Title: Southern Pacific's Coast Line
Publisher: Signature Press
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: New
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
Southern Pacific's Coast Line by John R. Signor. From its origins in the 1870s, through its completion in 1901 and its flowering in the late 1930s, to its ultimate development in the years after World War II, Southern Pacific's rail line along the Pacific Ocean coast typified both the railroad itself, and the railroad's role in growth and development of California communities. The history of this line encompasses much more than rail history; it is also bound up in the geography and the people of the coast. As the railroad aided in development of towns, agriculture and industry, so the territory provided traffic for the railroad. Any history of the Coast Line is also in part a history of California, for the railroad and its territory were and are inextricably joined. John R. Signor, well known for his six previous books on western railroad topics and on Southern Pacific in particular, has included all these aspects of the Coast Line in this book. Drawing on many historical resources, but most dramatically on the extensive files of the Southern Pacific itself, he has produced a broad history of the SP in coastal California, liberally illustrated with hundreds of photographs, the majority of them previously unpublished. John Signor's fine maps also enliven and enrich the text, as do the railroad graphics and ephemera included. Chapters: 1: The Early Days: Formation of the Coast Line, pp. 1-38; Ch. 2: By Rail on the Padre Trail: Coast Line Operations prior to the Depression, pp. 39-82; Ch. 3: The Challenging Years: Coast Line Operations through Depression and War, pp. 83-148; Ch. 4: Growth and Prosperity: The Post-War Era on the Coast, pp. 149-242; Ch. 5: Decline & Rebirth: Recent Coast Line Operations, pp. 243-275; Epilogue, pp. 276-279; Station List, Southern Pacific Coast Line, pp. 279-306; Bibliography, pp. 307-308; Index, 309-324. Signature Press, hardcover with jacket, 324 pages, 8.5 x 11 x 1.75 in., 532 Black & White photographs, 32 color photographs, 14 maps. Bookseller Inventory # sp139
Synopsis: From its origins in the 1870s, through its completion in 1901 and its flowering in the late 1930s, to its ultimate development in the years after World War II, Southern Pacific's Coast Line between San Francisco and Los Angeles is an historic rail route. And it is more than that: it is regional history, it is geography, it is freight as well as passenger trains, and it is people, the people who did the railroad's work, those who lived along the line, and those who rode the trains. With roots in the time of the padres, the Coast Line fostered development of towns, agriculture and industry, and the social fabric of the region itself. Accordingly, any history of the Coast Line is also in part a history of California.
John R. Signor, well-known for six previous books on western railroads and in particular Southern Pacific, has drawn on many historical sources, including the extensive files of the railroad itself, to produce this outstanding history. Liberally illustrated with hundreds of photographs, many unpublished, and with railroad graphics and ephemera, the book also includes the author's own fine maps.
This outstanding treatment of the Coast Line is a welcome and very fitting addition to the history and lore of this part of the Southern Pacific railroad. It will also enrich one's understanding of the history of California and the West.
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