A TALE OF TWO CULTURES

Into the 1970s, Southern Pacific was divided into two companies: the Southern Pacific west of El Paso and the Southern Pacific of Texas and Louisiana (and in June 1965, the general manager in Houston would assume operational control of the Cotton Belt). 

The senior managers in Houston generally managed with little oversight from San Francisco and it seems that the Pacific Lines received more than an equitable portion of the annual budget.  The Eastern Lines appear to have been sufficiently staffed and according to the Circular 7 List of Officers, Agencies, Stations, Etc. issued July 1, 1960, more than 445 officers and exempt personnel were employed.

Prior to the late 1960s, it was rare for Pacific and Eastern Lines officers and exempt personnel to be assigned from one region to another and as blending of two began in the early 1970s, conflicts would arise as to how to best manage various aspects of the Southern Pacific.

GW026 Houston HODAQ Sprint Train July 19

HODAQ Sprint Train in July 1983 with the city of Houston in the background.  Photo by George Werner.