• Causes of Souther Pacific failure

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This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.

Moderator: Nicolai3985

  by NotYou
 
Have read many times the Southern Pacific failed due to bad finances, but haven't read about specifics such as: bad routes, bad service, short hauled, or any specifics really.

Anyone know the specifics or know any good resources to point me to? Books, documentaries, websites: all fine by me.
  by edbear
 
Southern Pacific kind of got surrounded. Union Pacific got the Western Pacific, so it got a tough competitor for the Overland Route. Next UP got the MP, so that SP now had strong competition at Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso. The old friendly MP route through Pueblo which sent traffic to the DRGW through to Salt Lake & Ogden dried up.
  by eolesen
 
It didn't help matters that they tried to merge with the ATSF and the STB & DOJ turned that down. That's how SP wound up being sold to the DRGW.
  by NotYou
 
Know about the failed merger w/ ATSF. Guess being acquired by DRGW didn't do much to improve the bottom line.
  by ExCon90
 
If you're looking for specific books or articles, you might try (if you haven't already) the Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society at sphts.org.
  by JayBee
 
NotYou wrote: Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:23 pm Have read many times the Southern Pacific failed due to bad finances, but haven't read about specifics such as: bad routes, bad service, short hauled, or any specifics really.

Anyone know the specifics or know any good resources to point me to? Books, documentaries, websites: all fine by me.
To give you an idea of what happened all you have to do is look at what happened to SP's Perishable and Auto Industries. In the 1950's and early sixties SP was moving solid trains of fruit out of California every day, some over Donner Pass, and some via the Golden State and Sunset routes. Almost all gone now. Then there was the Automotive business, auto parts hauled in from the Midwest, and a portion of the finished cars hauled out. There were at least four auto assembly plants in California GM had plants at Fremont (Bay Area), Southgate (LA area) and Van Nuys (LA area). Ford had an Assembly plant at Milpitas (Bay area) all of these plants consumed trains of auto parts and shipped out at least a portion of the finished cars back east. All of these plants were closed. The Fremont plant is now owned by Tesla and it ships out some finished cars, but the plant was closed for nearly a decade. And then there are the smaller businesses that have closed or moved.
  by JayBee
 
NotYou wrote: Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:23 pm Have read many times the Southern Pacific failed due to bad finances, but haven't read about specifics such as: bad routes, bad service, short hauled, or any specifics really.

Anyone know the specifics or know any good resources to point me to? Books, documentaries, websites: all fine by me.
If you really want to understand the Southern Pacific the best source is on the pay forum "Trainorders". In a long running series of posts Michael D. Ongerth (posts as MDO, his initials) has a series of postings headed Mad Dog Chronicles covering his time from Management Trainee all the way up the management ranks to Vice President of Transportation at SP. He finished his career at UP as Vice President of Passenger Operations. Along the way you will meet all the characters who constituted SP upper management from Ben Biaggini, to Robert Krebs and other notables. The Mad Dog chronicles are currently up to #321 posted yesterday. Many other former members of SP management frequently chime in with their thoughts. SP managers like Dispatchers are often referred to by their three initials so Mike is MDO, Rollin Bredenberg is RDB, Robert Krebs is RDK, etc.

https://www.trainorders.com/