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Southern Pacific Railroad Company records
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Collection Overview
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This collection comprises the Board Minutes of the Southern Pacific Railroad and its subsidiaries, Mechanical Department plans and specifications of the rolling stock of the Southern Pacific and its subsidiaries, the Valuation Department records documenting financial transactions and value of the rolling stock of the company.
The Southern Pacific Railroad was founded in 1865 and was purchased in 1869 by Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker and Mark Hopkins, better known as the Big Four. It was the first railroad to connect Los Angeles to the rest of California and its lines extended as far as New Orleans. In 1901, the Union Pacific Railroad bought 38% of Southern Pacific stock and took control of the company, but the Union Pacific was ultimately forced to divest these shares in 1912 by the U.S. Supreme Court in an anti-trust case. During World War II, the Southern Pacific Co. played a major role in military transportation in the US, transporting personal, and equipment along the west coast. In 1983, Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads announced their intentions to merge and organize company into the Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corporation, but the merger was rejected in 1987. In 1996, the Union Pacific acquired Southern Pacific, making Union Pacific the largest railroad in the United States.
2829 Linear Feet
While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.
A portion of the Mechanical Division drawings are stored off-site; access to these materials may require as much as two weeks. All other materials described in this finding aid are available for use without restriction.