Southern Pacific's Western Division

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9781930013124: Southern Pacific's Western Division
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"The Oakland Pier, hub of the Western Division, was among the most recognizable Southern Pacific locations. Activities across the Division were directed from headquarters at the Pier. This book describes the construction, history, and operation of this vital part of the SP. "With lines connecting Oakland with Sacramento by way of both the Carquinez Strait via Martinez, and Altamont Pass via Tracy, and lines radiating to the Napa Valley, San Jose, and Fresno, as well as branch lines like the Kentucky House, Winters, and San Ramon branches, this was a highly varied and extremely busy division. "Rail passengers from and to such varied destinations as Portland, Chicago, and Los Angeles and beyond, funneled through the ferryboat connections to San Francisco. Freight business was intense, with profuse local industry shipping and receiving enormous numbers of carloads. Local passenger trains and local freight switching handled a great volume of business. "From its beginnings in 1869, the Oakland 'waterfront wars' at the turn of the century, the struggle in the Suisun Sinks, the vast West Oakland yard and terminal facilities, the passenger operations on the Oakland Mole (as the Pier was often called), construction of the magnificent Carquinez Straits bridge, the final demolition of the Pier facilities in 1960 and to the recent revival of the Western Division with the schedules of Amtrak California- all here. "This volume joins a distinguished series of works by SP authority John Signor addressing specific geographical segments of the railroad. The coverage is thorough and detailed, with many specifics drawn from operating personnel. The outstanding Signor maps we have come to expect, and voluminous photographic illustration- from Southern Pacific files and amateur photographers- enrich the story. With 711 photos (84 color), 23 maps (most by Signor), 39 timetable pages, a station list, and bibliography, this is an extensive and complete presentation."

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John R. Signor
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