Photo by L.W. Donat in Dick Donat, Trackside Around Southern California 1954-1963 with Dick Donat. The City of Las Vegas, later called the Las Vegas Holiday Special and for a period a GM Aerotrain, was limited in its success by that fact that you could drive from LA to Las Vegas in 4-5 hours, whereas the train took 7, owing to the mountains. Still, it looks fine in Donat’s photo, and as a kid I always enjoyed seeing it pass through Pomona in the morning on its way east. I never saw it with more than a single diesel and six cars, often shorter in my memory. I have a brochure or two about it, which I’ll post when I come to them. They aren’t the full-color photographic marvels that UP published for its other trains.
I love this photo because it’s unusual (the City of Las Vegas was not widely photographed, to my knowledge) and because it showcases winter in Southern California, where I grew up and now spend most Christmases (usually traveling one-way to or from the East Coast via Amtrak and savoring the history of the rails I ride over).