The Southern Pacific Railroad Company is a consolidation on October 12, 1870 of the following companies:

Southern Pacific, chartered December 02, 1865; San Francisco and San Jose, Chartered April 07, 1870; Santa
Clara and Parjaro Valley, chartered January 02, 1868 and California Southern, chartered January 22, 1870.

The Southern Pacific Branch Railroad Company, chartered December 23, 1872 was consolidated in the Southern
Pacific, August 19, 1873 and the Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad Company, chartered February 18, 1868 was
consolidated therein December 18, 1874. The total length of all these lines forming  the Southern Pacific
Railroad, as now constructed and in progress, January 01, 1878, is 1,223 and one half miles.

At present there is a gap of 100 miles via the San Benito route or 160 miles via the Polonial Pass route,
between the northern division and southern division of the company's road, the connection being made over the
San Joaquin Branch of the Central Pacific, until the completion of the overland line will justify the company in
using its resources to establish its independent continuous line from San Francisco eastward to the Texas
boundary or as much further as may be necessary.

By the act of Congress, passed March 03, 1871, to incorporate the Texas and Pacific Railroad Company, the
Southern Pacific Railroad Company was authorized to connect the with latter road at or near Fort Yuma so as to
provide a through line to San Francisco, public lands being granted in aid thereof. At the recent session of
Congress, a bill amending the former and allowing the Southern Pacific Railroad Company to continue its line
eastward across Arizona and New Mexico, about 600 miles, to a point on the Rio Grande near El Paso and fixing
that as the point of junction of the two roads, was reported, each company to acquire lands and franchises for
so much as it constructed. Final action is yet to be taken upon it. In the meantime, to complete at the earliest
practicable day through the connection by the 82nd parallel, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company has obtained
legislative authority from Arizona to construct its road through that Territory. The line has already been
surveyed to El Paso and finally located up the valley of the Gila more than 200 miles.

The last rail connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles was laid September 02, 1876. In the construction of
this line great engineering difficulties were encountered and at the Tchachapi Pass, where the coast range and
the Sierra Madre form a junction, there are 17 tunnels in less than 19 miles, the aggregate length thereof
being 7, 683 feet and at San Fernando there is a single tunnel in length 6966 feet. These tunnels at the
bottom are 14 feet in the clear and 16 and one half feet in excavation and in height 22 feet, the shoulders at
the springing of the arch being 18 feet 4 inches above the floor. The work on the San Fernando tunnel was
commenced March 27, 1875; the headings met July 14, 1876 and the timbering was completed August 09, 1876.
It is built on a slope of 37 feet to the mile.

The road was opened to Fort Yuma (720 miles distant from San Francisco via Lathrop and Goshen) on May 05,
1877. The Sierra Nevada range is crossed at an elevation of 3,964 feet above tide (sea level); the Sierra
Madre at Alpina at 2,822 feet and the Sierra Madre recrossed at San Gorgonio Pass, 2,560 feet above tide.
The Colorado Steam Navigation Company own and run, in connection with the railroad, a line of steamers to
points on the Colorado River via: Castle Dome, 35 miles; Ehrenberg, 125 miles; Aubrey Landing, 220 miles;
Chimahueris Ranch, 240 miles; Camp Mohave, 300 miles and Hardyville, 312 miles from Yuma.

Under the acts of Congress approved
July 27, 1866 and March 03, 1871, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company
acquired the right of way, 200 hundred feet wide, through the public lands and twenty alternate sections for
each mile of road completed and equipped. These grants cover about 932 miles.

Source:
Poors Manual of Railroads of the United States 1878
Southern Pacific Railroad
My Present Past
A genealogical experience
By 1900, the Southern Pacific Company had grown into a major railroad system which incorporated many smaller
companies, such as the
Texas and New Orleans Railroad and Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad, and which
extended from New Orleans through Texas to El Paso, across New Mexico and through Tucson, to Los Angeles,
throughout most of California including San Francisco and Sacramento; it absorbed the Central Pacific Railroad
extending eastward across Nevada to Ogden, Utah and had lines reaching north throughout and across Oregon to
Portland.

On August 9, 1988, the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the purchase of the Southern Pacific by Rio
Grande Industries, the company that controlled the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. The Rio Grande
officially took control of the Southern Pacific on October 13, 1988. After the purchase, the combined railroad
kept the Southern Pacific name due to its brand recognition in the railroad industry and with customers of both
constituent railroads. The Southern Pacific subsequently was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1996
following years of financial problems. The railroad is also noteworthy for being the defendant in the landmark
1886 United States Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad which is often
interpreted as having established certain corporate rights under the
Constitution of the United States.
1875 Monterey Handbook Page 008
Click on an image to view full size