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As railroad technology improved during the middle of the Nineteenth Century, main line rail lines stretched further, connecting distant cities throughout New England, the Middle Eastern and Southern States.
In March 1881, the Southern Pacific Railroad connected with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway at Deming, New Mexico, providing a connection to Atchison, Kansas on the Missouri River, thus completing a second railroad link to Los Angeles.
On December 15, 1881 the Southern Pacific connected with the Texas & Pacific at Sierra Blanca, Texas to complete an additional transcontinental railroad connection. The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway provided a link with the Texas and New Orleans Railroad at Houston which connected Houston and New Orleans, linking the Gulf of Mexico with the Pacific Ocean.
Tracks connected with the the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway at the Pecos River on January 12, 1883. As the Union Pacific feared, The SP then started routing traffic to the southern line, diverting shipments from the UP.
A rail line from San Jose southward was completed to Salinas in November 1872 and to Soledad in August 1873.
Construction was completed from Soledad to Templeton in November 1886.
The Southern Pacific opened the southern leg of the Coast Line from Saugus to Carpenteria and Santa Barbara in August 1887.