Written by: Cody Wittenmyer

November 2016 Edition

Western Pacific Railroad

Dates of Operation: 1903-1983 (80 years)

The original Western Pacific Railroad (Reporting Marks WP) was established in 1865 to build the westernmost 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. The Central Pacific was then absorbed into the Union Pacific railroad. This is the second railroad company to be named Western Pacific. It was created in 1903 to help end Southern Pacific’s dominant reign in California. It was financed by the Denver & Rio Grande Western, who was pushed out of California due to the attempted merging of the Southern Pacific into Union Pacific.

The Western Pacific was one of three railroads to operate the California Zepher. The other two were Denver & Rio Grande Western (Rio Grande) & the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy (CB&Q) railroad. Far into the then-future, the Union Pacific would purchase the Missouri Pacific, M-K-T, Chicago & Northwestern, Southern Pacific, Rio Grande, & in 1983, the Western Pacific. However, the WP was not the last railroad to be absorbed into the Union Pacific. In 1982, the MP was acquired, followed by the WP in 1983. Their long time rival SP was the last to be purchased in 1996 by the Union Pacific. In 2005, UP unveiled their heritage units. UP 1983, an SD70ACe, wore a fantasy Western Pacific scheme.

Locomotive Roster-

Photos of the WP-

Pictures taken from http://www.railpictures.net/ and I don’t take any credit for any.

The Heritage Unit- UP SD70ACe #1983

In 2005, Union Pacific unveiled six locomotives of their heritage. UP #1983 is in Western Pacific colors, although WP never had a paint scheme like this one.

Photos taken from heritageunits.com and I do not take ownership of either.