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December 15, 2009




"Southern Pacific is here to Stay"



In 1884 Southern Pacific Company is formed from the acquisition of many of the smaller lines of the time and wastes no time growing. With in a year they lease the Southern Pacific & Central Pacific Railroads to control the vast and growing rails of the West.

With the now single major operator in the West and the establishment of the East / West line the first "Express Car" containing fresh fruits & vegetables from Sacramento arrives in the East coast, again setting a first of its kind in rail standards.

In an attempt to keep California's Agriculture & other valued commodities in the forefront of a growing Midwestern audience, Southern Pacific designs 5 cars known as "California on Wheels" at its Rocklin facility to show off the products grown & built here in the golden state.

By 1895 some 75% of all fruit on the East Coast is grown in California and shipped by the Southern Pacific Railroad, this ability by the railroad gave them great strength and power in many circles of influence.

In 1898 Southern Pacific Company prints its first edition of "Sunset Magazine" to promote travel, settlement, & investment in all of the states it serves. The company was aiming to promote passenger growth to match the freight growth they have seen continue month after month.

With the first automobiles being designed on wooden frames and soon converting to steel the Southern Pacific RR saw an opportunity to fix a problem it has been marred with for years, get more years out of their cars. In 1906 the first ever "Steel Passenger Car" is built in the Sacramento yard. The sleek new car offers more room as the bulkiness of wood was replaced with the stronger steel at a fraction of the size.

With so many first's to its credit, the mighty Southern Pacific Railroad creates the "Pacific Fruit Express" in 1907 with a massive 6,600 cars rolling down the rails as it commences operation to all parts of the Midwest & East, able to deliver fresh fruits & vegetables anywhere in days.




With this latest growth spurt & the addition of daily service to Chico on the Sacramento's Northern Main Line the Rocklin Switch yard was simply out grown and the yard moved to a plot of land in Roseville allowing it to grow to ten times its current size and continue to stay one step ahead of its East Coast competitor.




Mike "Gunshot" Young, Historian