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Southern Pacific Shasta Daylight, 1949-1955

Southern Pacific Shasta Daylight, 1949-1955

Fred Klein, 2010

Southern Pacific introduced one of the world’s best streamlined trains in 1937: the Daylight of the coast route between San Francisco and Los Angeles. After the war, SP wanted to do the same for the Pacific northwest, and in April 1949, unveiled the Shasta Daylight. The Shasta Daylight connected Oakland California (San Francisco’s East Bay) to Portland Oregon. Scenery along the route is spectacular: the line passes Shasta Lake, goes over the shoulder of Mt. Shasta and through the Cascade mountains via SP’s Cascade line through Klamath Falls.  Like the Daylight and Morning Daylight, the Shasta Daylight cars were purpose-built for the train by Pullman Standard. Two trainsets were built so the train could run daily each way. Being a day train like the other Daylights, the Shasta train carried no sleepers. The coaches, improving on lessons learned from the earlier daylights, had smooth sides and giant picture windows. The windows make the train distinct from other streamlined trains. The observation car on the end was inherited from earlier daylights and had normal sized windows and fluted sides.

 

shastascan.jpg

SP publicity painting of the Shasta Daylight with Shasta Lake and Mt. Shasta.

The time period for this consist ends in 1955 when the home-made ¾ length daylight dome car was added to the Shasta Daylight. It does not seem right to run a model of this train in the late 1950s without this dome car. In the early 1960s, some cars were repainted in the then-standard aluminum with red stripe scheme. The Shasta Daylight continued with reduced numbers of cars until it was withdrawn in 1967.

Thanks to Ron Sebastian and Centralia Car Shops, most of the Shasta Daylight is relatively easy to model with prototype cars. The essential 48-seat large window coaches and distinctive 3-unit articulated diner and coffee shop are available from Intermountain. Two variants on the standard 48-seat coach cars (a 38-seat coach with crew compartment and a 46-seat coach with news agent) are window variations that may become available after 2010. The easily identified tavern car should be available from Centralia soon. This model train uses the tavern car from Kato’s Morning Daylight set as a substitute.

The prototype consist is from Robert Wayner’s Passenger train consists 1923-1973 on September 28, 1951. I used the closest cars I have to model the train. The baggage-RPO and tavern lounge are approximate substitutes from the coast daylights. More information, including consist lists for the two trains, is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shasta_Daylight.

Prototype car

Prototype name

Brand

Model car

Model name

PA1 diesel

SP 6014

Life-like

PA1 diesel

SP 6009

PB1 diesel

SP 5915

Life-like

PB1 diesel

SP 5910

PA1 diesel

SP 6015

Life-like

PA1 diesel

SP 6005

Baggage mail

SP 5001

Kato

75' baggage car

no #

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2381

Interm

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2383

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2397

Interm

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2387

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2383

Interm

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2391

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2393

Interm

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2395

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2388

Interm

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2383

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2394

Interm

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2387

Coffee shop …

SP 10265

Interm

Coffee shop …

SP 10262

Kitchen …

SP 10266

Interm

Kitchen …

SP 10263

Diner (Shasta)

SP 10267

Interm

Diner (Shasta)

SP 10264

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2396

Interm

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2387

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2387

Interm

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2391

Tavern lounge

SP 10317

Kato

Tavern lounge (corr)

SP 10315

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2389

Interm

Coach (Shasta)

SP 2395

Parlor observation (1941)

SP 2955

Kato

Observation (smooth)

no #

 

Diesel power

sha49-1a.jpg

sha49-1b.jpg

Power for the Shasta Daylight is an ABA set of spectacularly painted Alco PA1 diesels. The models are by Life like.

First coach section

sha49-2.jpg

A baggage-RPO car followed the locomotives. The car was built by PS for the Shasta Daylight in 1949 in the 5000-5002 series. I don’t have a model of this SP car, and substitute a Kato baggage car based on an ACF car made in 1950 for the UP. The Kato model is from their original SP daylight set of cars. Next is a series of 6 coaches. The coaches have the daylight logo and the word “chair” in the upper corners. The first prototype coach is a 38-seat with a crew locker and rest area. I don’t have a model of this crew-coach and use a regular 48-seat coach instead. The coaches are specified as “vestibule forward”, but I turned a couple around to display the other side. The coaches are Intermountain-Centralia models.

 

Three more coaches

sha49-3.jpg

 

Articulated food car

sha49-4.jpg

sha49-4b.jpg

 

The articulated coffee shop /kitchen /dining car was distinctive to Southern Pacific. It had the same large windows as the coaches.  The articulation not only saved on weight, but made carrying food from the central kitchen much easier. 

Rear coach section and lounge cars

sha49-5.jpgnt-shas.jpg

There were two more coaches immediately after the diner. A tavern-lounge car followed, with the bar in the center of the car without windows and a lounge area at each end. The Shasta tavern car has not been released by Centralia yet, and I substitute the similar (but corrugated) Kato car from the Morning Daylight set. You can compare this tavern car to the coaches to see how much larger the picture windows are in the Shasta versus the earlier daylights.

The observation lounge follows another coach. The observation cars for the Shasta Daylight were adopted from earlier daylights, and the car did not have the large windows. The model car is by Kato and is from their SP passenger set of the mid 1990s. The prototype for this model car is very similar to the Daylight observations. The corrugated observation car from Kato’s Morning Daylight set would be a more accurate model. The orange window band of the older observation car was repainted at a larger width to match the other Shasta cars.

 

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shasta_Daylight.

Randall, David, From Zephyr to Amtrak, Prototype Publications, 1972.

Ryan, Dennis and Joseph Shine, Southern Pacific Passenger Trains vol. 2, Day trains of the coast line, Four Ways West, 2000.

Wayner, Robert, Car Names, Numbers and Consists, Wayner Publications, 1972.

 

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