The well-known red, orange and black of "Daylight" was the stamp of approval among seasoned travellers in the West on July 10, 1949, when this flashy new streamliner took to the rails of the Southern Pacific for the high-speed 718 miles mountainous run between San Francisco, California, and Portland, Oregon.
The inaugural run of the Shasta Daylight, in mid-year 1949, was not, in fact, the “Million Dollar Train With the Million dollar View” (cars built by Pullman-Standard). Rather, freed coaches from the then recently discontinued Noon Daylight, plus available “standby” coaches, made the first runs, while Southern Pacific awaiting delivery of the war-backlogged new train. Eventually, these older cars became the overnight San Francisco-Los Angeles streamliner, the Starlight.
The diesel locomotives, shown here east of Suisun-Fairfield, were two years old when pulled off their regular runs on the Golden State down south, and the Lark and Coast Daylights. #6003 with her units, together with #6004 and her two “B” units were LaGrange-built Electro-Motive passenger engines, with 6-wheel trucks, and rated 6000 horsepower for the three units, the building date was 1947. The later regular motive power for the Cascade Route to Portland, Oregon, was the American Locomotive Company passenger diesel, also 3 units, 6-wheel trucked, and 6000 horsepower – built in 1948 and 1949. The Alcos eventually worked the night Cascade and daytime Shasta Daylight. Their numbers ran from #6005 through #6010. But #6011 was a 5800 horsepower EMD engine, whose “A,” or cab unit was “frontman” on the original City of San Francisco way back in 1938 – she ran over three million miles on that train. Most of these units were still on Espee’s roster in 1965 – some two or three years later.
Photo from my collection. Southern Pacific Railroad Publicity Department