Mountain Time Zone
The Southern Pacific Railroad was one of the oldest surviving companies in the
United States by the late 1980s. However, it had been struggling
financially for a couple of decades. Seeking relief, SP and the AT&SF
Railway attempted to merge in 1984. When this merger was
unexpectedly denied by the Interstate Commerce Commission, the SP system drifted until
the Denver and Rio Grande Western's owners
acquired the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1988 and merged the lines-- a process
that required several years to implement. Right when the system had
begun to gel and to turn a profit, the new Southern Pacific Lines was sold to
Union Pacific (1996). Now, all Southern Pacific lines are part of UP (except for
parts that have been spun off to shortline operators). The SP is gone,
but certainly not forgotten.
This site is primarily a collection of photographs taken at the very end of Southern Pacific's life, mostly during the SPL era. It is not an attempt to comprehensively cover the system (this page is far more authoritative). Rather, it's to give you a flavor of later Espee operations. Never having traveled to California during SP's existence, I have no photos of the western part of the system. Instead, this is a sampling from Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. You will see equipment from SP and SSW (Cotton Belt), often mixed in with D&RGW or UP.
Locomotive and rolling stock photos are grouped by general category within the links at left. Also visit the essay pages-- they tell the story around many of the photographs found on the topical pages.
© 2006 - 2013, James R. Griffin. All rights reserved.