California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific

Passenger Trains


This information has been compiled from postings to the SP Mailing list.

Southern Pacific operated two trains called The Owl; one a train between Oakland Pier and Los Angeles and the other a train between Dallas and Houston.

This page is for the California one.

The Owl's first run was as the Owl Limited on December 18th 1898, it ran under Train Numbers 25 and 26.
It was renamed the Owl circa 1900.
In 1946 it was renumbered to 57/58.
The Owl's final run was on April 11th 1965, making it the longest continuously running train on the SP at almost 67 years.

During the Depression from 1932 to 1936 the West Coast and the Owl were combined.

The 1946 SP Equipment circular lists the The Owl, Train #57/58

  • mail apartment
  • Baggage and Express
  • Baggage and Express
  • Baggage and Express
  • partition coach
  • coach with newsagent
  • coach
  • coach
  • 16 section tourist sleeper
  • 16 section tourist sleeper
  • diner
  • 6-2 sleeper lounge
  • 12-1 sleeper
  • 10-1-1 sleeper

Partition coach on the west coast? This one also piqued my curiosity.

Kyle Wyatt provides the following:- However, since the Owl is a West Coast train, Jim Crow seems unlikely. Rather, it's probably dividing smoking and non-smoking in separate compartments. Remember, before WW II smokers were separated in special areas of the train (and elsewhere). It was only after the war, when all the addicted soldiers returned (free cigarettes in military rations), that people insisted on smoking anywhere they wanted.

Owl #58 January 17, 1947

  • 4346 4-8-2 Mt
  • 6064 baggage
  • 6073 baggage
  • 6457 baggage
  • 1836 coach
  • 1362 coach
  • 1084 coach
  • 1400 coach
  • 2512 coach
  • Pullman 4246 16 sec tourist
  • Pullman 4242 same
  • 10107 diner
  • Mission Dolores 6 single beds, 2 D.B.R, lounge
  • Prior Lake 10-1-1
  • Overcot 14 section
  • Mt. Breckenridge 10 sec-lounge obs

more info to follow...


  • SPH&TS Trainline Issue 74 - THE "Owl" by Sheldon King
  • Railroading through the Antelope Valley by Phil Serpico
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Wednesday, January 29, 2003