WHEN THE BUILDERS of the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific reached coast lines with their railroads, they were not content to stop there, but extended the service by watercraft to farther ports, even to Yokohama and Hong Kong on the Pacific and to New York on the Atlantic. These extensions were made, (1) by purchase of vessels in connection with purchased railroad lines; (2) by contract with a steamship line already in operation; and (3) by founding a steamship line of their own.
in 1868-1869, the Central Pacific Railroad Company gained control of the San Francisco, Oakland & Alameda Railroads together with their ferryboats that operated across the San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland. There were six of them at the time, the Contra Costa, Oakland, Alameda, Washoe, San Antonio, and Louise; the last three had been converted into ferryboats from Sacramento River steamers. The first ferryboat built by the Central Pacific was the El Capitan which began the run in 1868.
The first overland passenger train to reach Oakland was on September 8, 1869. It was met at the wharf by the Ala