The Western Pacific Railway started construction in 1906 and was completed between Salt Lake City and Oakland, California, in 1909. The company was controlled by the same people who controlled the Rio Grande, and its line was completed as a Pacific Coast extension of the Denver and Rio Grande tracks. In 1908 the Denver and Rio Grande consolidated its various branch lines and subsidiary companies in Utah and Colorado, including the Rio Grande Western, to finance the completion of the Western Pacific line. The route was completed west from Salt Lake City around the south end of the Great Salt Lake, continuing due west across the salt desert to the Nevada line at Wendover. Rio Grande lost control of the Western Pacific in 1916, with the latter railroad company remaining independent until it was merged with the Union Pacific in 1982, giving Union Pacific direct access to the ports of Oakland and San Francisco.
Last Update 01/30/01
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