Southern Pacific Shasta Daylight

SHASTADAYLIGHT1Climbing over Cascasde Summit, the highest point on the Oakland to Portland route. Photo by Sandy Goodrick, reproduced here from Mike Schafer and Joe Welsh, Classic American Streamliners.  Southern Pacific introduced the Shasta Daylight in 1949, 13 years after the introduction of the Daylight on the LA-San Franscisco run.SHASTADAYLIGHT3oSeen northbound at the Pit River Bridge on Shasta Lake in 1955. Photo also by Goodrick and reproduced here from Classic American Streamliners.

Below, from my brochure collection, a leaflet about the train, undated but after the dome lounge was added in the mid-fifties.

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Below is the cover and a page about the train from a route guide dated 10/17/63. Notice that by this time the diesel depicted was in the new red front, gray body color scheme. Also notice that as late as 1963, Southern Pacific was still publishing such promotional material, even though the railroad was eliminating passenger trains as fast as it could. There was a paradoxical aspect to Southern Pacific’s behavior in the later years in that, even when it was actively trying to get rid of passengers, its trains that I road (Lark, Coast Daylight, Sunset/Golden State, when they were combined for half their journeys) left LA spotless inside and out. I suspect this reflected mid-level passenger operations folks who had always taken pride in their trains and managed to continue to do a good job.

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Seen below stopped at Dunsmuir, California, 1957, photo by John Dziobko, reproduced here from Classic American Streamliners.

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4 Responses to Southern Pacific Shasta Daylight

  1. Greg Brown says:

    The last picture of the Shasta stopped at a station is actually Klamath Falls.

  2. Thanks, Greg. I finally got your correction posted. I’m a little incompetent at my computer.

  3. Steve Relei says:

    Actually, the highest point on the Shasta Daylight route (indeed on the present day Coast Starlight route) is at Grass Lake, California, near Mount Shasta at 5,063ft. Cascade Summit reaches an elevation of 4,852 ft.

  4. Tobias Benjamin Köhler says:

    Great photos! And a curious smoking policy. “We do not ask you to refrain from smoking, but do ask that you do so in moderation” Why didn’t they just make separate sections/cars for smokers and nonsmokers?

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