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Railroads

Railroad Building

(Brown)

Several schemes for the building of railroads from the Atlantic to the Pacific, or rather from the Pacific to the Atlantic, for most of them originated on this side of the continent, were promulgated in California during the fifties, but they all "gang aglee." The first railroad built in California was the Sacramento Valley road. It was completed to Folsom in February, 1856, and was twenty-two miles in length. The next was the road from San Francisco to San Jose, fifty-one miles long, completed January 16, 1864. On June 28, 1 86 1 , at Sacramento the Central Railroad of California was organized with Leland Stanford, president; C. P. Huntington, vice-president; Mark Hopkins, treasurer; James Baily, secretary, and T. D. Judah, chief engineer. The capital stock of the company was fixed at $8,500,000. The whole amount of stock subscribed by its promoters would not have built five miles of road ; none of the men at that time connected with the road were rich and the whole affair seemed to be a huge joke. On July I, 1862, the Pacific railroad bill was passed by Congress, authorizing the issuance of government bonds to the amount of $16,000 per mile to the foot of the mountains and of $48,000 per mile through the mountains. " Forty miles had to be built and equipped before any bonds were issued. In addition to this there was a government land subsidy of 12,800 acres per mile. Ground was broken for the road at Sacramento February 22, 1863. The Union Pacific was built westward from Omaha. On May 10, 1869, the two roads met at Promontory near Salt Lake and were united.

The first road built in the southern part of the state was the Los Angeles and San Pedro, completed to Wilmington in October, 1869. This connected Los Angeles with a seaport and greatly facilitated commerce.

The Southern Pacific railroad was completed to Los Angeles September 5, 1877. It had, in 1872, obtained a subsidy from Los Angeles county of about $600,000 ; $225,000 being the Los Angeles and San Pedro railroad. For this it was to build twenty-five miles of road north of Los Angeles and the same distance to the east. The northern end met the extension of the road south from Lathrop on the Central Pacific in the Soledad Canon on September 5, 1877. and the last tie was laid and the golden spike driven. The eastern end was completed in 1883 to El Paso, where it met the Texas Pacific and thus gave California a second trans-continental line.

The Atlantic and Pacific uniting with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, built jointly their main line from Albuquerque to the Colorado at the Needles. From there the A. & P. built to Barstow about eighty miles north-east of San Bernardino. From there the California Southern continued the line to San Diego. The road was completed to Colton in August, 1882, and opened from San Diego to San Bernardino September 13, 1883. In 1887 the road was built westward from San Bernardino until it met the San Gabriel Valley—which was built eastward from Los Angeles—at Mud Springs. The different divisions of the road were united under one management with its western terminus at Los Angeles, thus giving California its third transcontinental line. The growth of the state and particularly of the southern part of the state since the advent of the railroads has been phenomenal.


HISTORY OF SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTIES - 1922 JOHN BROWN, Jr. Editor for San Bernardino County
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Railroad History
Railroads
Railroad Building
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