The Sunset Limited had been Southern Pacific's premier train on the southern transcontinental route since 1894. In the boom years following World War II, SP decided that it was time for the Sunset to join the streamliner ranks. A $15 million order for 73 cars was placed with the Budd company in 1948. As delivered, each of the five trainsets included an "Audubon" diner, themed after the bird paintings of the famous naturalist; a "French Quarter" lounge car featuring New Orleans-style wrought-iron grillwork and a shower bath and valet service for the Pullman passengers; and a "Pride of Texas" coffee shop-lounge car decorated with Texas cattle brands and featuring inexpensive meals for coach passengers. The new equipment entered service August 20, 1950 on a 42 hour schedule which trimmed 3 hours off the previous eastbound time and a full five hours off the westbound schedule. 

Click here to see Southern Pacific's ad for the new Sunset Limited. (PDF format, 626K)

Read the feature article from the August 26, 1950 edition of Railway Age magazine (PDF format, 16.5MB - Very large!)


From the pages of the Official Guide, August 1950

Southern Pacific Lines herald

The Sunset Limited

Southern Pacific Lines
August 20, 1950

149-37 Connecting Train Number (Penna., Southern, W. Pt. Rt., L. & N.) 38-118
2 35P Dp 0 New York, NY (Penna. Sta) (ET) Ar 9 05A
4 04P 86 North Philadelphia, PA 7 35A
6 55P 227 Washington, DC 4 15A
8 55A 864 Atlanta, GA (ET) 1 15P
7 45P Ar 1357 New Orleans, LA (Canal St.) (CT) Dp 11 00P
1 Train Number 2
Daily Miles Services Daily
12 30A Dp 0 New Orleans, LA (Union Sta.) (CT) C R Ar 4 00P
12 36A 2 Carrollton Avenue 3 50P
N12 40A 6 East Bridge Junction N 3 42P
Mississippi River Bridge
N12 56A 11 West Bridge Junction N 3 26P
3 25A Ar 145 Lafayette, LA C Dp 1 00P
3 30A Dp Ar 12 55P
4 51A 219 Lake Charles, LA C 11 36A
5 36A 257 Orange, TX C 10 52A
6 00A 279 Beaumont, TX C 10 28A
7 30A Ar 363 Houston, TX (Grand Central Sta.) C Dp 9 00A
7 50A Dp Ar 8 40A
F 400 Rosenberg, TX C
11 40A Ar 573 San Antonio, TX (Sou. Pac. Station) C Dp 4 45A
11 55A Dp Ar 4 30A
2 55P Ar 743 Del Rio, TX C Dp 1 30A
3 05P Dp Ar 1 20A
N 792 High Bridge (Pecos River) N
5 45P Ar 871 Sanderson, TX C Dp 10 40P
5 55P Dp Ar 10 30P
7 42P 962 Alpine, TX C 8 46P
8 14P 988 Marfa, TX (CT) C 8 14P
11 10P Ar 1184 El Paso, TX (Union Station) (MT) C Dp 3 20P
11 40P Dp Ar 3 00P
3 25A Ar 1401 Douglas, AZ C R Dp 11 05A
3 32A Dp Ar 11 00A
3 57A 1423 Bisbee Junction, AZ (Bisbee via bus) C F10 31A
5 45A Ar 1524 Tucson, AZ C R Dp 8 25A
5 55A Dp Ar 8 10A
F 7 40A 1621 Chandler, AZ C F 6 27A
F 1629 Mesa, AZ C F
8 20A Ar 1645 Phoenix, AZ C R Dp 5 50A
8 35A Dp Ar 5 40A
11 40A Ar 1818 Yuma, AZ (MT) C Dp 2 35A
10 55A Dp Yuma, AZ (PT) Ar 1 15A
F12 02P 1884 Niland, CA F11 49P
12 58P 1940 Indio, CA 10 57P
F 1 35P 1968 Palm Springs, CA C R F10 26P
F 1989 Beaumont, CA
3 00P 2012 Colton, CA C 9 22P
D 3 30P 2037 Pomona, CA C R F 8 50P
4 05P 2063 Alhambra, CA (Pasadena) C R 8 18P
4 30P Ar 2069 Los Angeles, CA (Union Psgr. Tml.) (PT) C R Dp 8 00P

Train 1: 27 stops, 42:00, 49.3 MPHTrain 2: 25 stops, 42:00, 49.3 MPH


Note: Connecting passengers to/from the Crescent should note that the L. & N. station and the SP station are approximately 1 miles apart.

SUNSET ROUTE—Equipment

WESTBOUND

Train 1—STREAMLINER, SUNSET LIMITED—Extra Fare.
New Orleans-El Paso-Los Angeles.


Full Lounge Car—

New Orleans to Los Angeles (for Pullman passengers).


Standard Sleepers—(Open for occupancy at New Orleans 10:00 p.m.)

New Orleans to Los Angeles
(10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 15.
(10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 16.
(10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 17.
(10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 19.

New Orleans to Phoenix (10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 18.


Reclining Chair Cars—Seats must be reserved in advance. (Open for occupancy at New Orleans 10:00 p.m.)

New Orleans to Los Angeles. Cars 10-11-12.


Dining Car—

New Orleans to Los Angeles.


Coffee Shop Lounge—

New Orleans to Los Angeles.


News Agent Service.


Tickets Honored—Ask Agents.


EASTBOUND

Train 2—STREAMLINER, SUNSET LIMITED—Extra Fare.
Los Angeles-El Paso-New Orleans.

Full Lounge Car—

Los Angeles to New Orleans (for Pullman passengers).


Standard Sleepers—

Los Angeles to New Orleans
(10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 25.
(10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 26.
(10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 29.

Los Angeles to San Antonio (10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Occupancy at San Antonio until 8:00 a.m. Car 27.

Phoenix to New Orleans (10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 28.

San Antonio to New Orleans (10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). Car 27. Open for occupancy at San Antonio 9:30 p.m.


Reclining Chair Cars—Seats must be reserved in advance.

Los Angeles to New Orleans. Cars 20-21-22.


Dining Car—

Los Angeles to New Orleans.


Coffee Shop Lounge—

Los Angeles to New Orleans.


News Agent Service.


Tickets Honored—Ask Agents.


Regularly assigned cars are air-conditioned.