The Southern Pacific Railroad is California's railroad. As the Central Pacific, it bored and blasted its way east from Sacramento, across the towering High Sierra, meeting with the Union Pacific at Promontory, Utah, completing the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, and profoundly changing the growing United States. By the early 20th century, the Southern Pacific was a rail colossus, stretching from San Francisco Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Yet the Southern Pacific remained essentially Californian. Its rail lines gave muscle to the lovely California coast, the fertile San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys, and the timber industry of the north coast. Yet for all its might and majesty, for many Californians the Southern Pacific was a smaller, more intimate part of the fabric of their daily lives.
Author Bio: Author Kerry Sullivan is a veteran Los Angeles television journalist whose grandfather was a rail engineer. He has served several terms as an officer in the Southern Pacific Railroad Historical and Technical Society. This is the story of the Southern Pacific in California as seen through the lenses of company photographers and the memoirs of employees, whose livelihood was the railroad.
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