Guide to the Southern Pacific Locomotive Engineer Register Books MS 870

Library & Archives Staff
California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives
Title: Southern Pacific Locomotive Engineer Register Books
creator: Ehernberger, James L., 387-2416
Identifier/Call Number: MS 870
Physical Description: .333 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): Nov. 10, 1925 - Dec. 21, 1926
Abstract: This collection consists of six (6) Southern Pacific Locomotive Engineer Register Books for Carrizozo, New Mexico from November 10, 1925 - December 21, 1926.
Physical Location: Statewide Museum Collections Center


Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of James L. Ehernberger, 2019

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

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 CSRM Library & Archives.

Biographical / Historical

James Douglas and Daniel Willis James were majority co-owners of the trading firm Phelps, Dodge and Co. Douglas formed the Arizona and South Eastern Railroad in 1888. The railroad ran on a short spur of track from Bisbee to Fairbank, Arizona, where it met the mainline of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Shortly thereafter the line was extended to Benson, Arizona, to connect with the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1900 the railroad was extended to Douglass, Arizona to the Copper Queen Consolidated newly built smelter. The line was renamed the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad on June 25, 1901. Carrizozo was selected as the site for a station on the El Paso and Northeastern Railway (EP&NE) main line in 1899. The El Paso and Southwestern Railroad was a short-line American railway company which operated in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, with line extensions across the international border into Mexico. The railroad was known as the Arizona and South Eastern Railroad from 1888 to 1902.
After the deaths of Dodge in 1903 and James in 1907, the various Phelps Dodge railroads, mining companies, real estate firms, as well as other subsidiaries and divisions were all merged into Phelps Dodge and Company. In 1915, Phelps Dodge and Company went public as Phelps-Dodge. In 1924, the Southern Pacific leased the entire El Paso and Southwest Railroad from Phelps Dodge. In 1929, the ICC authorized abandonment of the Deming Branch. In November 1937, Southern Pacific railroad purchased the outstanding interest in the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad. It acquired the El Paso Southern Railway Company in December 1954,
This line was built by the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad (later the Southern Pacific Railroad) near the turn of the 20th Century in order to access coal deposits around Capitan, NM. As the EP&NE was building north through New Mexico, they swung east at Carrizozo and headed to Coalora, and ultimately extended beyond Coalora another 2 miles to nearby Capitan, to the southwest. Between Carrizozo and Coalora, the line utilized two switchbacks in order to cross Indian Divide, just south of Vera Cruz Mountain.
The Southern Pacific was an American Class I railroad network that existed from 1865 to 1998 and operated in the Western United States. The original Southern Pacific began in 1865 as a land holding company. The last incarnation of the Southern Pacific, the Southern Pacific Transportation Company, was founded in 1969 and assumed control of the Southern Pacific system. By 1900, the Southern Pacific system was a major railroad system incorporating many smaller companies, such as the Texas and New Orleans Railroad and Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad. It extended from New Orleans through Texas to El Paso, Texas, across New Mexico and through Tucson, to Los Angeles, through most of California, including San Francisco and Sacramento. In 1929, Southern Pacific/Texas and New Orleans operated 13,848 route-miles not including Cotton Belt, whose purchase of the Golden State Route circa 1980 nearly doubled its size to 3,085 miles (4,965 km), bringing total SP/SSW mileage to around 13,508 miles (21,739 km).

Scope and Contents

This collection of donated historical materials consists of six (6) Southern Pacific Locomotive Engineer Register Books for Carrizozo, New Mexico from November 10, 1925 - December 21, 1926.
These books register the arrival and departure time of the engineer and fireman, the train, direction bound, the engine number and the mileage to date for the engineer and fireman. Each engineer and fireman was required to fill out and sign their last name in the register.
Union agreements between the railroad and then engineer's union determined the engineer's time on duty began when he reported for duty and ended after a run when he signed the register in the roundhouse. The time he signed the register at the end of the run determined the order in which he would be called for another run, the first in-first out rule. Union agreement, Article 37, required engineer's to register their cumulative mileage for the month on the roundhouse register after each trip. This was necessary because another provision of the agreement limited monthly mileage totals to 4800 miles in passenger service and 3800 miles in freight service.
Article 32 required engineers to accurately register their miles in the roundhouse register. If an engineer failed to do so or continued to take runs after he exceeded 3800/4800 miles, he would be held off the board for two consecutive runs as punishment. Upon notification from the union concerning mileage, the railroad would take the engineer off the board each month when his mileage was exceeded.
Information about union agreements and the railroad, courtesy of Jeff Asay.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Southern Pacific Locomotive Engineer Register Books, MS 870, California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives, Sacramento, California.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Corporations--Personnel Management
Labor cost--Accounting
Locomotive Engineers
Southern Pacific Company
Southern Pacific Transportation Company

box 1, object 1

Locomotive Engineer Register book 1925-11-10-1926-01-18

box 1, object 2

Locomotive Engineer Register book 1926-01-19-1926-03-17

box 1, object 3

Locomotive Engineer Register book 1926-03-18-1926-05-20

box 1, object 4

Locomotive Engineer Register book 1926-05-21-1926-07-09

box 1, object 5

Locomotive Engineer Register book 1926-07-10-1926-10-04

box 1, object 6

Locomotive Engineer Register book 1926-10-05-1926-12-21