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Union PacificThe Reconfiguration: America's Greatest Railroad from 1969 to the Present$
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Maury Klein

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369892

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195369892.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

The Nightmare

The Nightmare

Chapter:
(p.360) 27 The Nightmare
Source:
Union Pacific
Author(s):

Maury Klein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195369892.003.0029

This chapter examines how Union Pacific Railroad's merger with Southern Pacific Railroad dissolved into a nightmare in which anything that could go wrong did go wrong. The arrival of Jerry Davis put Union Pacific in a unique position. For the first time experienced railroad men headed both the corporation and the railroad. In Art Shoener they had one of the best operating officers in the nation. With Dick Davidson moving quickly to strip away the remaining subsidiaries, the future looked bright. Earnings in 1996, boosted by a full year's contribution from Chicago & North Western Railroad and three months' worth from Southern Pacific, set new records of nearly $8.8 billion operating revenues and $1.53 billion operating income. The troubles began with the weather. Beginning on December 29, 1996, a series of storms blasted the West Coast and wreaked havoc with both Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Then the accidents began and kept coming—a dozen by October on Union Pacific alone.

Keywords:   merger, Union Pacific Railroad, Southern Pacific Railroad, Jerry Davis, Dick Davidson, storms, West Coast, accidents, Art Shoener

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