Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cost to travel on transcontinental railroad

Niles-Tracy line

From: "Randy Ruiz"

Thank you for maintaining this fine discussion group.  I have had some luck answering questions here in the past, and I thought I would try another.  

I am looking to collect traffic data for the CP/SP line from Niles to Tracy.  I am not sure where the railroad collected this data, and what sort of records to look for.  John Signor's gives a few freight traffic numbers for this line in his Western Division book to make the case that traffic fluctuated in relation to the depression and the completion of the Suisun Bay Bridge.  I had asked him for help with this question, but he was unable to do so.  I also asked this question at the CSRM library, but they did not know where to look.

I have found systemwide data in the company's annual reports.  I am hoping to compare this data to the statistics for the line through Niles Canyon and over Altamont. I would like to determine when traffic peaked during WWII, and how quickly it fell off afterwards.  Also, did it continue to decline through to 1984, or were there periods of growth, such as during the Korean conflict. 

I took some of the systemwide data I have come across and put it into the attached charts.  They reveal some interesting trends particularly in terms of the railroad's growth and stagnation.  It would be interesting to compare against the national GDP. Please see the attached PDF, SPRR 1885-1934.


Randolph R. Ruiz