Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad dockets

Finding aid created by California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives staff using RecordEXPRESS
California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives
111 I Street
Sacramento, California 95814
(916) 323-8073

Descriptive Summary

Title: Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad dockets
Dates: 1902-1980
Collection Number: MS 695
Creator/Collector: Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad
Extent: 24 volumes
Repository: California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives
Sacramento, California 95814
Abstract: This collection contains twenty-four volumes of dockets and indexes relating to cases involving the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad for the years 1902 to 1980.
Language of Material: English


This collection is open for research at our off-site storage facility with one week's notice. Contact Library & Archives staff to arrange for access.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad dockets. California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives

Acquisition Information

Gift of Union Pacific Railroad

Biography/Administrative History

The San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad Company, incorporated in Utah on March 20, 1901, operated between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City via Las Vegas. It originated as a small line, the Los Angeles Terminal Railway, which was incorporated in 1890. The San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad was owned by the U.S. Senator from Montana, William Andrews Clark. Competition between the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad to build a route between Southern California and Salt Lake through Las Vegas ended in 1903 when Senator Clark sold Union Pacific Railroad half interest in the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake and its subsidiaries. The two companies agreed to proceed jointly in the construction of the line. In May 1905, construction of the main line was completed between Los Angeles and Las Vegas (334 miles) and from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas. A joint trackage agreement allowed the railroad to use Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway tracks over the Cajon Pass. San Pedro was dropped from the corporate name effective August 25, 1916. On April 27, 1921, Union Pacific purchased the remaining half of Senator Clark's holdings in the railroad. The Los Angeles and Salt Lake remained the official name of the "Salt Lake Route," until it was formally merged into the UP (effective January 1, 1988).

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection is arranged into two series: 1. Dockets 2. Indexes Series 1. Dockets A docket is a record of court proceedings. Each case is described on a standard form which summarizes the pertinent details of a case, including how it was settled, when, and for how much. It may also include other information such as the name and location of the Court with jurisdiction over the case, the names of the Plaintiff and the Defendant, the case number, the court number, the name of the attorney for the Plaintiff, the dates of proceedings with a brief description of what actions were taken, and a list of the Defendant’s expenses. There are nineteen volumes of dockets in this collection. Types of legal actions include claims for lost cargo, employee injuries and deaths, accidents, cattle guards, water rights, and public injuries. An index at the beginning of each docket register is arranged alphabetically by surname. The case title, page number, case number, the filing location of the case files, the court number and the subject of the action are included in the docket index. The docket register may contain the following information: the court, the law department number, the nature of the action, and information about the proceedings. Most of these cases involve unfair rate claims. Arranged by docket number. There are three different sets of Docket books in this collection. One set is numbered by volume, another by letter. The third set is titled "Register of Actions." It is not clear why cases were entered in one set, and not the others. There appears to be no overlap in cases among the sets. Each volume contains an index to the dockets therein. These indexes are arranged by corporate or personal name of the plaintiff, or by type of legal action. Series 2. Indexes In addition to the indexes contained in each Docket book, there are three separate sets of indexes. The index to actions and proceedings includes the date the case is docketed, the docket page, the index number assigned by the court, the court number, court name, the county, the state, the date the case ends, the box number, and the nature of the proceedings. Arranged by volume number, then alphabetically by the title of the proceedings. The California Law Department register books (2 volumes) index Union Pacific cases between 1943 and 1976 by case number. CSRM does not appear to have the docket books for all of the UP cases noted in the register books. The register books include the following information for each case: the date, document, 1st party, 2nd party, the location, the file number, and the California Law Department number. Arranged chronologically by California Law Department case number. A third set, prepared by the Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad General Counsel, lists cases chronologically and then by subject. Refers to legal actions relating to agreements, leases, contracts, spurs, pipe crossings, bridges, and loading sights.