The Southern Pacific in Los Angeles, 1873-1996 tells the fascinating story of how steel rails transformed an isolated ranching and agricultural center into the West’s greatest city. With the aid of maps, timetables and many hitherto unpublished photographs, the book recounts how the Southern Pacific began its Los Angeles Division operations at the edge of San Pedro Bay in 1873, and never looked back as it constantly adapted to a changing metropolis.
It is all told here: the round-the-clock switching operations that were the lifeblood of a great city; the glamour of the Daylight, the most beautiful train in the West, rushing north from Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast; the enormous crowds of soldiers and civilians overflowing the city’s newly built Union Station at the height of World War II. We learn of the Southern Pacific’s transcontinental streamliners based in Los Angeles and how their gleaming diesel locomotives doomed SP’s great Los Angeles General Shops and the culture which sustained them.
For 123 years, the destinies of the Southern Pacific and the City of Los Angeles were intertwined. The Southern Pacific in Los Angeles, 1873-1996 chronicles the railroad’s remarkable growth, and also its demise. This unforgettable walk through time recaptures the pulse of the Far West’s most powerful railroad, and its extraordinary role in shaping the City of Angels.
Meet Authors Larry Mullaly and Bruce Petty
BRUCE PETTY grew up near Southern Pacific’s busy Burbank Junction in the 1950s, where he began a lifelong interest in railrods and photography. He later worked as a mechanical designer for Automation Industries in the Los Angeles area, before moving to Dunsmuir, California. There he established the Steam Age Equipment Company, noted for its finely produced Southern Pacific Lines Common Standard Plans, Vols. I-V, and more recently Southern Pacific Lines Maintenance of Way Equipment. Bruce’s “Los Angeles River Railroads” is a popular website, and he is a regular contributor to SP Trainline Magazine, as well as various model railroad journals.
LARRY MULLALY was born in Los Angeles and raised not far from the Southern Pacific Yuma Main. He has a Master’s Degree in History from the University of San Francisco, and serves as an administrator at Rogue Community College in Southern Oregon, where he has taught the history of technology for the past 15 years. Larry’s particular interest is Southern California transportation history during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He has published articles on railroading in SP Trainline and other periodicals, and is a member of the Lexington Group of transportation historians and professionals.