San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce; Liisa Stark, UP director - Public Affairs; San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum; San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx; San Luis Obispo Councilmember Dan Carpenter
In 1996, Union Pacific Railroad found itself with a new station in San Luis Obispo, Calif., following its acquisition of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Although a seemingly new relationship at the time, the history between the city and the railroad spanned back nearly a century.
San Luis Obispo’s relationship with Union Pacific can be traced back as early as 1901 when UP chairman and financier E. H. Harriman acquired a huge block of stock previously owned by Collis P. Huntington. Huntington was the last surviving member of the "Big Four," a group that included Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker, that had founded the Central and Southern Pacific Railroads and had constructed the western half of the original transcontinental railroad that connected with the Union Pacific at Promontory Summit, Utah.