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Southern Pacific's Western Division

John R. Signor

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ISBN 10: 1930013124 / ISBN 13: 9781930013124
Published by Signature Press, 2003
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Arizona Hobbies (Tucson, AZ, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

The Western Division of the Southern Pacific, historically extending from Sacramento to Oakland and San Jose, and with lines to Fresno, the Napa Valley, and over Altamont Pass, was a crucible of California operations. Headquartered at the famous Oakland Pier (or Mole) and dispatching hundreds of passenger and freight trains daily in its heyday, this division was in many way the vortex of SP in the West. With its ferry connection to San Francisco, and train departures to all parts of the SP system, the Oakland Pier was at the center. The history, construction and operation of the division are presented in this broad compilation by Southern Pacific authority John Signor. As with all his SP historical works, the coverage is thorough and detailed, with many specifics drawn from operating personnel. At the same time, the outstanding Signor maps we have come to expect, and voluminous photographic illustration from Southern Pacific files as well as from many amateur photographers, enrich the story. Signor has also created an original oil painting for the dust jacket and frontispiece. Southern Pacific's Western Division Table of Contents: Foreword; Ch. 1: Construction and Early Operation, 1868-1899; Ch. 2: Western Division Operation Prior to the Depression, 1900-1929; Ch. 3: The Western Division During Depression and War, 1930-1945; Ch. 4: The Western Division Expands, 1946-1971; Ch. 5: The Western Division in Decline, 1971-1989; Epilogue: A New Era 1989-; Appendix: Western Division Stations; Bibliography; Index. Signature Press, hardcover with jacket, 414 pages, 8.5 x 11 x 1.75 in., color and B&W photographs and illustrations. Bookseller Inventory # sp124

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Southern Pacific's Western Division

Publisher: Signature Press

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title


"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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