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Southern Pacific passenger trains remembered

By | February 15, 2022

View images of passenger service on the Sunset, Golden State, Overland, and Shasta routes

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GL130801-1
A black locomotive with an orange and red stripe coming down the tracks
SP’s Coast Daylight
GS-4 4452 with Los Angeles–San Francisco Morning Daylight, late 1940s.
Linn H. Westcott
A black locomotive with an orange and red stripe coming down the tracks
A black and white photo of passengers getting off a locomotive
SP’s Golden Rocket
Observation car La Mirada of joint Rock Island-SP Chicago–Los Angeles Golden Rocket (never inaugurated) at Chicago Railroad Fair, 1948.
Santa Fe 
A black and white photo of passengers getting off a locomotive
A black and white photo of a locomotive turning a corner with mountains in the background
SP’s Shasta Daylight
Oakland–Portland Shasta Daylight at Martinez, Calif., September 1950.
John C. Illman
A black and white photo of a locomotive turning a corner with mountains in the background
A black and white photo of a locomotive moving pass mountains
SP’s San Joaquin Daylight
Los Angeles–San Francisco San Joaquin Daylight at Ravenna in Soledad Canyon, 1953.
Stan Kistler
A black and white photo of a locomotive moving pass mountains
A close up black and white photo of a dome lounge car sitting on the tracks
SP dome car
“Three-quarter”-length dome-lounge car 3600, one of 7 built in SP shops, 1954–55.
Southern Pacific
A close up black and white photo of a dome lounge car sitting on the tracks
A black and white distant photo of locomotives sitting in a rail yard
SP’s Peninsula commute trains
Lineup of afternoon commute trains at SP’s Third Street station in San Francisco in 1945.
Classic Trains coll.
A black and white distant photo of locomotives sitting in a rail yard
A black and white photo of a locomotive turning a corner
SP’s Golden State
Chicago–Los Angeles Golden State at Corona, N.Mex., April 1947.
D. L. Ingersoll
A black and white photo of a locomotive turning a corner
A distant black and white photo of a locomotive crossing a bridge
SP’s City of San Francisco
Chicago–Oakland City of San Francisco crossing Suisun Bay bridge near Martinez, Calif., in September 1950.
John C. Illman
A distant black and white photo of a locomotive crossing a bridge
A black and white photo of the passengers sitting inside a train
SP’s Golden State
Chicago–Los Angeles Golden State coach interior, late 1940s.
Southern Pacific
A black and white photo of the passengers sitting inside a train
A close up picture of an orange train passing by
SP’s Coast Daylight
Los Angeles–San Francisco Morning Daylight at Santa Barbara, late 1940s.
Linn H. Westcott
A close up picture of an orange train passing by
A black and white photo of a diesel car sitting on the tracks
SP’s Rail Diesel Car
SP RDC1 No. SP-10, the road’s only Budd Rail Diesel Car.
Budd Co.
A black and white photo of a diesel car sitting on the tracks
A black and white photo of two locomotives on the same track together with black smoke coming out of their chimneys
SP’s Argonaut
Los Angeles–New Orleans Argonaut east of Tucson, Ariz., on Nov. 8, 1947.
James Bowie
A black and white photo of two locomotives on the same track together with black smoke coming out of their chimneys
A black and white photo of two locomotives leaving a station
SP’s City of San Francisco
Oakland–Chicago City of San Francisco ready to depart Oakland Pier station on Feb. 3, 1952.
Fred H. Matthews Jr.
A black and white photo of two locomotives leaving a station
A black and white photo of passengers inside a coffee-shop lounge car
SP’s Sunset Limited
Interior, Pride of Texas coffee shop-lounge car, New Orleans–Los Angeles Sunset Limited.
Southern Pacific
A black and white photo of passengers inside a coffee-shop lounge car
An orange and yellow locomotive turning the corner on a bridge
SP’s Shasta Daylight
Portland, Ore.–Oakland, Calif., Shasta Daylight south of Oakridge, Ore., in May 1958.
David W. Salter
An orange and yellow locomotive turning the corner on a bridge
A black and white overhead photo of locomotives and people at a station
SP’s Golden State
Chicago–Los Angeles Golden State changing engines (from Rock Island to SP) at Tucumcari, N.Mex., early 1950s.
D. C. Allen
A black and white overhead photo of locomotives and people at a station
A black and white photo of a locomotive turning a corner next to a lake
SP’s Owl
Los Angeles–Oakland Owl at Pinole, Calif., in 1951.
David G. Edwards 
A black and white photo of a locomotive turning a corner next to a lake
A black and white photo of two ladies and one gentleman sitting inside a dome car
SP dome car interior
“Atrium” end of three-quarter-length dome car.
Classic Trains coll.
A black and white photo of two ladies and one gentleman sitting inside a dome car
A silhouette of two people looking out a window looking at a train pass by
SP’s Coast Daylight
Passengers watching 2-10-2 helping 4-8-4 on Los Angeles–San Francisco Coast Daylight climbing Cuesta Grade north of San Luis Obispo, circa 1949.
Linn H. Westcott
A silhouette of two people looking out a window looking at a train pass by
A black and white picture of a sunbeam car being washed by a machine
SP’s Sunbeam
Dallas–Houston Sunbeam cars being washed, location unknown, late 1940s or early ’50s.
Southern Pacific
A black and white picture of a sunbeam car being washed by a machine
Passengers boarding an orange and red locomotive
SP’s Coast Daylight
Passengers boarding Los Angeles–San Francisco Coast Daylight at Santa Barbara, late 194os.
Linn H. Westcott
Passengers boarding an orange and red locomotive
A black and white overhead picture of a locomotive passing through a city in Texas
SP’s Apache
Los Angeles–Chicago Apache at El Paso, Texas, in the late 1930s.
Southern Pacific
A black and white overhead picture of a locomotive passing through a city in Texas
A black and white photo of a locomotive turning a corner
SP’s Overland
Chicago–Oakland Overland on Donner Pass near Colfax, Calif., circa 1950.
David G. Edwards
A black and white photo of a locomotive turning a corner
An orange and red locomotive sitting on the tracks next to some telephone polls
SP’s Shasta Daylight
Oakland–Portland Shasta Daylight at Redding, Calif., in summer 1950.
James L. Martin
An orange and red locomotive sitting on the tracks next to some telephone polls

All through February 2022, Classic Trains editors are celebrating the history and heritage of the Southern Pacific Lines. Please enjoy this photo gallery of Southern Pacific passenger trains selected from the image files in Kalmbach Media’s David P. Morgan Library.

This gallery was first published in January 2019.

One thought on “Southern Pacific passenger trains remembered

  1. The heading specifies photos of passenger trains on the Sunset, Golden State, Overland and Shasta routes, but then starts off with the COAST daylight. There are several more images throughout of passenger trains on the Coast and Valley routes, along with others of the routes specified. However, all captions seem to be correct, except that the caption for image 21 of 24 erroneously identifies the train as the Coast Daylight. Actually, by evidence of the smooth-side car being boarded and the high-placed letterboard of the following Parlor car, the train being boarded must actually be the Shasta Daylight; therefore certainly not in Santa Barbara.

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