helped start the Central Pacific Railroad. rolling stock to equip his own Utah Central Railroad. 1863 . Former Google worker finds joy in her SF Dumpling Club, There are century-old beer bottles buried under this SF alleyway, Popular Berkeley coffee shop appears to have closed, Bay Area restaurants that permanently closed in November, SF cocktail bar brings back over-the-top holiday pop-up, Families furious as SF startup fails to deliver Thanksgiving food, 5 Bay Area counties, Berkeley adopt stay-at-home order ahead of state’s timeline, San Mateo breaks from other Bay Area counties, won't issue stay-at-home order early, Why the air quality is unhealthy in the Bay Area right now, San Francisco stay-at-home order: What's closing and opening, London Breed addresses trip to French Laundry as she announces new shutdown orders, Your guide to purchasing KN95 and NIOSH-approved N95 masks, 12 Advent calendars that aren't just full of chocolate. On that day, the dream of a transcontinental railroad became a reality when the railheads of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads finally met at Promontory Summit, Utah. A piece of "golden" wood that connects the two railroad companies' tracks. But in the end, it collapsed for the same reason other smokestack companies fell: It failed to reinvent itself quickly enough in an age of ruthless efficiency. The Big Four were to be paid $16,000 for each mile of track laid from Sacramento to the base of the Sierra Nevada, where the rate jumped to $48,000 per mile because of the difficulty of building in the mountains. SP's efforts to develop California were phenomenally successful, as was its plan to extend its rail empire well beyond California. Airline and trucking firms also cut deeply into the freight side of the railroad business. Last week, Union Pacific Corp.'s $5.4 billion acquisition of San Francisco-based Southern Pacific Rail Corp. was approved by the federal Surface Transportation Board. It did not begin in Omaha, that is a wrong fact. But the blow wasn't deadly until the 1950s, when the construction of the state highway system and the advent of jet airline travel gave travelers faster, more convenient alternatives. Richard Oris, history professor at California State University at Hayward, contrasted the two faces of SP in a 1975 article in the California Historical Quarterly. By the early part of the century it owned 16,000 miles of track and served 15 states, plus Mexico. 1863. But "we have a different notion of business ethics today than existed then.". The Act was later amended in various forms between 1863 – 1866. To end the struggle of traveling in bad conditions and to get products across the country. At first, the Central Pacific Railroad’s directors wanted a whites-only workforce. The Central Pacific Railroad began in Council Buff, Nebraska. It looks like your browser needs an update. However construction soon slowed, first by the Sierra Nevada mountains and then by winter snowstorms. Although SP will soon vanish, its legacy lives on in thriving businesses and institutions such as Sprint, Stanford University, Huntington Library and Sunset magazine. In 1868, they purchased the Southern Pacific. But as soon as lemon growers convinced the federal government to enact a tariff on foreign lemons, SP realized California farmers would benefit and raised its rates back to $1.15 a box. The company was founded and funded as a result of the Pacific Railroad Act, signed on this date by then President Abraham Lincoln. In one telling example, Southern California's lemon industry was thriving until CP's rate-fixing officials decided to raise the tariff from $1.00 to $1.15 a box. The name Southern Pacific, which originated as Central Pacific in Sacramento in 1861, will fade into obscurity. But he convinced the Sacramento foursome to stake his venture. In 1983, a much-weakened SP agreed to sell out to Chicago-based Santa Fe Industries and did sell most of its operations except the railroad, which needed approval from the Interstate Commerce Commission. During the next several decades the four merchants created what historian Oscar Lewis characterized in his book "The Big Four," as "perhaps the nation's choicest example of a complete and sustained monopoly.". In the east the Union Pacific Railroad began construction in Omaha, Nebraska and headed west. Gifts for people who got really into cooking during the... Smart home gifts that are stupid-easy buys, 18 stocking stuffers they'll actually enjoy on Christmas, This expert-recommended projector is at its lowest price ever, These $20 Amazon leggings are a great Lululemon dupe, Get 25% off a massive 35-pound weighted blanket. Later, Central Pacific acquired the ferries that crossed San Francisco Bay and the riverboat company that plied the waters from San Francisco to Sacramento. They didn't get around to paying back the money until 1909, many years after it was due. During the next eight years, the company sold off $2.2 billion in land and rail routes to pay down the debt. The mass production of the automobile first put a dent in SP's passenger traffic in the 1920s. with one starting from the East and one starting from the West, meeting at a midway point. It ended the labor shortage, as war veterans went to work on the railroad. a shortage of supplies that had to be shipped around South America. Central Pacific joined with Union Pacific to create the Occidental and Oriental Steamship company and muscled aside the competing Pacific Mail line by cutting their own rates below their operating costs. The money went to the construction company hired to build the railroad, which happened to be run by Charles Crocker and owned by the Big Four. SP and other railroads didn't unload their passenger divisions until 1971, when the government created Amtrak, but passenger service had been unprofitable since the 1950s. By the end of 1868 the Union Pacific had finished grading to the mouth of … The railroad would make travel across the continent much faster, easier, and safer. The Southern Pacific came into the state by leasing the original line of the Central Pacific. CENTRAL PACIFIC–UNION PACIFIC RACE, a construction contest between the two railroad companies bidding for government subsidies, land grants, and public favor. Cloud State University in Minnesota and author of "The Southern Pacific: 1901 to 1985.". To ensure the best experience, please update your browser. And antitrust law wasn't given teeth until the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914. The company's grip on the state was not loosened until Hirman Johnson was elected governor in 1910 on a platform of pushing the company out of politics. Many railroads -- including the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific and Penn Central -- went bankrupt. The San Francisco-based real-estate development company that owns about 855,000 acres of land, predominatly in California, including the 313-acre Mission Bay in San Francisco. But financial troubles in 1867 imperilled both companies and the Central Pacific Railroad's owners, the Big Five, bought them out in 1868. They bought into an idea from Theodore Dehone Judah, a civil engineer who dreamed of constructing a transcontinental rail line from California to the East. The first line, the Clay Street Hill Railroad, began hauling passengers up Clay street from Kearny to Jones in 1873. For 14 of the past 17 years it has posted operating losses, even when it showed a gain on the bottom line. Southern Pacific railroad is no exception. What was the main reason why Leland Stanford and Thomas Durant wanted to build a transcontinental railroad? Founded by SP in 1898 to lure travelers to the railroad and tout the virtues of living in the West. UP and CP Break Ground. Biaggini declined to comment for this story. While many of these businesses were profitable, SP's rail infrastructure deteriorated. Which group of workers filled labor shortages to build the transcontinental railroad before the end of the Civil War? Rio Grande lost control of the Western Pacific in 1916, with the latter railroad company remaining independent until it was merged with the Union Pacific in 1982, giving Union Pacific direct access to the ports of Oakland and San Francisco. To tap the extra money early, they argued that the red soil on the bank of Arcade Creek, just five miles east of Sacramento, represented the true boundary of the Sierra -- even though there were 16 miles of dead-level land between the creek and the first Sierra foothill. Historian William Deverall suggests such financial chicanery needs to be viewed in perspective. In fact, selling assets was the only way SP could show a profit. Except for the 26 months between December 1917 and March 1920 -- when the federal government took over the railroads during World War I and the Great Depression -- the railroad flourished into the 1950s. But the line was only the foundation of the Big Four's empire. SP's demise can be blamed on the rise of interstate trucking, an ill-fated diversification program and a botched merger that consumed management's attention. Commissioners Organize Union Pacific Railroad. With its merger into Union Pacific, San Francisco-based Southern Pacific will soon cease to exist. It built or bought 14,000 miles of track, cable cars, ferry boats, steamship lines, a bus company and an oil firm. The document endorses Central Pacific efforts to build the California line while simultaneously chartering a Union Pacific Railroad Company to build west from the Missouri River. Most of the actual stitching, of course, was done by low-paid Chinese peasants laboring under extremely dangerous conditions. The Central Pacific Railroad would lay tracks from California heading east, and the Union Pacific Railroad would lay tracks from the Missouri River west. -- Amtrak. After completing the Central Pacific from California to Utah in 1869, they started the Southern Pacific Railroad, one of the great American railroad systems, established in 1861 by the “big four” of western railroad building—Collis P. Huntington, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker. 1865. -- Santa Fe Energy Resources, Inc. What did the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 accomplish? The railroad ended in Promontory, Utah. -- Sprint Corp. SP's early telegraph system grew into the Southern Pacific Communications Co., which was sold to GTE in 1982 and later became Sprint. Burlington Northern's acquisition of Santa Fe last year created a powerhouse in the western United States against which it was virtually impossible for SP to compete alone. The Southern Pacific Railroad was founded in 1865 by a group of businessmen led by Timothy Phelps. The push to Salt Lake City would be easier now. "All these factors drained tonnage and customers away until railroads were just carting low-value, low-priority freight around," said Donald Hofsommer, history professor at St. The event — marked by the driving of a golden spike to complete the line — brought to a finish a grueling 7-year journey that began when President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Pacific Railroad Act on July 1, 1862. The increase wiped out the lemon growers' profits. Big Four Take Charge of Central Pacific. The Big Four used their power to charge all the market could bear. RISE AND FALL OF A RAILROAD / Southern Pacific shaped California. On Friday, September 4, 1885, the train brought the town's new school teacher Clara Clayton among its passengers, and delivered the clock for the new courthouse. To construct the transcontinental railroad, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad companies built tracks. But SP didn't stop at one rail line. The saga begins in 1861, when four Sacramento merchants -- Leland Stanford (groceries), Charles Crocker (dry goods) and Collis Huntington and Mark Hopkins (hardware stores) -- founded the Central Pacific. In 1990, Santa Fe Southern Pacific spun off its oil and gas exploration business to form this Houston-based public company that produces revens of $442 million last year. If a customer's business was growing profitable, its freight rates were increased; if it faltered, rates were lowered. Left with no other alternatives, SP agreed to sell out to Union Pacific. (Stanford went on to found Stanford University .) The Big Four's lock on transportation was exceeded only by their grip on politics and law. When this agreement was reached, Congress ratified it on April 10, stating that the "common terminus of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads shall be at or near Ogden; and the Union Pacific Railroad Company shall build, and the Central Pacific Railroad Company shall pay for and own, the railroad from the terminus aforesaid to Promontory Point, at which point the rails shall meet and … Durant Hires General Dodge. The Octopus myth derailed / Historian finds that the... Top Bay Area restaurants and bakeries that ship nationwide, San Francisco mayor addresses trip to French Laundry, SF restaurants and bars brace for possible return to takeout only. Sold to private publishers in 1914. "When you talk about the work they did bridging the continent," said state Librarian Kevin Starr, "it is epic work that ranks right there with the Great Wall of China and the aqueducts of the Romans.". Yet SP's corporate history is also full of astonishing achievement, starting with its role in constructing a transcontinental rail line. Deverall, an associate professor of history at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, pointed out that legislation restricting monopolies did not come into being until 1887 with the Interstate Commerce Commission Act. Which best describes why President Lincoln supported the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862? "But it wasn't all his fault. The Central Pacific Railroad was chartered by Congress, through the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, to construct a portion of the first transcontinental line, starting in Sacramento and proceeding eastward. Using Stanford's pull as governor, the railroad received extensive government backing, including federal land grants in California totaling 11.6 million acres -- equal to 11.4 percent of the state's land mass. Lincoln Order Establishes Initial Point. with one starting from the East and one starting from the West, meeting at a midway point. Lewis quotes eyewitnesses testifying that Governor Stanford's brother, Philip, drove through the city on election day "handing out money liberally" to all who would vote for the bond. -- Hotels: Neither the Stanford Court or the Mark Hopkins hotels on Nob Hill were owned by their namesakes, but they are built on the sites of the mansion once owned by Mark Hopkins and Leland Stanford. "I have full empathy with those people who lay SP's decline on Biaggini and his strategy," said rail historian Hofsommer. -- San Francisco Cable Cars. -- Cities: Central Pacific subsidiaries, laid out dozens of California towns, such as Fresno, Merced, Modesto and Turlock. Durant Named UP's 1st VP and General Manager. The takeover is likely to throw more than 1,300 local SP employees out of work and eliminate another corporate headquarters from San Francisco. Many of SP's land holdings were spun off in 1990 to form Catellus. "Doc" Emmett Brown and Marty McFly took the opportunity to ask the engineerwhether a steam locomotive could go as fast as ninety miles per hour (which theoretically could be done if the train wasn't hauling any cars behind it and if the boiler was heated to dangerous leve… Also, since the U.P. In the past two decades, however, a group of revisionist historians have sought to counterbalance the harsh view of the "Octopus," the malevolent corporation Frank Norris portrayed in his book of the same name. Although the railroad got off to a good start, a team of magnates, so-called the Big Four¹, were eyeing the growing company. And they downplay such incidents as the legendary battle of Mussel Slough, a violent confrontation that left eight people dead. It went on to control shipping from California to the East Coast and to Asia. By 1866 the Union Pacific had managed to import Irishmen from among the thousands of demobilized soldiers living in the teeming cities on the east coast, and eager for work. What obstacle was faced by the Union Pacific railroad workers but not the Central Pacific workers? Judah, who despised such self-dealing, objected, and was bought out. Judah had failed to get San Francisco backers, who considered him an amiable lunatic. Which group of workers filled labor shortages to build the transcontinental railroad before the end of the Civil War? But as the state's largest economic institution, it "revolutionized California between 1869 and 1915" by substituting diversified agriculture for the boom and bust cycles of mining. Founded by H.E. "By building the transcontinental railroad, they were almost literally suturing the nation back together after the Civil War," said Deverall. -- Parks. Nearly three years later, the Union Pacific started in Omaha on November 5, 1865, building west over the plains of Nebraska. Realizing its mistake, SP lowered the rate back to $1.00. Southern Pacific Railroad. The Central Pacific made quick progress along the Sacramento Valley. This game simulates what I miss most about life in S.F. The Central Pacific began laying track eastward from Sacramento, California, in 1863, and the Union Pacific started westward from Omaha, Nebraska, two years later. Which raw materials had to be shipped to the construction sites in large quantities because they were essential for building the railroad tracks? Oh no! It was directed to " construct a railroad and telegraph line from the Pacific coast, at or near San Francisco, or the navigable waters of the Sacramento River, to the eastern boundary of California. But SP continued to falter. Planes could move high-value, time-sensitive goods more quickly than trains, and trucks could go from the shipper's to the customer's door. These difficulties eventually resulted in, the development of a transcontinental railroad. What was the "Golden Spike"? By early 1869, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific were closing in on each other across northern Utah, aided by a Mormon workforce under contract to … Despite Brigham Young’s financial commitments to the UPRR, individual Mormons used railroad employment as a way to make ends meet and worked for either railroad company without prejudice. 1863. The geographic fudge got them an extra half-million dollars. The trip included the threat of disease and lack of water. 1866. During the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the United States. It owned trucking firms, oil and gas pipeline companies, telecommunications systems and a land development company that built shopping centers, industrial parks and hotels. He wanted to connect the different parts of the Union. "The company was indeed a huge monopoly, which deployed an arsenal of weapons, including bribery, power politics, and economic reprisals, in order to defend its domain," he wrote. How did the ending of the Civil War help the Union Pacific Railroad? In 1862, Congress passed and President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Bill, which granted public land and funds to build a transcontinental railroad. What ceremony was held at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10th, 1869? This resulted in the Central Pacific hiring Chinese workers to replace them. To construct the transcontinental railroad, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad companies built tracks. "What we found was a railroad that had been crippled by the failed merger. Meanwhile SP, under chief executive Benjamin Biaggini, was busy creating a diversified holding company that included telecommunications systems and oil, gas and coal pipelines. Through asset sales and internal cost cutting, SP reduced its workforce by 5,700 people between 1988 and 1995, bringing its payroll to 19,000. After several years of losses, growers began uprooting their orchards and planting different crops. SP acquired a Peninsula Line 1863. and ran it for the next 128 years. Why was the railroad built? The Central Pacific Railroad On January 8, 1863, Leland Stanford, now governor, officially broke ground in Sacramento to begin construction of the Central Pacific Railroad. -- CalTrain. Huntington nephew of SP co-founder Collis P. Huntington who later married married Collis Huntington's widow Arabella. Sources: The History of the Southern Pacific by Bill Yenne; The Southern Pacific 1901-1985 by Donald Hofsommer; John Signor, SP historian; Southern Pacific Corp; and Chronicle Research. Like many other railroads, SP turned over its money-losing passenger service and railroad cars to the government in 1971 to form Amtrak. It is a story of four rapacious robber barons who created a corporation of almost inconceivable power and avarice. The Big Four also received proceeds from the sale of $59 million in 30-year railroad bonds backed by the U.S. government. In 1863, San Francisco voters were voting on a bond measure to help finance the Central Pacific. The Western Pacific Railroad (reporting mark WP) was a Class I railroad in the United States.It was formed in 1903 as an attempt to break the near-monopoly the Southern Pacific Railroad had on rail service into northern California. -- Catellus Development Corp. A stunned Santa Fe management was forced to sell the railroad to Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz in 1988 for $1.02 billion. -- Sunset magazine. Central Pacific Railroad: The Western End of the Transcontinental Railroad. There was bad congestion on the tracks, a lack of locomotives, no management controls," said SP Vice Chairman Robert Starzel. 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