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

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Southern Pacific

Passenger Trains

The West Coast


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


Originally the West Coast went from LA to Portland by way of Sacramento (with connections to Oakland).
One Baggage car and a 10-1-2 sleeper continued to Seattle via NP.

The West Coast was a Los Angeles-Portland through train via Sacramento. It didn't go through Oakland. The Portland-Seattle connection would have been one of the GN-NP-UP pool trains. I'm not sure about 1948, but in 1946 the connection was UP #457 northbound and UP #458 southbound.

Looking at the SP Equipment Circular #14 of June 2, 1946; it shows that the ticket agent at Davis (not Sacramento) sold space on the Cascade, Beaver, Klamath, Oregonian. That would seem to indicate a West Valley route at that time

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

The West Coast ended north of Sacramento in 1949.

In April 1933, at the worst of the Great Depression, the West Coast as Train #16 was only eastbound.

In August of 1939, the West Coast was Train #15/16.

The West Coast was discontinued between Sacramento and Portland in October 1949. It ran as an LA-Sacramento overnight train until December 1960.


Heres the consist for SP West Coast #16 northbound from Oakland, CA on March 19, 1945 from Wayner's "Passenger Train Consists of the 1940s".

  • SP 4463 -- 4-8-4 steam loco
  • SP 5076 -- Bagg-mail
  • SP 6048 -- Bagg-Express
  • SP 6433 -- Bagg-Express
  • SP 6459 -- Bagg-Express
  • SP 6180 -- Bagg-Express
  • SP 6077 -- Bagg-Express
  • Pullman 4101 -- 16 sect Tourist
  • SP 1204 -- Coach
  • SP 1176 -- Coach
  • SP 1975 -- Coach
  • SP 2509 -- Coach
  • SP 2315 -- Coach
  • SP 2326 -- Coach
  • SP 10114 -- Dining car
  • Pullman 4006 -- 16 sect Tourist
  • Pullman 4271 -- 16 sect Tourist
  • Pullman 4149 -- 16 sect Tourist
  • LAKE FRANKLIN -- 10 sect., 1 D.R., 2 compts.
  • INYO -- 12 sect., 1 Drawing Room

SP West Coast #1/59 LA to Sacramento as of 06/2/46SP West Coast #1/60 Sacramento to LA as of 06/2/46
Car type Routing Car typeRouting
Mail Baggage (Fresno-Sacto) Express Refgr. (Sacto-LA)
Mail Storage (LA-Sacto) Mail Baggage (Sacto-Fresno)
Baggage Express(LA-Sacto) Mail Baggage (Fresno-LA)
Baggage Express(LA-Sacto) Storage Mail (Sacto-LA)
Baggage Express(LA-Portland)Baggage Express(Sacto-LA)
Baggage Express(LA-Seattle via NP) Baggage Express(Sacto-LA)
Coach (LA-Sacto) Coach (Sacto-LA)
Coach (LA-Sacto) Coach (Sacto-LA)
13 Section Tourist Sleeper (LA-Sacto) 13 Section Tourist Sleeper(Sacto-LA)
Cafe Lounge (LA-Sacto) Cafe Lounge (Sacto-LA)
6 Sections, 6 Dbl Bedrooms
Standard Sleeper
(LA-Sacto) 6 Sections, 6 Dbl Bedrooms
Standard Sleeper
(Sacto-LA)
12 Sections, 1 Drawing Room
Standard Sleeper
(LA-Sacto) 12 Sections, 1 Drawing Room
Standard Sleeper
(Sacto-LA)
11 Cars - Los Angeles to Fresno11 Cars - Sacramento to Los Angeles
12 Cars - Fresno to Sacramento

Operational Notes:

  • On the way to Sacramento, Train No. 1/59 picks up a Mail Baggage Car in Fresno and takes to Sacramento
  • Train 1/59 has one Baggage Express Car for Portland
  • Train 1/59 has one Baggage Express Car for Seattle
  • On the way to LA, Train 1/60 drops off a Mail Baggage Car in Fresno and picks up one Mail Baggage Car in Fresno and takes to LA

SP West Coast #2/59-16 LA to Portland as of 06/2/46SP West Coast #15-2/60 Portland to LA as of 06/2/46
Car type Routing Car typeRouting
Baggage Express (LA-Sacto) Storage Mail(Portland-Sacto-Oakland)
Mail (Sacto-Portland) Baggage Express (Portland-Sacto-Oakland)
Baggage Express (Sacto-Portland) Baggage Express (Oakland-Fresno-Bakersfield)
Baggage Express (Sacto-Portland) Baggage Express (Portland-LA)
Baggage Express (Sacto-Seattle via NP)Baggage Express(Portland-LA)
Coach (LA-Portland) Coach (Portland-LA)
Coach (News Agent)(LA-Portland) Coach (News Agent)(Portland-LA)
Coach (LA-Portland) Coach (Portland-LA)
Coach (LA-Portland) Coach (Portland-LA)
16 Section Tourist Sleeper(LA-Portland) 16 Section Tourist Sleeper(Portland-LA)
16 Section Tourist Sleeper(LA-Portland) 16 Section Tourist Sleeper(Portland-LA)
16 Section Tourist Sleeper(LA-Portland) 16 Section Tourist Sleeper(Portland-LA)
Diner (LA-Portland) Cafe Lounge (Portland-LA)
10 Section
Buffet Sleeper
(LA-Portland) 6 Sections, 6 Dbl Bedrooms
Standard Sleeper
(Portland-LA)
10 Section, 1 Drawing Room,
2 Compartment Standard Sleeper
(LA-Seattle via NP) 12 Sections, 1 Drawing Room
Standard Sleeper
(Seattle-LA via NP)
11 Cars - Los Angeles to Sacramento14 Cars - Portland to Sacramento
14 Cars - Sacramento to Portland 12 Cars - Sacramento to Los Angeles
13 Cars - Fresno to Bakersfield

SP West Coast #59 LA to Sacramento as of 10/1/54SP West Coast #60 Sacramento to LA as of 10/1/54
Car typeRoutingCar typeRouting
Mail & Express(LA-Sacto, ex-Sun)Baggage-Mail (Sacto-Fresno, 30' RPO)
Mail & Express(LA-Bakersfield, Sat only)Mail Storage (Sacto-LA, ex-Sun)
Baggage-Mail(Fresno-Sacto, 30' RPO)Baggage & Express (Seattle-LA)
Baggage & Express(LA-Sacto)Baggage & Express (Portland-LA, ex-Mon)
Chair(LA-Sacto) Baggage & Express (Seattle-LA)
Chair(LA-Sacto) Baggage (Sacto-LA)
Chair(LA-Sacto) Chair (Sacto-LA)
Chair(LA-Sacto, Fri-Sat-Sun) Chair (Sacto-LA)
Diner(LA-Sacto) Chair (Sacto-LA)
Lounge(LA-Sacto) Chair (Sacto-LA, Fri-Sat-Sun)
14 roomette-4 bedroom Sleeper(LA-Sacto) Diner (Sacto-LA)
6 section-6 roomette-4 bedroom Sleeper(LA-Sacto) Lounge (Sacto-LA)
14 roomette-4 bedroom Sleeper(Sacto-LA)
6 section-6 roomette-4 bedroom Sleeper (Sacto-LA)

From Equipment Circular 14 dated 10/1/54:

#59 "West Coast"

  • Mail & Express -- LA-Sacramento (ex. Sun)
  • Mail & Express -- LA-Bakersfield (Sat only)
  • Baggage-RPO (30') -- Fresno-Sacramento
  • Mail Storage -- LA-Sacramento
  • Baggage & Express -- LA-Sacramento
  • Chair -- LA-Sacramento (news agent)
  • Chair -- LA-Sacramento
  • Chair -- LA-Sacramento
  • Chair -- LA-Sacramento (Fri, Sat & Sun)
  • Diner -- LA-Sacramento
  • Lounge -- LA-Sacramento
  • Sleeper (14-4) -- LA-Sacramento
  • Sleeper (6-6-4) -- LA-Sacramento

#60 "West Coast"

  • Baggage-RPO (30') -- Sacramento-Fresno
  • Mail Storage -- Sacramento-LA (ex. Sun)
  • Baggage & Express -- Sacramento-LA (from Seattle; return on #71-#255-#20)
  • Baggage & Express -- Sacramento-LA (ex. Mon)
  • Baggage & Express -- Sacramento-LA (from Seattle; return on #55-#53-#241-#20)
  • Baggage & Express -- Sacramento-LA
  • Chair -- Sacramento-LA (news agent)
  • Chair -- Sacramento-LA
  • Chair -- Sacramento-LA
  • Chair -- Sacramento-LA (Fri, Sat & Sun)
  • Diner -- Sacramento-LA
  • Lounge -- Sacramento-LA
  • Sleeper (14-4) 14 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms -- Sacramento-LA
  • Sleeper (6-6-4) -- Sacramento-LA

At least the 6-6-4 sleeper was a lightweight. Some of the chair cars could possibly have been SSW "American Flyer" cars (they ran on the Owl about this time). The 14-4 is an odd configuration. Anyone know what this was?

The answer is in Ryan & Shine Volume 1, page 132, 2nd paragraph from bottom:
SP 9250-51 were reassigned from the WEST COAST, replaced on that train with two lightweight 14 roomette-4 bedroom Missouri Pacific-Texas and Pacific EAGLE sleepers leased from the Pullman Company.


West Coast #59 November 26, 1960

  • 6067 -- PA-2
  • 2495 -- chair
  • 2203 -- chair
  • 10315 -- tavern
  • 9153 -- 6-6-4 sleeper

Contributors:

  • Ken R Clark
  • Jim Lancaster
  • Captain Jack
  • Tim Zukas
  • Jules Schlecter
  • Jeff Cauthen

References:

  • SP Equipment Circular No.14 June 2, 1946
  • SP Passenger Trains Vol. 1 Night Trains of the Coast Route by Ryan & Shine
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Sunday, September 15, 2002