Evarts I. Blake.

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sions of the San Francisco, Oakland and
San Jose intercounty system will absorb
many millions more, and the development of
the water supply and hydro-electric power
sources still greater sums. The water sup-
ply system is designed to meet the wants of
the cities located on the shores of San Fran-
cisco Bay and intermediate communities
along the pipe line and the hydro-electric
sites are to be utilized to supply power for
the operation of the railway systems merged
in the corporation and to serve the indus-
tries which are expected to be located on the
reclaimed water-front lands with light, heat
and power.

The carrying out of the various projects
embraced in the plans of the United Proper-
ties Company contemplates making Oakland
the most important commercial and industrial
and the most populous city on the Pacific



Greater Oakland, 1911

The Southern Pacific and Oakland

between the railroad and the
city explain the activity now
shown by the Southern Pa-
cific. If "the old order chang-
eth, giving place to new," it is not wholly
because the old was antiquated, but because
it was no longer equal to the demands of
the new city.

The old Oakland was not a mossback ex-
cept in spots, any more than a boy is behind
the times because he is a boy. He is sim-
ply not a man. And the city of twenty years
ago, of six years ago, was not the city of
today. Its awakening, its growth, make de-
mands upon the public carrier which the
railroad is endeavoring to meet by an in-
crease of facilities.

A General Condition.

The increase of popvilation and the
growth of business taxes the carrying ca-
pacity of railroads throughout the whole
country. The statement has been made by
a distinguished railroad builder that adverse
legislation calculated to hinder railroad ex-
tension was unwise because there were not
railroads enough in the country to meet
the present demands of business and travel.
That this is so is fairly evidenced by the
efforts of the great lines generally to im-
prove their efficiency and to increase the
working capacity of the roads generally.

Railroad construction is everywhere ex-
pensive; railroad reconstruction can be
done at much less than the cost of building
new lines, but the cost is still enormous.
Double tracking is going on in several di-
rections on the main lines of the Southern
Pacific, notably from this city across the
Sierras; grades are being lessened; curva-
tures reduced; tunnels constructed; terminals
enlarged, and the work involves vast ex-
penditures of money. It is made necessar}'
by the growth of travel and the expansion
of business, and is undertaken for the pur-

pose of augmenting the carrying capacity
of the roads and their wider usefulness.

The transportation lines, of course, are
the gainers in all this, but so is the public.
The interests of the public and of the pub-
lic carrier are interblended, and because
this is so, indubitably and necessarily so, ta
antagonize the railroad, to treat it unfairly,
to legislate against it unjustly, is poor pol-
icy. Co-operation is better than kicking as
a steady rule. There are times when a
kick in the right place may be salutary, but
chronic grumbling becomes a habit and de-
feats its purpose.

The Compulsion of Growth.

The most forcible argument for railroad
betterment is one which includes the inter-
ests of both the public and the railroad.
Thus the growth of cities necessitates-
changes. It is a compelling power. The
expansion of a city's suburbs, the increase
of suburban travel, is a forcible and in-
escapable reason for improving facilities.

In the case of Oakland the demand of
suburbanites and general "commuters" upon
the railroad has rapidly increased for five
years, and almost with the beginning of this
expanding life of the city, the Southern Pa-
cific began to plan the extensive changes,
involved in discarding steam and substitut-
ing electricity. Actual and active work be-
gan in 1907, but necessarily this work of
initiating great and expensive changes was
not on the surface, and was not seen by the
public. But the work was going on and is-
now apparent.

In the country at large the development
of motive power other than steam has been
going on for years and had to be studied.
The change from steam to electricity could
not be made as an experiment. It must be
slowly worked out, in the face of constant
improvements and substitutions, in devices-
and ways of generating, transmitting and.
applying power, and this took time.

Southern Pacific Company


Southern Pacific Station, Alameda Pier, California

It was clear that a new era had come in
the application of electrical energy in trac-
tion, the motive power being converted into
mechanical power, but many months must
be consumed in determining by travel and
study of existing plants, the best methods
as a whole, and in working out a multitude
of details. Once installed, the system must
not be a plaything, a cobhouse, but must be
permanent — as permanency goes in a world
of evolution — not only workable, eflficient,
dependable, but it must be the best.

Economy or Public Welfare.

Now the general public is apt to think
that such a change is justified by the econ-
omy of electricity as compared with steam,
and that this is the impelling motive. In
the long run it is, but the public does not
know what careful figuring a railroad must
do in a case like this before deciding upon

the expenditure of some millions of dollars.
The fact is that the difiference in cost of op-
eration and maintenance is not great as be-
tween steam and electricity energy, and to
counterbalance the great cost of change the
slight saving must be applied through a
long series of years. It is a wise change
in the long run, and justified by considera-
tions of business, but "business" also in-
cludes the public patronage, the public good
will, so that the real reason for the change
is complex and not simple, and involves the
comfort of passengers, the saving of time,
the question of nerves, the elimination of
shock and vibration, and the general re-
quirement of cities for quieter operation
than is possible with steam.

And by the time the company has re-
couped itself for the outlay the inventive
Yankee will have devised a better system,
or science will have made new discoveries,
and then the costly equipment now being


Greater Oakland, 1911

Southern Pacific Company


installed may go to the junk pile, as the
discarded material of today is going.
The City's Gain.
This is one thing certain: The practical
outcome is the increased comfort of citizens,
the augmented attractiveness of the city
and its suburbs, the added value of all
realty. The population can be doubled withr
out crowding at the center, without incon-
venience in getting to business from the
suburbs, and all the city will be cleaner,
quieter and more enjoyable as a place of
residence. This will more clearly appear
further on. We want to note here what

who remember when Oakland was not.
They recall the magnificent site of the city
of today, a fine slope from the bay back to
the hills, and fifteen hundred acres covered
with the broad-topped oaks which gave the
city its name. Here might have been an
encampment of the ancient Druids, or this
might have been a grove of Dodona in
Greece, the climate and the landscape being
not unlike that of Greece.

The young city was for many years a
great contrast to its treeless neighbor
across the bay, its evergreen oaks resem-
bling great apple trees, so that this city

Trolley Wires, Alameda Mole, Cal.

will be apparent at once, that the change
fits the city of today. The great growth
on this side of the bay calls for the best
possible service on the part of the railroad,
and the old-time corporation is meeting the
new situation with the best that the prog-
ress of electrical science aflfords.

Have we waited long for these better-
ments? Compared with the growth of Eu-
ropean cities our American municipalities
are mushrooms of a night. Even towns of
moderate size across the big water are old,
having their roots deep in the centuries.

But many are living, hale and hearty.

looked as if built in a vast orchard. It re
tains many of its trees and is still pictur-
esque because of them, but great business
blocks are not built in groves of oak, nor
are car lines and railroads and three hun-
dred miles of graded streets favorable to
the preservation of urban forests and natu-
ral parks.

Lake Merritt is still bordered with na-
tive trees, and the extensive planting of
trees and the awakening of the city to the
need of additional parks has done much to
enhance the beauty of the general land-
scape. Many will recall, as if it were yes-


Greater Oakland, 1911

Southern Pacific Company


terday, the old wharf that projected into the
bay; then the extension, in 1881, reaching
1.3 miles toward Yerba Buena Island; then
the long task of filling in with rock and soil
and the gradual pushing out and expansion
of the mole until the distance became 1.21
miles and the actual acreage of made land
11 acres, on which is laid five and one-half
miles of siding.

It has all been the evolution of a few
years — the life of a young man of thirty-five
or forty — and behind it is the pushing power
of a city and the expansion of traffic around

Electricizing Railroad Lines.

The work is proceeding as rapidly as
conditions admit. In its very nature the
work demands carefulness, as we have said,
before a stroke was allowed. Engineers ran-
sacked the East to study, to find out what
had been done and why; to find new meth-
ods; to investigate new equipment; to ac-
quire the latest ideas and the latest devices.

The main power plant is at Fruitvale,
one is at West Oakland, with a third at
Berkeley. Before work was begun on these

Switchboards, Power House. Fruitvale, Cal.

that door to the greatest ocean, the Golden

When the Argonauts came Oakland was
not. A town was laid out in 1851 and the
oak grove held the ground. Today its area
is 60.77 square miles and its waterfront 27
miles. It bids fair to become what our dis-
tinguished ex-president said its location
would make it, "the greatest railroad ter-
minal on the Pacific Coast."

The reclamation of more than four hun-
dred acres from the bay on the city front
means a large area for manufacturing, and
the growth of various industries is antici-
pated by the demand for leases on the new
water front in advance of reclamation.

the architect visited the chief cities of the
East and visited all the large power plants.
The building, greatly modified in form
from anything he saw% is the result of the
knowledge acquired in seeing what others
had done. The main house is equipped to
generate a 30,000 kilowatt output, equiva-
lent, roughly speaking, to 30,000 horse-
power. This can be increased by 15,000
kilowatt by a small addition to the build-
ing, provided for in the plans. The general
instructions were to provide for all the
'ioad," present and future, that they may
be developed when the entire electrification
of the bay district has been completed.
The details from an engineering stand-


Greater Oakland, 1911

Southern Pacific Company



Greater Oakland, 1911

Southern Pacific Company


point are too technical for any but experts,
but in a general way the equipment is the
very latest and what is called the Catenary
Suspension is a conducting line and trolley
differing in appearance and construction
from anything in use in the United States.
The conductors are as big as a standard
garden hose and look much like it. When in
place the trolley wire does not sag and in
use does not emit sparks. The arrange-
ment is such that pressure upon it when the
train is in motion is uniform, the line be-
ing straight, and is touched by the device
which connects it with the motor coach, al-

scrap of time for nobler things (sic) has
only to place the bit of pasteboard in the
brass fingers attached to the seat and fall
into oblivion so far as the meddling conduc-
tor is concerned. For the owls who fly
by night, a reading light is placed over
each seat, the effect of this being to assist
in the education of the public by allowing
nobody an excuse for solitary thinking
apart from novels or newspapers.

To facilitate this daily and nightly absorp-
tion of "literature" while going to and from
business, these new coaches are provided
with "shock absorbers." It is not to be

Motor on Klectric Truck

ways from the same distance and with the
same force.

The roadbeds are reconstructed and put
into first class condition and the coaches are
being provided as rapidly as possible. These
are all new and made entirely of steel. The
motor coach weighs 109,400 pounds. The
seating capacity of the passenger coach is
116, and they are as comfortable as the
most exacting could ask for. The seats hold
three persons and a wide aisle runs between

Brass slips are on each seat for holding
tickets, and the hustling commuter who
wants to read his newspaper and save a

hastily inferred that this is to counteract
the effect of the large headlines in the
Daily Shocker, or of delicate situations in
the plot of the problem novel in the "Cos-
mopolitan." The shock absorber is an ar-
rangement to eliminate physical bumps and
thumps — to prevent vibration: in short, so
that the reader may keep the line in book
or paper with as much comfort as in the
library at home. It is a great scheme, and
that it may be enjoyed by all no arrange-
ment is made for standpatters — or stand-

No provision is made for people to stand
up on two precarious legs, holding on to


Greater Oakland, 1911

Southern Pacific Company


overhead straps. These electric lines will
have no straphangers — which means that
enough coaches will be provided for all who

The electric train is started and stopped
quickly and smoothly, the maximum power
being available at the moment of starting,
and the train is arrested speedily without
jars. Up to date 125 coaches have been
received — more to follow — and this means
the scattering of the old coaches, and vast
quantities of material relegated to the scrap

The facilities provided are not only ample,

kind west of Omaha, so officials say. The
cost will approximate $300,000. It will be
of steel and concrete, the interior having
a granite base and facings of terra cotta
glazed tile. The roof will be California red
tile. The ground area will be 600x140 feet,
two stories in part, with mailing rooms
both on the ground floor and above. This
means that the local and main line travel
will be provided for separately, the former
using the upper waiting room and the lat-
ter the lower. The upper room will be a
roof garden in effect, and passengers for
local points will go directly into trains

Southern Pacific

but anticipate 100 per cent increase in de-
mand upon the new system. It will be re-

Shops are located in West Alameda and
include repair shops, with track for nine
cars, paint shop and car track for twelve
cars, and an inspection shop with tracks
for eighteen cars.

The New Depot.

Work has begun on the new passenger
depot at Sixteenth Street, Oakland. As a
matter of fact, it began long ago in the ele-
vation of tracks to suit the new plans and
in the working out of the plans themselves.
The structure will be the handsomest of its

Electric Cars

from the second story, the tracks being ele-
vated. Main line passengers will reach their
trains from the ground floor, passing under
the archway. This insures safety and in-
sures also that trains on the main line will
not be delayed waiting for locals to pass.

This arrangement is again an expensive
one, but necessary at this busy point to
facilitate travel and to minimize dangerous
accidents. Every railroad must guard against
these, as they are apt to be mulcted for
even the carelessness or recklessness of the

The main waiting room will be 80x160
feet, and will be finished in California mar-
ble. The building will include all modern


Greater Oakland, 1911

Southern Pacific Company



Greater Oakland, 1911

conveniences, also necessary offices and
other rooms, a United States postoffice,
telephone service, etc.

It is a constant aim of the company to
improve its service and to provide comfort-
able and even luxurious places from which
patrons of the road can board the trains, or
wait for trains or friends. A large item in
a railroad bill of expense is this matter of
depots in the larger cities, and their erec-
tion is often deferred longer than, to the im-
patient citizen, seems desirable or even wise
as a business policy.

But these fine structures are the luxuries
of the service, and the public is as deeply
interested as the railroad in good roadbeds,
reduced curvatures, lower grades, block sig-
nals and all that will save time in travel
and trafific and reduce the element of dan-
ger to the lowest point. These are the nec-
essary things and to provide them the luxu-
ries have sometimes to be delayed. It is
good for the citizen sometimes to look at
the railroad's side, and especially to note
what railroad management has meant of late
years. There has been but little expansion,
save in reaching out for the trade of this
wonderful Pacific Coast. But there has been
immense growth within the great systems —
sidings built, cars bought, new and larger
engines put into service, mountains tun-

neled, rivers bridged, equipment standard-
ized — a hundred things that cost millions of
dollars and mean efficiency and better serv-
ice. The aim has been to make two tons
of freight move where only one moved
before, and it has been "up" to the rail-
roads to keep pace with the growth of a
prosperous country.

This is the reason why the Southern Pa-
cific is spending m.illions about the bay, to
keep pace with the growth of a great region.
This is why, after long planning and nearly
four years of preparation, Oakland is to
have a fine depot and an electric system sur-
passed by none. The growth of the city
has compelled it, and in time it will increase
the city's growth. This is inevitable, and
one of Oakland's assets today is in sight, if
not quite an actuality — a modernized, effi-
cient, luxurious suburban railroad service.
Let us not grumble and criticize, but re-
joice — and get in and work for a greater
Oakland and a still more up-to-date railroad
system, if the Genii of Invention is still on
his job.

Let the watchword be co-operation. It is
one of the universe, and was at work in
the world long before the monkey was
reached in the process of evolution, or the
descendants of the monkey became city
dwellers and railroad builders.

Southern Pacific Company


Lance Richardson

District Freight and Passenger Agent
Southern Pacific Co.

One of the most efficient all around rail-
road men in California is Mr. Lance Rich-
ardson, District Freight and Passenger
Agent of the Southern Pacific System in

Mr. Richardson is a native of California
and is a self-made man in the fullest sense
of the term. He began his career in the
modest position of messenger boy when a
lad, and later mastered the art of teleg-
raphy. As an expert telegrapher he rose
to the responsible position of train dis-
patcher and also has filled the position of
train master.

He has acted as local agent for the
Southern Pacific at various points in Cali-
fornia, and just previous to coming to Oak-
land, was for five years Commercial Agent
at Santa Barbara.

Mr. Richardson has had thirty years' rail-
road experience, all with the Southern Pa-
cific Company, in both the operating and
traffic departments. The large amount of
business transacted through the Oakland
office of the Southern Pacific places 'Mr.
Richardson in a position of the first magni-
tude, and he is particularly well equipped
to take care of all its responsibilities.


Greater Oakland, 1911


CTTiTiiir.'" vjmti-.-air •

Western Pacific


The Latest Railroad Across the Continent

B\f Homer J. Carr

HEN C. P. Huntington, build-
er of the Central Pacific,
turned in disgust from A.
W. Keddie, pathfinder of
the Sierras forty-five years
ago, after telling him that his dream of a
railroad through the wild and tortuous
Feather River canyon was worse than a
dream — that it was a furious nightmare —
the heart of the enthusiastic engineer was
well-nigh broken.

After a year's arduous and dangerous
work, Keddie succeeded in finding a way
through the Sierras in that gold-strewn
canyon for the first railroad ever built
from the Pacific Coast, leading across the
continent. "No man will ever be fool
enough to try to build a railroad through
that canyon," said Huntington, ending
the interview.

Keddie is one of the few survivors of
the generation building the first transcon-
tinental line and as an old man, the other
day stood on the steps of the city hall at
Quincy, Cal., and made the welcoming
speech to the first passenger train to run
through the famous Feather River canyon
on the new Western Pacific.

His dream of a half century ago had
come true, and the old engineer's voice
broke as he told of the ignominious rejec-
tion of his plans by the builders of that
first railroad constructed across the pre-
cipitous and forbidding Sierra Nevada.

But if Keddie, the engineer, found the
physical pathway for the latest, and for
many years to come probably the last of
the transcontinental lines, it was E. T.
Jeflfery who found the financial resources
which are the vital element of every great

Mr. Jeflfery was elected president of the
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Com-
pany on September 30, 1891. The system

then comprised about 1,600 miles, with its
western terminus at Grand Junction, Colo.,
about 250 miles from Denver.

In 1895 he commenced studying the ex-
tension of the system west, either by pur-
chase of the Rio Grande Western Rail-
way, extending from Grand Junction to
Salt Lake City and Ogden, or by building
an independent line to the points named,
with the ultimate object, circumstances
permitting, of extending to the Pacific

About ten years ago Mr. Jeflfery nego-
tiated for the purchase of the Rio Grande
Western, having in the meantime had pri-
vate reconnaissances made for a Pacific
Coast extension. In 1903 he began taking
necessary steps, confidentially, in Califor-
nia for securing control of Beckwourth
Pass (5,000 feet above sea level) and
Feather River canyon, between the pass
and Oroville, Cal.

In 1905 Mr. Jeflfery negotiated with
bankers the sale of $50,000,000 Western
Pacific 5 per cent first mortgage gold
bonds, and under the mortgage deposited
the proceeds at interest with responsible
depositaries in New York and other finan-
cial centers.

Soon thereafter he let to lowest respon-
sible bidders the greater portion of con-
struction work of the Western Pacific
Railroad, and began securing ample ter-
minals in San Francisco and Oakland, Cal.

The enterprise was delayed by the great
San Francisco earthquake and fire; also by
the financial panic of the latter part of
1907 and the first half of 1908, although
work was carried on continuously with di-
minished monthly expenditures, ,

In 1908 Mr. Jeflfery perfected a general
financial plan for the Denver and Rio
Grande in the form of a first and refund-
ing mortgage for $150,000,000, of which


Greater Oakland, 1911

Western Pacific


about $18,000,000 could be applied to the
completion of the Western Pacific by the
purchase of second mortgage bonds of
that company at 75 per cent face value,
under certain contracts entered into be-
tween the Denver and Rio Grande and
Western Pacific companies in 1905. In the
latter part of 1909 he sold 40,000 shares of
the preferred stock of the Denver and Rio
Grande Railroad Company for providing
further funds for Western Pacific, without
adding to the fixed charges on the Denver
and Rio Grande — a remarkable financial
achievement, considering all conditions.

The Western Pacific Company expended
to June 30, 1910 (exclusive of accrued in-
terest on second mortgage bonds), the vast

Online LibraryEvarts I. BlakeGreater Oakland, 1911, a volume dealing with the big metropolis on the shores of San Francisco Bay .. → online text (page 5 of 30)