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:
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;
Signature Press, hardcover with jacket, 414 pages, 8.5 x 11 x 1.75 in., color and B&W photographs and illustrations.