SP is the AAR reporting mark for Southern Pacific Railroad.

Hale Holden, abbreviated genealogy


Hale Holden was president of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad from 1914 to 1918 and again from 1920 to 1929.  He also served as the USRA's western division director, vice president and director for the American Railway Association and chairman of the executive committee for the Association of Railroad Executives.  After leaving the CB&Q, Holden became chairman of the executive committee for Southern Pacific Railroad, serving from 1928 to 1932, and then as chairman of the board for SP from 1932 to 1939.

Today in history: November 8

Santa Fe and Southern Pacific trains meet at the Tehachapi Loop in the 1980sIn 1874, the Southern Pacific was building its line south from San Francisco through California's central valley.  Construction reached Bakersfield and work began on the line that would include the Tehachapi Loop on November 8, 1874.  The line is still one of the busiest mountain passes in California, and is now owned by Union Pacific Railroad.  In this view from the mid 1980s, we see part of a container car, and under it in the background, the head end of the train of which this container car is part and an opposing Southern Pacific freight at the Tehachapi Loop.

Modeler's Moment - Happy birthday, E.H. Harriman

E. H. Harriman

Today is the birthday of the railroad executive who tried to merge Union Pacific (UP) and Southern Pacific (SP) almost a century before the merger was complete in 1996. E.H. Harriman was born on February 20, 1848, and joined the Board of Directors for UP in 1897, becoming President in 1903. He also became President of SP in 1901. He controlled both railroads (and several other companies) until his death on September 9, 1909. Many of the two railroads' operating practices were standardized, but Federal officials objected to a combined company at the time, so a complete merger would have to wait. In 1913, his widow set up the E.H. Harriman Award to recognize railroad companies with outstanding safety records.

Modeler's Moment - Library of Congress

SP ferry

Looking for another source of reference photos? Try the American Memory collection at the Library of Congress website. This photo of a Southern Pacific Railroad ferry in New Orleans circa 1905 was among the results of a quick search for SP materials today.

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