To write an article about Southern Pacific’s business car, it’s essential to delve into the history, significance, and specific features of these railcars. Here’s a draft for such an article:

Southern Pacific’s Business Car: A Journey Through History and Luxury


The Southern Pacific Railroad, a titan of American rail history, not only connected distant places but also showcased the pinnacle of travel luxury through its business cars. These cars, designed for railroad executives, dignitaries, and other VIPs, were not just means of transport; they were mobile symbols of power and prestige.

Historical Background

The Southern Pacific Railroad, established in the mid-19th century, quickly grew into one of the most powerful transportation networks in the United States. As the company expanded, so did the need for specialized cars that could offer comfort and functionality for its top executives while they traveled across the vast network. The business cars were introduced as a solution, serving as both offices and luxurious retreats on wheels.

Design and Features

Southern Pacific’s business cars were marvels of their time. They typically featured plush seating, elegant sleeping quarters, a dining area, and sometimes even observation decks. The interiors were often paneled with fine woods and adorned with exquisite furnishings. These cars were equipped with state-of-the-art technology of the era, including telephones and later, air conditioning.

Usage and Significance

The primary role of these business cars was to facilitate the smooth running of the railroad. Executives used these cars to inspect tracks, manage on-site operations, and negotiate deals—all while on the move. The presence of a business car in any train signaled the importance of the journey, often drawing attention at every stop.

Notable Cars and Their Journeys

Some of the Southern Pacific’s business cars are legendary. For example, car no. 100, known as the “Stanford,” was named after Leland Stanford, one of the company’s founders. This car witnessed numerous key decisions and high-profile gatherings that influenced the course of rail transportation in America.

Preservation and Legacy

Today, several of Southern Pacific’s business cars are preserved at various railway museums across the country. These cars serve as a testament to the grandeur of past rail travel and the importance of the railroad in America’s economic and social development. They attract enthusiasts and historians alike, eager to glimpse the luxury that once accompanied the nation’s most influential figures on their journeys.


Southern Pacific’s business cars were more than just rolling stock; they were integral to the operations and culture of one of America’s most significant railroads. Their legacy continues to fascinate and inspire, reminding us of a time when rail was king and the business car its crown jewel.

This article serves as an introductory overview. For a more detailed exploration, you could include specific anecdotes, interviews with historians, or detailed comparisons with business cars from other railroads.

The following are the business cars of the southern pacific railroad:

99 “Houston” was built by Pullman in November 1926.

110 “Los Angelese” was built by Pullman in December 1925, #4923, as Pullman Co “Monte Leone”,  It was sold as SP 110 “Los Angeles”, business car and sold to Ferrocarril del Pacifico.  It was sold to a private owner.

121 “Western” was built by Pullman in 1903 as Chicago Indianapolis & Louisville Ry.  It was rebuilt in 1926 and became SP 121 “Western”.  It presented to City of Oakland for display and acquired by Pacific Locomotive Assn in July 1990.

127 “Alamo” was built by Pullman in June 1926 as Galveston Houston & San Antonio 999 “Alamo”.  It became Texas & New Orleans 999 “Alamo” in 1931 and air conditioned on May 29, 1937.  It was renumbered 127 in 1960 and became SP 127 “Alamo” in 1966.  It was recommended for retirement on November 24, 1975, and retired in March 1982.  It was sold and plynthed at Houston.

128 “Santa Rosa” was built by Pullman in 1917 as El Paso & Southwestern 500.  It became SP 128 “Santa Rosa” in 1924 and rebuilt in 1937.  It was sold as Yreka Western 68 on March 18, 1968, and was transferred as Kyle Ry 13 in May 1993.   It was sold to an individual in 2004 and moved to Port of Redwood City.  It was repainted as Pullman and renumbered RPCX 415, “Niles”.  It was sold to Oregon Pacific RR as 128 “Santa Rosa” in 2011.

400 “American Milemaster”, observation, was built by Pullman-Standard on April 20, 1939, #6567.  It was renumbered 9500 in November 1949 and rebuilt in 1957.  It was sold to General Motors Corp as ET800 (locomotive test car) in 1965 and became Consolidated Railroad Corp 22, rail analyzer car, in February 1985.

2212 was built as Chicago & North Western 3478.  It was transferred as SP 2212 and became National Railway Passenger Corp 4466 (800161).  It was sold as Columbus & Greenville 3 “John H Hough Jr”.

2445-2446, was built by Pullman Standard Co, as Texas & New Orleans 504-505.  It was transferred as SP 2445-2446 and sold as Yreka Western RR 2445-2446.  It was resold as Grand Traverse Train 300A-300B, and resold as Central States Rail Association Inc as CESX 300A-300B. in February 2011.

3000, parlor car, was built by Pullman-Standard in 1937.  It was rebuilt in May 1955 as 3604, dome lounge, and rebuilt in 1968.  It was retired in 1970 and leased by Amtrak as SP 9373 in 1971.  It became Amtrak 9373 in 1972.  It was retired in 1981 and sold to Standard Industries in May 1981.  The owner, J R Reed, died and it was sold to Jim Stephenson.  It was then sold to David Paredeau in June 1987 and rebuilt as Minnesota Zephyr Limited “Grand Dome”.

3712 was built by American Car & Foundry in 1954.  It was sold as Alaska RR 600 in 1990.  It was sold to Alaska Metals Recycling in November 2005 and sold to Al’s Alaskan Inn in 2006.

6009, RPO-baggage, was built by Pullman in 1911 as Houston & Texas Central 251, RPO. Class 40-P-1.  It was rebuilt as RPO-baggage in June 1925 and became Texas & New Orleans 251, Class 40-P-1, in 1931.  It was transferred as SP 6009 in 1944 and remodeled as caboose 475 in 1956.  It was retired in 1972 and acquired by Pacific Coast R&LHS.  It was purchased by California State Railroad Museum in 1979 and stored.

9110 “Golden Mission” was built as 211.  It became 9110, “Golden Mission” and sold as Vinewood Management Co as 800144 “Golden Mission”.

10259-10260-10261, articulated three unit diner, was built by Pullman-Standard in 1941.

10277-10278-10279, articulated three unit diner, was built by Pullman-Standard in 1941.  When it was retired, it was sold to Garrett Ranch in Texas.  In April 2013, it was sold to Grapevine Vintage RR.

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