The Pacific Electric Railway was created in 1901 by railroad executive Henry E. Huntington and banker Isaias W. Hellman. As a Vice President of the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP), operated by his uncle, Collis P. Huntington, Huntington had a background in electric trolley lines in San Francisco where he oversaw SP's effort to consolidate many smaller street railroads into one organized network. Hellman, the President of the Nevada Bank, San Francisco's largest, became one of the largest bond holders for these lines and he and the younger Huntington developed a close business relationship. The success of their San Francisco trolley adventure and Hellman's experience in financing some early Los Angeles trolley lines led them to invest in the purchase of some existing downtown Los Angeles lines which they began to standardize and organize into one network called the Los Angeles Railway. When uncle Collis died, Henry lost a boardroom battle for control of the Southern Pacific to Union Pacific President E. H. Harriman. Huntington then decided to focus his energies on Southern California.