Southern Pacific's Premier all Pullman Car Train 1915.
Before the start of Amtrak on May 1, 1971, the Sunset Limited was operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad.
The Sunset Limited is the oldest named train in the United States, carrying that name since 1894.
Sunset Limited was Southern Pacific's premier train.
Initially the Sunset Limited was an all Pullman
train, with sleeping cars and no coaches, running from New Orleans to San Francisco via Los Angeles. From its
beginning in 1893 until streamlining in 1950, all the train's cars had 6-wheel trucks and dark olive green
paint with black roofs and trucks. In summer 1926 it was scheduled 71 hr 40 min New Orleans to San Francisco;
it then carried a coast-to-coast sleeper Jacksonville to Los Angeles.
In 1930 the route was cut back to Los Angeles and the train carried coaches for the first time. In 1936 the
train resumed running to San Francisco and was one of SP's first trains to receive air-conditioning. In
January 1942 it was cut back to Los Angeles; the Sunset Limited was never again all Pullman and never again
ran beyond Los Angeles.
The train was dieselized in late 1949 and became a streamliner in August 1950. The Sunset Limited was the
last among the big American luxury trains to be streamlined and in 1950 the train got a new look, with
stainless steel cars with red letterboards and white "Southern Pacific" lettering. All cars except the
RPO-Baggage (which had 6-wheel trucks) had 4-wheel trucks, and the last car of the train was a sleeping car
with a lighted neon-sign with the train name on the rear door.
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