The Southern Pacific’s Coast Daylight – America’s most beautiful train! When First Class was First Class and not Amtrak.
First Class Parlor Car Travel aboard the Southern Pacific’s COAST DAYLIGHT – when the passengers dressed to kill. Woman in Parlor Car during the late 1940s – going from San Francisco to Los Angeles. A total image of the past. Social History like this is over… no longer class or style. America face it – its over.
The Daylight had its inaugural run on March 1, 1937 and was hauled by GS-2 steam locomotives. It was the first of the Daylight series that also included the San Joaquin Daylight, Shasta Daylight, Sacramento Daylight, and Sunbeam. The Coast Daylight ran behind steam from March 1937 until it was dieselized on January 7, 1955. After dieselization, the train continued to run until May 1, 1971 when Amtrak took over service and rerouted their Coast Daylight to Oakland.
A second train known as the Noon Daylight ran on the same route between 1940 and 1949, with a suspension during World War II. The original Coast Daylight was informally known as the Morning Daylight during this time.
In 1949, the Noon Daylight was replaced by an overnight train known as the Starlight using the same equipment. In 1956, coaches from the Starlight were added to the all-Pullman Lark and the Starlight was discontinued in 1957. Amtrak later revived the train name for its Los Angeles to Seattle service known as the Coast Starlight.
On August 26, 1999: The United States Postal Service issued 33-cent All Aboard! 20th Century American Trains commemorative stamps featuring five celebrated American passenger trains from the 1930s and 1940s. One of the five stamps featured an image of a GS-4 steam locomotive pulling the red-and-orange train along the California Pacific Coast. [Read more...]