A Redemption, of Sorts

On May 24 of 1968, Southern Pacific subnitted an application to the Interstate Commerce Commission for permission to discontinue the Sunset in one month. However, the ICC noted in so many words that SP had done everything possible to deliberately discourage passenger traffic on the train short of issuing shotguns to its passenger agents. They ordered SP to continue operating the train and to restore sleeping accommodations and on-train food service. SP shot back that the ICC did not have the legal authority to mandate levels of service. Deadlock. Neither party would give an inch. However, the ICC continued issuing stays of execution for the train, forcing SP to continue to operate it. Meanwhile, passengers suffered.

After more than a year of tussling over the issue back-and-forth, the Espee finally offered a compromise. They pledged to restore sleeping accommodations and real food service to the Sunset, in exchange for reducing its frequency of operation from daily to three days a week each way. Weary of the ongoing litigation, the ICC finally agreed.

Southern Pacific was as good as its word. The old sleeping cars were pulled out of storage and cleaned up, and the Pride of Texas cars were rebuilt from hamburger-grills back to their original coffee-shop/lounge configurations. Thus re-equipped, the "new" Sunset began operating on its tri-weekly schedule on October 1, 1970. It has continued to operate on those same three days a week on into the Amtrak era and even up to the present day (February, 2011).

From the pages of the Official Guide, April 1971

Southern Pacific Lines herald

The Streamliner Sunset

Southern Pacific Lines
November, 1970

Through Sleeper New York-Los Angeles
173-1 Connecting Train Number (Penn Central/Southern) 2-126
3 00P Dp 0.0 New York, NY (Penn Station) (ET) C R X Ar 12 38P
7 25P Dp 226.6 Washington, DC (Union Sta.) C R Ar 7 50A
9 10A Dp 859.9 Atlanta, GA (Peachtree Sta.) (ET) C Ar 6 25P
8 25P Ar 1380.4 New Orleans, LA (Union Psgr. Tml.) (CT) C Dp 6 45A
1 Train Number 2
Dep NO MoWeFr Miles Services Dep LA SuTuFr
12 01P Dp 0 New Orleans, LA (Union Psgr. Tml.) (CT) B Ar 8 10P
12 06P 2 Carrollton Avenue 7 50P
F 1 20P 56 Schriever, LA F 6 34P
1 44P 81 Morgan City, LA 6 08P
F 2 08P 102 Franklin, LA F 5 46P
2 40P 126 New Iberia, LA 5 17P
3 17P 145 Lafayette, LA 4 52P
F 3 48P 167 Crowley, LA F 4 14P
F 4 15P 186 Jennings, LA F 3 51P
4 58P 219 Lake Charles, LA B 3 15P
5 41P 257 Orange, TX 2 27P
6 17P 279 Beaumont, TX 1 53P
8 25P Ar 363 Houston, TX (S. P. Station) B Dp 12 15P
8 50P Dp Ar 11 55A
F 9 43P 398 Rosenberg, TX F10 51A
F11 02P 469 Schulenberg, TX F 9 37A
F12 21A 536 Seguin, TX F 8 31A
1 35A 569 San Antonio, TX B 7 50A
3 25A 661 Uvalde, TX F 5 23A
4 56A 738 Del Rio, TX 3 59A
7 35A 867 Sanderson, TX 1 05A
F 8 53A 927 Marathon, TX F11 48P
F 9 25A 958 Alpine, TX F11 16P
F10 08A 983 Marfa, TX (CT) F10 46P
1 05P Ar 1177 El Paso, TX (Union Station) (MT)
(Dallas and Fort Worth via Bus)
B Dp 6 20P
1 35P Dp Ar 5 50P
2 55P 1266 Deming, NM 4 10P
3 55P 1326 Lordsburg, NM 3 05P
5 05P 1399 Willcox, AZ 1 30P
5 55P 1441 Benson, AZ
(Bisbee, AZ and Douglas,AZ via Bus)
12 35P
7 00P Ar 1488 Tucson, AZ B Dp 11 10A
7 15P Dp Ar 10 55A
F 8 20P 1552 Coolidge, AZ F 9 36A
9 05P 1592 Mesa, AZ 8 58A
9 50P 1608 Phoenix, AZ B 8 15A
1 15A Ar 1782 Yuma, AZ (MT) B Dp 5 00A
12 25A Dp Yuma, AZ (PT) Ar 3 50A
1 35A 1847 Niland, CA 2 15A
2 45A 1904 Indio, CA B 1 20A
3 20A 1932 West Palm Springs, CA (Palm Springs) 12 35A
4 35A 1976 Colton, CA B 11 25P
5 10A 2001 Pomona, CA B 10 50P
5 50A 2027 Alhambra, CA (Pasadena) B 10 20P
6 30A Ar 2033 Los Angeles, CA (Union Psgr. Tml.) (PT) B Dp 10 00P

Train 1 (New Orleans-Los Angeles): 38 stops, 44:29, 45.7 MPHTrain 2 (Los Angeles-New Orleans): 38 stops, 44:10, 46.0 MPH

NOTE: Connecting train (Southern Crescent) arrives New Orleans westbound on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights; departs eastbound from New Orleans on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.

Southern Pacific
Sunset Route
New York - Washington, D.C. - Atlanta - New Orleans - Houston - El Paso - Los Angeles

NOTE:  Times shown for Arizona are one hour earlier than official time observed April - Oct (DST)

NOTE: "Sunset" operates tri-weekly (from Los Angeles on Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays; and from New Orleans on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays).

Trains 1-2—Streamliner Sunset

Sleeping Car—Through Sleeper with overnight occupancy at New Orleans

New York—Washington, DC—New Orleans—Los Angeles (Roomettes, Bedrooms) (Via Penn Cent.—Southern—SP)

Eastbound on Sou. No. 2—PC No. 126

Westbound on PC No. 173—Sou. No. 1

Chair Cars—

New Orleans—Los Angeles    El Paso—Los Angeles

Reclining leg rest seats.  Advance reservations required (no charge). Pillow service available at nominal charge.  Porter Service.

Dining and Lounge Service—

New Orleans—Los Angeles

Automatic Buffet Car—

New Orleans—Los Angeles


Interstate checked baggage service to or from Los Angeles (Alhambra, Pomona, Colton and Indio via truck—subject to delay), Yuma, Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Lake Charles and New Orleans.

Intrastate service in Texas; also in California to or from Alhambra, Pomona, Colton and Indio via truck—subject to delay.

No pets or remains handled, except will handle remains intrastate in Texas.


We suggest baggage be checked 24 hours in advance of the passenger's departure where service is available.

AUTO RENTAL SERVICE—At most cities served by S.P., an auto rental service will be found available. Some stations have direct-line free phones to a rental agency. At other stations a pay-call will have to be made for auto rental. Ask agents for directions.

Children—Under 12 years of age when accompanied by parent or guardian one-half fare; except one child under 5 will be carried free with each parent or guardian over 17 years of age; 12 years of age and older, full fare.

SPECIAL NOTICE—The schedules and information shown herein are subject to change without notice. Every reasonable effort is made to insure accuracy in these time-tables and to maintain schedules shown. However, no responsibility is assumed for possible errors or for inconvenience or damage resulting from delayed trains or failure to make connections, such matters generally being due to conditions beyond our control.

Another Automatic Buffet Car menu, this time touting the availability of adult beverages (which would have to be served by the attendant, of course): August, 1970.