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After World War II, pent up demand drove economic growth in this country, particularly in the western United States.  Housing developments in California created need for lumber from Oregon, and the advent of air conditioning and warm weather throughout the year resulted in a demand for new homes and commercial and industrial buildings in Texas and Arizona.  In addition, demand for refined products from oil, plastic pellets, and chemicals lead to the construction of plants in the greater Houston area.  Moreover, several automobile plants and numerous industrial parks were constructed in northern and southern California.  All this activity required rail service and Southern Pacific was uniquely positioned to provide it.   An industrial development department, which was very active between the mid-1960s and early 1980s, was created by Southern Pacific to address the needs of developers, including providing assistance in acquiring property that could be rail served.

DMBC285 Point Wilson CA SP 9215 06-27-74

SP 9215 at Point Wilson, California on June 27, 1974.  Photo by Dave Bernstein.

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