Western Pacific Railroad

Western Pacific Railroad

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Western Pacific Railroad

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The Western Pacific Railroad was a Class I railroad in the United States. It was formed in 1903 as an attempt to break the near-monopoly the Southern Pacific Railroad had on rail service into northern California. WP's Feather River Route directly competed with SP's portion of the Overland Route for rail traffic between Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah and Oakland, California for nearly 80 years. In 1983, the Western Pacific was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad. The Western Pacific was one of the original operators of the California Zephyr, a passenger train today operated by Amtrak.


The original Western Pacific Railroad was established in 1865 to build the western-most portion of the Transcontinental Railroad between San Jose, California (later Oakland, California), and Sacramento, California. This company was absorbed into the Central Pacific Railroad in 1870.

Founded in 1903, the second company to use the name Western Pacific Railroad was part of the Gould family's efforts to create a transcontinental railroad in the late 19th and early 20th century.

One of the American West’s most popular railroads, the WP attracted rail enthusiasts from around the world. From 1910 to 1982, its diverse route provided scenic views of the San Francisco Bay Area, the mountain communities of the Feather River Route, and the deserts of Nevada and Utah. The Western Pacific originated in 1900 as the Alameda and San Joaquin Railroad. The railroad which would become the Western Pacific...
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