SP made aggressive efforts to counteract handicaps as much as was humanly possible. Peak wartime month of employment on Pacific and T&NO lines was March, 1945, with a total of 96,619. On the West Coast were located the aircraft plants that produced 60 per cent by weight of all the fighting planes manufactured during the war, and the shipyards which built 44 per cent of the nation's new cargo tonnage. From GIs in all the services, from admirals and generals, cabinet members and heads of government agencies, as well as from the press, radio, national magazines, and from industry in general, the Southern Pacific and its men and women received inspiring recognition of their wartime transportation performances and of their wholehearted support of homefront endeavors. The first daily passenger train between Sacramento and Omaha was known as the "Atlantic Express" east-bound and the "Pacific Express" westbound. Thus, by personally guaranteeing the interest on a limited number of Central Pacific bonds for ten years, the four associates raised enough money to start construction on a big scale. If you are researching active or abandoned corridors you might want to check out the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Historical Topographic Map Explorer. 1 is a 4-4-0 type steam locomotive, preserved in El Paso, Texas. At one time the Central Pacific had thirty ships on the high seas loaded with materials. in 1907. The colorful history of these lines is a story in itself, little of which can be related in this sketch. Passengers completed the 3,167-mile Sacramento-New York trip in seven days flat, the 168-hour schedule of elapsed time not taking into consideration the three hours variation in time zones that would be effective today. The project employed 1200 Chinese laborers (Portillo and Atilanoc). Yuma was the railroad terminus for more than a year. Most passengers, particularly those in coaches, got their meals at depot eating houses located for convenient train stops. The first company to lay its rails through the pass would have undisputed right-of-way from Sierra Blanca to El Paso. Considering its once massive size the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad In conclusion he said: "I know the men and women of our railroad. Trains were in operation to Salem depot on October 11 and to Albany on December 25,1870; to Harrisburg, June 25, and to Eugene on October 15, 1871, when the 345-mile stage coach journey to the California terminus of the railroad was cut to five days. New Mexico was added to the Rio Grande, July 27, 1930; Western took over the East Bay Electric on October 16, 1930, also the Stockton Division on May 1,1931; and Shasta Division was linked to Sacramento Division on September 15,1932. The builders soon faced serious financial difficulties. All the company's shed facilities were offered to the homeless. SP's guarantee of a minimum payment of train tolls was an important factor in financing the structure. Never had a chief executive of the company assumed office at such a vital or dramatic moment. The country to be opened by the railroad was then almost entirely a wilderness. Judah, 34, had completed in 1856 the 28-mile line of the Sacramento Valley Railroad from Sacramento to Folsom, first railroad operated in the far West. In the beginning, El Paso's economy was agriculture, mining and transportation. The San Francisco-Portland "Cascade" became all-Pullman with faster schedule on June 13, and on September 19, two "Sunbeams," of same design as the streamlined "Daylights," also the "Hustlers" with streamlined cars, were placed in service between Houston and Dallas, Texas. Southern Pacific Company, was created to place control and direction of the company's affairs in a single authority. A new executive set-up became effective August 1, 1932, to simplify and adjust the official management more closely to current conditions. Co., a 25-mile line from Baytown, Texas, to connection with the T&NO at Dayton, Texas, was acquired through stock ownership on May 1, 1926; and in the same manner control of the 125-mile Texas Midland Railroad from Ennis to Paris, Texas, was acquired on April 1, 1928. After meeting the depression emergency with the unpleasant task of effecting rigid economies, SP's management turned to the more stimulating and pleasant role of adopting new services and techniques that would attract business and meet competition, particularly competition on the highways. Because of government restrictions on materials, no new passenger equipment could be built for the individual railroads during the war, and the only additional cars available to the railroads were 1,200 troop sleepers and 400 kitchen cars built for the Army. Until defense traffic began moving in extremely heavy volume, the Freight Traffic Department's extensive sales and service staffs in major terminal areas were sufficient to handle the situation through the Freight Traffic Service bureaus. More than $240,000,000 was spent during the eight years of Harriman's administration (he died September 9, 1909) on reconstruction and new equipment, and for the building or purchase of new lines. Shortly before the hospital was destroyed by fire, all patients were safely removed to nearby cities. Although maximum depth of the lake was only 32 feet, the undertaking proved a tremendous one. This did not account for the many thousands of furloughees and armed services personnel, with members of their families, who rode with other passengers on regular trains. Northwestern Pacific, affected by Golden Gate Bridge competition, discontinued its ferry boat and electric train interurban service, the last unit ending operations on February 28, 1941. The line was opened December 8, 1907. San Fernando had train service on January 21, 1874, and the line was extended northward through a 6,975-foot tunnel, then the second longest railroad bore in the country. Central Pacific acquired control of this system about August, 1871. First streamlined sleeping units had been added to the trains in March. It was through their acquisition, and by new construction, however, that the Big Four gained entrance to the San Francisco Bay area; established the main north-south routes through California into Oregon and the Southwest; and from which emerged the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, also the Oregon and California Railroad Company, to augment the Central Pacific in carrying out the vast construction program of the '70s and '80s. In the meantime construction had been under way south from San Francisco Bay, starting from a wharf at Alameda Point. The Union Pacific operated Pullman's Hotel Cars and Palace Sleeping Cars over its portion of the Pacific Railroad. It was during the latter part of this defense period that petroleum products began moving in large quantities by rail and continued more heavily in succeeding months when ocean shipping, which normally moved the great bulk of such traffic, went almost entirely out of the picture. All cars were wooden, lighted by candles and coal oil lamps, and heated by coal stoves at the ends of each car. Black, Stuart L. Rawlings and V. H. Rossetti, who with President McDonald and Director C. E. Perkins, constituted the new Executive Committee. Co., serving a Louisiana sugar refinery and plantation, was added in November, 1924. Such confidence was, indeed, well merited; for during the entire war period the Southern Pacific organization, despite serious handicaps of manpower and equipment shortages, kept unprecedented volumes of traffic moving to surpass any previous accomplishment in the company's existence. To the properties in Texas and Louisiana, the 40-mile line of the Franklin and Abbeville Ry. No one was more aware than Huntington had been of the fact that the vast skeleton system created by the Big Four required extensive rehabilitation to bring it to a proper standard of transportation efficiency. began to take its toll. First run on April 28,1922, as a Friday and Saturday special on a 13-hour schedule for summer months, this train captured popular fancy and was destined to become a travel institution. Many … When looking over the proposed route, Stanford and Hopkins and their engineers traveled the upper section of the valley on horseback and camped out. This objective was won by the SP forces, and the road opened into Sierra Blanc on November 25, 1881. Southern Pacific, with its historic ancestor, the Central Pacific, pioneered the West.