Re: What's in a name

Dave Nelson

The Southern Pacific was the nation’s first holding company, a structure created by the Big Four to avoid personal liability should any of their owned or leased railroads default (especially the CP).  At its peak the SP owned and leased over 250 different incorporated railroads. Perhaps with the exception of the T&NO (Texas Laws for railroads were rather different) they operated all of them  as-if they were one and so the word Lines in the corporate title is perfectly explanatory to the nature of the company.  I expect the use of the word System as used by other corporations is the same.


SP reorganized in 1947 and got rid of most of the incorporated entities.  IIRC 1947 is the year the SP paid off the last bonds they had issued as replacements for the CP first mortgage and so its plausible the two events were related.


Dave Nelson


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Saturday, December 26, 2015 2:12 AM

As for "lines" or "system", this could imply that the railway held various corporate subsidiaries, sometimes for local political reasons (the SP was quite unpopular in California before the turn of the Century), or to meet the requirements of various states. For example, Southern Pacific Lines actually included many subsidiaries which had their own articles of incorporation, including continuing the Central Pacific on paper for many, many years. The T&NO was a completely separate corporation to meet Texas requirements for all railroads to be in-state corporations. Eventually, these were all tidied up during a reorganization


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