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TRAINS

California’s SP Streamliner COAST DAYLIGHT train was world famous!

The Southern Pacific’s Streamliner Coast Daylight was the West’s finest train in the 1940s, 50s, and early 1960s. It hugged the Pacific Ocean with great views. Linking Los Angeles and San Francisco on a glorious daylight trip, streaking along the edge of the Pacific Ocean for more than a hundred ... Read More »

Silver Streamliner CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR Served mid-Century America.

From 1949 until 1970, the California Zephyr operated daily during the 1950s and 1960s between Chicago and San Francisco. Over two days and nights, across prairies, through canyons, over (and through) mountains, on a timetable that maximized the impact of the scenery for tourists rather than meeting the schedule of ... Read More »

1950s – Golden Age of TRAIN TRAVEL in the USA

Premiere Passenger Trains during the 1950s were the finest in the world. With excellent meals, suburb Pullman service, dinner in the diner, club lounges, train secretaries, barbershops, cocktail bars, observation cars… trains like the Super Chief, 20th Century Limited, and the California Zypher were world-famous.   New York Central’s streamlined ... Read More »

BLM – PULLMAN PORTERS served the nation!

Onboard such famous trains as the California Zephyr, Super Chief, Sunset Limited, Lark, 20th Century Limited, Pullman porters served millions of passengers from 1867 to 1968. They provided first-class train service in Pullman sleeping cars. The accommodations ranged from sections (upper and lower births), roomettes, bedrooms, compartments to drawing rooms. ... Read More »

“Luscious” LUCIUS BEEBE, gay raconteur & image of celebrity!

From the 1930s until his death in 1966, a self-proclaimed hedonist, he was the image of a celebrity. An author, journalist, historian, raconteur, gourmet, and bon vivant extraordinary – this amazing personality was one of the first gay men to have a publicly open relationship.   Columnist Walter Winchell called ... Read More »

Mid-Century Streamliner OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA

In the late 1940s, the Milwaukee Road introduced the Olympian Hiawatha, the transcontinental version of the railroad’s very modern fleet of Hiawatha passenger trains which continued into the 1960s. The original version of the train was the Twin Cities Hiawatha, which began operating between Chicago and the Twin Cities on ... Read More »

New York Social Diary: From the 20th Century Limited, John Ringling North to J. P. Morgan’s Yacht

Since 2008, I’ve been writing for David Patrick Columbia’s NEW YORK SOCIAL DIARY. Besides being a chronicle of galas in New York’s gilded ballrooms, opening nights at the opera, and annual picnics on Long Island lawns, he combines society pages with personal reflection since 2001. Liz Smith, famed columnist, and ... Read More »

City Of San Francisco – 1952 Blizzard Traps SP Streamliner in Donner’s Pass – Part 1

The new streamliner City of San Francisco was the fastest thing on wheels between San Francisco and Chicago. For three days, its 226 passengers and crew were cut off as rescuers struggled to dig them out. Help arrived just as hope began to dim. It was late Sunday morning, Jan. ... Read More »

Then and Now: Comparing SP’s Shasta Daylight, and Cascade to Amtrak’s Coast Starlight!

Southern Pacific’s premier trains the Shasta Daylight, and the Cascade served the northwest from San Francisco to Portland and Seattle from the 1950s into the 1960s. They served dozens of California, Oregon and Washington cities. The Shasta was popular with tourists and the Cascade, a favorite with business people. THE ... Read More »

California’s famous all-Pullman SP streamliner LARK served San Francisco and Los Angeles via the Coast Route

Southern Pacific’s deluxe streamliner Lark was the premiere overnight passenger between San Francisco and Los Angeles. A favorite of businessmen and movie stars. The Oakland Lark connected with the Lark at San Jose then via San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara to Southern California along the coast route. The Lark rivaled ... Read More »