Arcata and Mad River Railroad
The Arcata and Mad River Railroad, founded in 1854, was the oldest working railroad in California. It operated on a unique gauge until the 1940s; the line closed in 1985 due to landslides. It is California Historical Landmark #842. On December 15, 1854 the Union Wharf and Plank Walk Company built a pier into Humboldt Bay near Arcata to load lumber schooners; the wooden rails overlain with strap iron laid on that walkway were built to an unusual narrow gauge of 3 ft 9 1⁄2 in apart. A year 2 miles of track had been laid leading up to the wharf. A horse drew; this line was the oldest working railroad in California because while the Sacramento Valley Railroad filed papers of incorporation in 1853, they did not begin construction until 1855, after this line was operational. In 1875, the railroad was renamed Railroad Company; the wooden rails were faced with iron and a small steam locomotive, named the Black Diamond towed lumber out onto the pier from the 1872 Dolly Varden mill owned by Isaac Minor. Twenty-three years on June 15, 1878, the railroad was reorganized as the Arcata Transportation Company.
The old side-wheel steamer, the Gussie McAlpine was replaced by a sternwheeler, named the Alta and the company kept adding track to local mills. In 1881 the Arcata and Mad River Railroad assumed control of the old line. Over the next two years, they replaced strap iron rail with 35-pound-per-yard T-rail and extended the rails further upstream on the Mad River until they reached the town of North Fork now Korbel and the Humboldt Lumber Mill owned by the Korbel brothers. Due to the initials of the line, it was nicknamed the "Annie and Mary." In 1883, the Korbel family bought the line which had about 27 miles of track split between common carrier lines and private logging track. The Korbels organized the company on December 1891 as the Arcata and Mad River Railroad Company. In the late 1880s, the A&MR line carried lumber for the Minor Lumber Company of Glendale. In 1890, the A&MR engines included Arcata, North Fork and Blue Lake as well as a small engine named Gypsy. In 1896 the line carried 24,752 passengers and 6,475 short tons of freight from four saw mills and two shingle mills.
Passenger revenue on the line was about 28 percent of freight revenue. In March 1896 an E&ERRR construction train collided with a passenger train; the first known Humboldt County railroad accident with injuries occurred on September 13, 1896 when seven people were killed and 23 injured by a train falling through the Mad River truss bridge. Lawsuits relating to the fatal accident were unsuccessful. Construction of the California and Northern Rail line between Arcata and Eureka in 1901 put the Alta out of business. Two years the Humboldt Lumber Mill and the A&MR were bought by the Riverside Lumber Company and the Charles Nelson Steamship Company who reinforced the wharf for use by any locomotive instead of just the lightweight engine used. After owner Francis Korbel returned to his home city of Prague, the company sold out to the Northern Redwood Lumber Company. On October 23, 1914 the region was linked to the San Francisco Bay Area for the first time by the completion of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad which assumed control of the California and Northern.
The NWP consolidated about half of the Humboldt County rail lines. In 1925, the logging rail gauge and the Heisler locomotives were changed to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge, although the original narrow gauge remained until the closing of the Korbel Riverside mill rendered it redundant; the next series of changes resulted in removing old track and building new in the 1940s when all the old track was gone and standard gauge for 7.5-mile was installed. On 3 June 1954 the railroad celebrated its centennial with an excursion for 300 Humboldt County residents plus 338 railfans from Oregon, New Mexico, distant parts of California. Locomotive number 12 pulled a baggage car and nine Southern Pacific San Francisco commuter coaches from Arcata to Korbel, where the passengers transferred to seven flatcars pulled by Shay locomotive number 5 to Camp 9. Lumber boomed again in the 1950s, the A&MR served fifteen shippers on its 7.5-mile railroad. In 1956 the Simpson Logging Company purchased the Northern Redwood Lumber Company operations, which included the A&MR.
The average daily car loadings were enough to place the road among the highest paying railroad properties per mile in the United States. At the time of its closure, AMR ran 4 General Electric 44-tonner diesel-electric locomotives and one Whitcomb 80DE-7b 80 ton diesel-electric locomotive. During the 1950s, shipments from Blue Lake included regular cars from the Levitt Brothers own lumberyard and nail factory from which lumber and nails were sent to the four Levittown developments in the eastern U. S. In the winter of 1982-83, storms washed out the main NWP line in several places. After restoring service to Eureka in June 1983, the NWP charged a surcharge of $1,200 per car in and out of the area. Due to the landslides and the surcharges, shippers switched to diesel trucks, dooming the A&MR. Service on the line ceased in 1983 and it the line was abandoned May 24, 1985. In September 1988 the Eureka Southern Railroad purchased the AMR from Simpson Timber Company for $300,000. Service on other parts of the system was resumed in 1994 by the North Coast Railroad but ceased permanently after landslides led to the closure of the entire Humboldt County portion of their track in 199
The Sacramento River is the principal river of Northern California in the United States, is the largest river in California. Rising in the Klamath Mountains, the river flows south for 400 miles before reaching the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta and San Francisco Bay; the river drains about 26,500 square miles in 19 California counties within the fertile agricultural region bounded by the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada known as the Sacramento Valley, but extending as far as the volcanic plateaus of Northeastern California. Its watershed has reached as far north as south-central Oregon where the now endorheic Goose Lake experiences southerly outflow into the Pit River, the most northerly tributary of the Sacramento; the Sacramento and its wide natural floodplain were once abundant in fish and other aquatic creatures, notably one of the southernmost large runs of chinook salmon in North America. For about 12,000 years, humans have depended on the vast natural resources of the watershed, which had one of the densest Native American populations in California.
The river has provided a route for travel since ancient times. Hundreds of tribes sharing regional customs and traditions inhabited the Sacramento Valley, first coming into contact with European explorers in the late 1700s; the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga named the river Rio de los Sacramentos in 1808 shortened and anglicized into Sacramento. In the 19th century, gold was discovered on a tributary of the Sacramento River, starting the California Gold Rush and an enormous population influx to the state. Overland trails such as the California Trail and Siskiyou Trail guided hundreds of thousands of people to the gold fields. By the late part of the century mining had ceased to be a major part of the economy, many immigrants turned to farming and ranching. Many populous communities were established along the Sacramento River, including the state capital of Sacramento. Intensive agriculture and mining contributed to pollution in the Sacramento River, significant changes to the river's hydrology and environment.
Since the 1950s the watershed has been intensely developed for water supply and the generation of hydroelectric power. Today, large dams impound the river and all of its major tributaries; the Sacramento River is used for irrigation and serves much of Central and Southern California through the canals of giant state and federal water projects. While its now providing water to over half of California's population and supporting the most productive agricultural area in the nation, these changes have left the Sacramento modified from its natural state and have caused the decline of its once-abundant fisheries; the Sacramento River originates in the mountains and plateaus of far northern California as three major waterways that flow into Shasta Lake: the Upper Sacramento River, McCloud River and Pit River. The Upper Sacramento begins near Mount Shasta, at the confluence of North and South Forks in the Trinity Mountains of Siskiyou County, it flows east into Lake Siskiyou, before turning south. The river flows through a canyon for about 60 miles, past Dunsmuir and Castella, before emptying into Shasta Lake near Lakehead in Shasta County.
The McCloud River rises on the east slope of Mount Shasta and flows south for 77 miles through the southern Cascade Range parallel to the Upper Sacramento to reach the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake. The Pit River, by far the largest of the three, begins in Modoc County in the northeastern corner of California. Draining a vast and remote volcanic highlands area, it flows southwest for nearly 300 miles before emptying into Shasta Lake near Montgomery Creek. Goose Lake, straddling the Oregon–California border overflows into the Pit River during wet years, although this has not happened since 1881; the Goose Lake watershed is the only part of the Sacramento River basin extending into another state. Unlike most California rivers, the Pit and the McCloud Rivers are predominantly spring-fed, ensuring a large and consistent flow in the driest of summers. At the lower end of Shasta Lake is Shasta Dam, which impounds the Sacramento River for flood control and hydropower generation. Before the construction of Shasta Dam, the McCloud River emptied into the Pit River, which joined the Sacramento near the former mining town of Kennett, submerged when Shasta Lake was filled.
The Pit River Bridge, which carries Interstate 5 and the Union Pacific Railroad over the reservoir, is structurally the highest double-decked bridge in the United States. The Upper Sacramento River canyon provides the route for I-5 and the railroad between Lakehead and Mount Shasta. Below Shasta Dam, it flows through Keswick Dam, where it receives about 1,200,000 acre feet of water per year diverted from the Trinity River. It swings east through Redding, the largest city of the Shasta Cascade region, turns southeast, entering Tehama County. East of Cottonwood it receives Cottonwood Creek – the largest undammed tributary – from the west Battle Creek a short distance downstream. Below Battle Creek it carves its last gorge, Iron Canyon, emerging from the hills at Red Bluff, where a pumping station removes water for irrigation. Beyond Red Bluff the river reaches the low floodplain of the Sacramento Valley, receiving Mill Creek from the east and Thomes Creek from the west near Los Molinos Deer Creek from the east near Vina.
Southeast of Corni
Sacramento is the capital city of the U. S. state of California and the seat of Sacramento County. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in Northern California's Sacramento Valley, Sacramento's estimated 2018 population of 501,334 makes it the sixth-largest city in California and the ninth largest capital in the United States. Sacramento is the seat of the California Assembly, the Governor of California, Supreme Court of California, making it the state's political center and a hub for lobbying and think tanks. Sacramento is the cultural and economic core of the Sacramento metropolitan area, which had 2010 population of 2,414,783, making it the fifth largest in California. Sacramento is the fastest-growing major city in California, owing to its status as a notable financial center on the West Coast and as a major educational hub, home of Sacramento State University and University of California, Davis. Sacramento is a major center for the California healthcare industry, as the seat of Sutter Health, the world-renowned UC Davis Medical Center, the UC Davis School of Medicine, notable tourist destination in California, as the site of The California Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, California Hall of Fame, the California State Capitol Museum, the Old Sacramento State Historic Park.
Sacramento is known for its evolving contemporary culture, dubbed the most "hipster city" in California. In 2002, the Harvard University Civil Rights Project conducted for Time magazine named Sacramento "America's Most Diverse City". Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area was inhabited by the Nisenan people indigenous peoples of California. Spanish cavalryman Gabriel Moraga surveyed and named the Rio del Santísimo Sacramento in 1808, after the Blessed Sacrament, referring to the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. In 1839, Juan Bautista Alvarado, Mexican governor of Alta California granted the responsibility of colonizing the Sacramento Valley to Swiss-born, Mexican citizen John Augustus Sutter, who subsequently established Sutter's Fort and the settlement at the Rancho Nueva Helvetia. Following the American Conquest of California and the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the waterfront developed by Sutter began to be developed and incorporated in 1850 as the City of Sacramento; as a result of the California Gold Rush, Sacramento became a major commercial center and distribution point for Northern California, serving as the terminus for the Pony Express and the First Transcontinental Railroad.
Nisenan and Plains Miwok Native Americans had lived in the area for thousands of years. Unlike the settlers who would make Sacramento their home, these Native Americans left little evidence of their existence. Traditionally, their diet was dominated by acorns taken from the plentiful oak trees in the region, by fruits, bulbs and roots gathered throughout the year. In 1808, the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga discovered and named the Sacramento Valley and the Sacramento River. A Spanish writer with the Moraga expedition wrote: "Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths; the air was like champagne, drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them. "¡Es como el sagrado sacramento!" The valley and the river were christened after the "Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ", referring to the Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist. John Sutter Sr. first arrived in the area on August 13, 1839, at the divergence of the American and Sacramento Rivers with a Mexican land grant of 50,000 acres.
The next year, he and his party established Sutter's Fort, a massive adobe structure with walls eighteen feet high and three feet thick. Representing Mexico, Sutter Sr. called his colony New Helvetia, a Swiss inspired name, was the political authority and dispenser of justice in the new settlement. Soon, the colony began to grow as more pioneers headed west. Within just a few short years, Sutter Sr. had become a grand success, owning a ten-acre orchard and a herd of thirteen thousand cattle. Fort Sutter became a regular stop for the increasing number of immigrants coming through the valley. In 1847 Sutter Sr. received 2,000 fruit trees, which started the agriculture industry in the Sacramento Valley. That same year, Sutter Sr. hired James Marshall to build a sawmill so that he could continue to expand his empire, unbeknownst to many, Sutter Sr.'s "empire" had been built on some thin margins of credit. In 1848, when gold was discovered by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, a large number of gold-seekers came to the area, increasing the population.
In August 1848 Sutter Sr.'s son, John Sutter Jr. arrived in the area to assist his father in relieving his indebtedness. Now compounding the problem of his father's indebtedness, was the additional strain placed on the Sutters by the ongoing arrival of thousands of new gold miners and prospectors in the area, many quite content to squat on unwatched portions of the vast Sutter lands, or to abscond with various unattended Sutter properties or belongings if they could. In Sutter's case, rather than being a'boon' for Sutter, his employee's discovery of gold in the area turned out to be more of a personal'bane' for him. By December 1848, John Sutter Jr. in association with Sam Brannan, began laying out the City of Sacramento, 2 miles south of his father's settlement of New Helvetia. This venture was undertaken against the wishes of Sutter Sr. however the father, being in debt, was in no position to stop the venture. For
Fremont is a city in Alameda County, United States. It was incorporated on January 23, 1956, from the annexing of Centerville, Irvington, Mission San José, Warm Springs; the city is named after John C. Frémont, an American explorer and former US Senator from California, Governor from Arizona, Major General in the Union Army, the first Republican presidential candidate, in 1856. Located in the southeast San Francisco Bay Area and straddling both the East Bay and South Bay regions, Fremont has a rapidly-growing population of around 230,000, it is one of the largest cities by land area and the fourth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area, behind San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland. It directly borders and is the closest East Bay city to Silicon Valley as formally defined, is thus associated with it; the city has an extensive and expanding base of both tech industry and workers. The area consisting of Fremont and the cities of Newark and Union City is known collectively as the Tri-City Area.
The recorded history of the Fremont area began on June 6, 1795, when Mission San José was founded by the Spaniard Father Fermin de Lasuen. The Mission was established at the site of the Ohlone village of Oroysom. On their second day in the area, the Mission party killed a grizzly bear in Niles Canyon; the first English-speaking visitor to Fremont was the renowned trapper and explorer Jedediah Smith in 1827. The Mission prospered reaching a population of 1,887 inhabitants in 1831; the influence of the missionaries declined after 1834, when the Mexican government enacted secularization. José de Jesus Vallejo, brother of Mariano Vallejo, was the grantee of the Rancho Arroyo de la Alameda Mexican land grant, his family was influential in the Fremont area in the late colonial era, owned and built a flour mill at the mouth of Niles Canyon. In 1846 the town's namesake John C. Frémont led a military expedition to map a trail through Mission Pass for reaching the Pacific coast and to take possession of California from Mexico for the United States.
The Fremont area grew at the time of the California Gold Rush. A town called Mission San José grew up around the old mission, with its own post office from 1850. Agriculture dominated the economy with nursery plants and olives as leading crops. In 1868 the 6.8-magnitude Hayward earthquake on the Hayward Fault collapsed buildings throughout the Fremont area, ruining Mission San José and its outbuildings. Until the 1906 San Francisco earthquake caused its destruction, the Fremont area's Palmdale Winery was the largest in California; the ruins of the Palmdale Winery are still visible near the Five Corners in Irvington. From 1912 to 1915 the Niles section of the Fremont area was the earliest home of California's motion picture industry. Charlie Chaplin filmed several movies in the Fremont area, most notably The Tramp. Fremont was incorporated under the leadership of Wally Pond in 1956, when five towns in the area, Centerville, Mission San José, Warm Springs came together to form a city. Glenmoor Gardens, the largest subdivision in Fremont, was under construction in the area, by developers Ralph E. Cotter, Jr. James R. Meyer, civil engineer Fred T. Duvall, contractors James L. Reeder, Robert H. Reeder.
When the Glenmoor Gardens Homeowners Association was incorporated, in March 1953, there were no more than 75 houses in the subdivision. It was the first such organization in the Fremont area; the five-member board of directors was set up to oversee a full range of services, from police and fire protection to street maintenance. Fremont became more industrialized between 1953 and 1962. A boom in high-tech employment in the 1980s to the late 1990s in the Warm Springs District, caused rapid development in the city and linked the city with the Silicon Valley; the Apple factory where the first Mac computer was manufactured was located in Fremont. Other semiconductor and telecommunications firms soon opened in the city, including Cirrus Logic, Asyst Technologies, Mattson Technology, Lam Research, Premisys Communications, Nextlink California. 750 high tech companies had offices, headquarters or production facilities in Fremont by 1999. These firms included fifteen of the top one hundred fastest-growing public companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and eighteen of the top fifty companies in the East Bay.
The high-tech growth in Fremont is a major industry for the city. The General Motors automotive assembly plant in South Fremont was the town's largest employer, Fremont was known for its drag strip. In the 1980s, the plant became a joint venture automotive assembly plant of Toyota and General Motors, was renamed NUMMI. Toyota and NUMMI shut down its operations in early 2010. Part of the plant was acquired in June 2010 by Tesla Motors as its primary production plant, known as the Tesla Factory. Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer, was promoted in 2010 by President Barack Obama as a model for government investment in green technology after his administration approved a $535-million Department of Energy loan guarantee and the company built a $733 million state-of-the-art robotic facility, but in 2011 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and laid-off 1,000 workers. Data storage company Seagate Technology, incorporated in the Republic of Ireland with executive offices in Cupertino, acquired the former Solyndra building.
The first Fremont post office o
C. K. Garrison
Cornelius Kingsland Garrison was a steamboat captain, shipping agent, shipbuilder and the fifth Mayor of San Francisco. He was born near West Point, New York. During his childhood, he studied architecture and civil engineering while working on his father's schooner. After moving to Buffalo in 1830, he worked as a builder moving to Canada in 1834 where he built bridges and other marine building projects, he moved to St. Louis in 1839, where he made a fortune from owning and commanding boats, he moved to Panama, where he worked as an agent for the Nicaraguan steamship company and established the banking firm of Garrison and Ralston. Garrison operated steamboats on the Mississippi River. In 1849, Garrison and Ralph Stover Fretz established a transportation agency in Panama which included banking services and operated as a casino. Garrison earned a reputation as a card hustler from his days on the Mississippi and in Central America. Charles Morgan hired him as an agent for his steamship service running through Panama.
On February 1, 1853, Garrison accepted a two-year contract to serve as the San Francisco agent of the Accessory Transit Company, a firm which provided transportation from New York to San Francisco, via Nicaragua. The contract specified a commission of either 2.5 percent or 5 percent of revenue and disbursements, depending on whether he opted to cap his annual salary at $60,000. Cornelius Vanderbilt, a director of the company, recruited him as the Commodore prepared for an extended vacation. Garrison sailed for San Francisco just a few weeks later. In addition to running Accessory Transit Company's agency in San Francisco, he formed a financial partnership with Charles Morgan, founding a bank and collaborating on combinations; the business partnership of Morgan & Garrison, which Garrison formed with Morgan, was once the recipient of a brief and now famous letter: "Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won't sue you. I'll ruin you. Yours Cornelius Vanderbilt." This letter appears to be apocryphal, its only primary source being Vanderbilt's obituary in The New York Times, published 25 years after the letter was written.
After he moved to San Francisco, he was elected mayor of that city in 1853. While he was mayor, he started the movement that led to the founding of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. After his term as mayor, he returned to New York. During the Civil War, he allowed the U. S. government to use most of his ships. After the war, he bought a large interest in what became the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which he became president of after it was reorganized, he would lose a lawsuit which resulted from this reorganization. He died on May 1885 in New York City of a heart attack, he in interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in New York. C. K. Garrison at Find a Grave List of mayors of San Francisco from the Political Graveyard San Francisco's Alcades and Mayors Green-Wood Cemetery Burial Search
Southern Pacific Transportation Company
The Southern Pacific was an American Class I railroad network that existed from 1865 to 1998 that operated in the Western United States. The system was operated by various companies under the names Southern Pacific Railroad, Southern Pacific Company and Southern Pacific Transportation Company; 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; the Southern Pacific Transportation Company was acquired by the Union Pacific Corporation and merged with their Union Pacific Railroad. The Southern Pacific Transportation Company was the surviving railroad as it absorbed the Union Pacific Railroad and changed its name to "Union Pacific Railroad"; the Southern Pacific Transportation Company is now the current incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad. The Southern Pacific legacy founded hospitals in San Francisco, Tucson and elsewhere.
In the 1970s, it founded a telecommunications network with a state-of-the-art microwave and fiber optic backbone. This telecommunications network became part of Sprint, a company whose name came from the acronym for Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Networking Telephony; the original Southern Pacific, Southern Pacific Railroad, was founded as a land holding company in 1865 acquiring the Central Pacific Railroad through leasing. 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, across New Mexico and through Tucson, to Los Angeles, through most of California, including San Francisco and Sacramento. Central Pacific lines extended east across Nevada to Ogden and reached north through Oregon to Portland. Other subsidiaries included the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, El Paso and Southwestern Railroad, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad at 328 miles, the 1,331-mile Southern Pacific Railroad of Mexico, a variety of 3 ft narrow gauge routes.
The SP was the defendant in the landmark 1886 United States Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, interpreted as having established certain corporate rights under the Constitution of the United States; the Southern Pacific Railroad was replaced by the Southern Pacific Company and assumed the railroad operations of the Southern Pacific Railroad. 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, bringing total SP/SSW mileage to around 13,508 miles. In 1969, the Southern Pacific Transportation Company was established and took over the Southern Pacific Company. By the 1980s, route mileage had dropped to 10,423 miles due to the pruning of branch lines. In 1988, the Southern Pacific Transportation Company was taken over by Rio Grande Industries, the parent company that controlled the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Rio Grande Industries did not merge the Southern Pacific Transportation Company and the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad together, but transferred direct ownership of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad to the Southern Pacific Transportation Company, allowing the combined Rio Grande Industries railroad system to use the Southern Pacific name due to its brand recognition in the railroad industry and with customers of both the Southern Pacific Transportation Company and the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad.
A long time Southern Pacific subsidiary, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway was marketed under the Southern Pacific name. Along with the addition of the SPCSL Corporation route from Chicago to St. Louis, the total length of the D&RGW/SP/SSW system was 15,959 miles. Rio Grande Industries was renamed Southern Pacific Rail Corporation. By 1996, years of financial problems had dropped Southern Pacific's mileage to 13,715 miles; the financial problems caused the Southern Pacific Transportation Company to be taken over by the Union Pacific Corporation. The Union Pacific Corporation merged the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway and the SPCSL Corporation into their Union Pacific Railroad, but did not merge the Southern Pacific Transportation Company into the Union Pacific Railroad. Instead, the Union Pacific Corporation merged the Union Pacific Railroad into the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in 1998; the Southern Pacific Transportation Company became the current incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Like most railroads, the SP painted most of its steam locomotives black during the 20th century, but after 1945 SP painted the front of the locomotive's smokebox silver (almost
History of rail transportation in California
The establishment of America's transcontinental rail lines securely linked California to the rest of the country, the far-reaching transportation systems that grew out of them during the century that followed contributed to the state’s social and economic development. When California was admitted as a state to the United States in 1850, for nearly two decades thereafter, it was in many ways isolated, an outpost on the Pacific, until the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869. Passenger rail transportation declined in the early- and mid-20th Century with the rise of the state's car culture and road system, it has since undergone something of a renaissance, with the introduction of services such as Metrolink, Caltrain, Amtrak California, others. On November 4, 2008, the People of California passed Proposition 1a, which helped provide financing for a high-speed rail line; the early Forty-Niners of the California Gold Rush wishing to come to California were faced with limited options.
From the East Coast, for example, a sailing voyage around the tip of South America would take five to eight months, cover some 18,000 nautical miles. An alternative route was to sail to the Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama, to take canoes and mules for a week through the jungle, on the Pacific side, to wait for a ship sailing for San Francisco. During the 1850s the voy:Ruta de Transito through Nicaragua was another option. Most gold-seekers took the overland route across the continental United States along the California Trail; each of these routes had its own deadly hazards, from shipwreck to typhoid fever to cholera or Indian attack. The first "inter-oceanic" railroad that affected California was built in 1855 across the Isthmus of Panama, the Panama Railway; the Panama Railway reduced the time needed to cross the Isthmus from a week of difficult and dangerous travel to a day of relative comfort. The building of the Panama Railroad, in combination with the increasing use of steamships meant that travel to and from California via Panama was the primary method used by people who could afford to do so, was used for valuable cargo, such as the gold being shipped from California to the East Coast.
California's symbolic and tangible connection to the rest of the country was fused at Promontory Summit, Utah, as the "last spike" was driven to join the tracks of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads, thereby completing the First Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869. The 1,600 mile trip from Omaha, would now take mere days; the Wild West was transformed from a lawless, agrarian frontier to what would become an urbanized, industrialized economic and political powerhouse. Of greater significance is the unbridled economic growth, spurred on by the sheer diversity of opportunities available in the region; the four years following the Golden Spike ceremony saw the length of track in the U. S. double to over 70,000 miles. By around the start of the 20th century, the completion of four subsequent transcontinental routes in the United States and one in Canada would provide not only additional pathways to the Pacific Ocean, but would forge ties to all of the economically important areas between the coasts as well.
The entire country was accessible by rail, making a national economy possible for the first time. And while federal financial assistance was vital to the railroads' expansion across North America, this support accounted for less than eight percent of the total length of rails laid; as rail lines pushed further and further into the wilderness, they opened up huge areas that would have otherwise lain fallow. The railroads helped establish countless towns and settlements, paved the way to abundant mineral deposits and fertile tracts of pastures and farmland, created new markets for eastern goods, it is estimated that by the end of World War II, rail companies nationwide remunerated to the government over $1 billion dollars, more than eight times the original value of the lands granted. The principal commodity transported across the rails to California was people: by reducing the cross-country travel time to as little as six days, men with westward ambitions were no longer forced to leave their families behind.
The railroads would, in time, provide important linkages to move the inhabitants throughout the state, interconnecting its blossoming communities. "Transportation determines the flow of population," declared J. D. Spreckels, one of California's early railroad entrepreneurs, just after the dawn of the twentieth century. "Before you can hope to get people to live anywhere...you must first of all show them that they can get there comfortably and, above all, cheaply." Among Spreckels' many accomplishments was the formation of the San Diego Electric Railway in 1892, which radiated out from downtown to points north and east and helped urbanize San Diego. Henry Huntington, the nephew of Central Pacific founder Collis P. Huntington, would develop his Pacific Electric Railway in Los Angeles and Orange Counties with much the same result. Spreckels' greatest challenge would be to provide San Diego with its own direct transcontinental rail link in the form of the San Diego and Arizona Railway, a feat that nearly cost the sugar heir his life.
The Central Pacific Railroad, in effect, initiated the trend by offering settlement incent