SP Cascade (13 August 1950)

Southern Pacific Lines


This page depicts the typical consist of Southern Pacific's Trains 11/12, the Cascade, when it debuted on 13 August 1950 with streamlined, lightweight equipment. It is based on information from an article by Jim Lancaster (see bibliography below).

SP's Cascade provided overnight, all-Pullman service from Oakland to Portland on Train 12 (railroad eastbound), with through sleepers to Seattle on Northern Pacific's Train 407. SP Train 11 was the southbound version (railroad westbound), with Seattle sleepers carried to Portland on NP's Train 408. This connection left Seattle before the arrival of the northbound connection, requiring three cars to cover the routing of each Oakland-Seattle sleeper versus only two of each Oakland-Portland car.

Less than two months after its streamliner debut, the Cascade's all-Pullman status was lost with the addition of two chair cars on 11 October 1950.

(The Coach Yard is producing a model of the 1950 Cascade, with and without chair cars.)


SP 6000-series (Alco PA-1)SP 5900-series (Alco PB-1)SP 6000-series (Alco PA-1) Alco PA-1 ABA set, one of six purchased by SP and assigned to West Oakland for use on premier trains to Oregon and via the Overland Route to Ogden, Utah. The first three sets, class DP-5, were shipped by Alco in May and June 1948 and numbered SP 6005ABC-6007ABC. Another three sets, class DP-6, followed in August 1949, numbered SP 6008ABC-6010ABC. In October 1949, these six sets were renumbered SP 6005-60016 (PA-1s, with 6005A becoming 6005, 6005C becoming 6006, etc.) and SP 5910-5915 (PB-1s). About this same time, the PA-1s received snowplow pilots.

The Cascade's daytime companion on the Oakland-Portland route, the Shasta Daylight, was Dieselized from its 1949 inception. EMD E7s were used briefly but were quickly banished to less-strenuous routes. The Alcos were firmly in charge by the time the Cascade became a streamliner in 1950.

Alco-GE logo
SP ???? SP 6088 or 6092 (70-B-8), mail storage (baggage) car. These two cars were built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding of San Francisco in 1927 as part of a group of ten Harriman star baggage cars (SP 6083-6092) and were streamstyled in 1941.
SP ???? SP 6600-6602 (83-B-1), baggage car. Delivered by Pullman-Standard in June 1949 (lot 6805, plan 7568A), these cars had a 30-foot RPO section but were lacking the necessary postal equipment and thus were classified as simple baggage cars. One by one, this equipment was added and the cars were redesignated baggage-postal cars (83-BP-30-1), acquiring new numbers in the process: 6602 became 5011 in 1950, 6601 became 5012 in 1953, and finally 6602 became 5013 in 1962.
SP 9300-9304 SP 9300-9304, 22 roomette sleeper, built by Pullman-Standard in 1950 (lot 6872, plan 4122B). Five cars in this group provided equipment for both an Oakland-Portland car (this one) and Oakland-Seattle car in each train.
SP 9400-9401 SP 9400-9401, 12 double bedroom sleeper, built by Pullman-Standard in 1950 (lot 6873, plan 4139A). Oakland-Portland.
SP 9030-9035 SP 9030-9035, 10 roomette, 6 double bedroom (10-6) sleeper, built by Pullman-Standard in 1950 (lot 6874, plan 4140C). Oakland-Portland.
SP 10280-10282 or 10283-10285 SP 10280-10282 or 10283-10285, Cascade Club triple-unit kitchen/dormitory - dining room - bar lounge car, built by Pullman-Standard in 1949 (lot 6816, plans 7576, 7577, and 7578, respectively). These remarkable cars, featuring 110 feet of unobstructed space which provided flexible use as dining or lounge space as required to meet passenger demand, were delivered in August 1949 at the end of Shasta Daylight equipment and immediately entered service on the heavyweight Cascade, providing a tantalizing taste of the full streamlined, lightweight train that would debut a year later. They also had the distinction of being the last articulated passenger cars ordered by the Southern Pacific. (SP 10280-10282 have been preserved.)

Northern Pacific Railway


Southern Pacific Lines

SP 9118-9120 SP 9118-9120, 4 double bedroom, 4 compartment, 2 drawing room (4-2-2) sleeper, built by Pullman-Standard in 1950 (lot 6871, plan 4069M). This car provided the most desireable accomodations on the Cascade, Oakland-Seattle.
SP 9030-9035 SP 9030-9035, 10 roomette, 6 double bedroom (10-6) sleeper, built by Pullman-Standard in 1950 (lot 6874, plan 4140C). Oakland-Seattle.
SP 9030-9035 or NP 364-365 SP 9030-9035 or NP 364-365, 10 roomette, 6 double bedroom (10-6) sleeper, built by Pullman-Standard in 1950 (lot 6874, plan 4140C). Operating four 10-6 sleepers in each train, two Oakland-Portland and another two Oakland-Seattle, required ten cars. Southern Pacific purchased eight, including two with blunt ends for end-of-train use, while Northern Pacific filled out the pool with two cars in full Cascade colors including the Cascade logo. Common on other roads, these were NP's only 10-6 sleepers. In later years, at least, it appears they usually operated in this position. Oakland-Seattle.
SP 9300-9304 SP 9300-9304, 22 roomette sleeper, built by Pullman-Standard in 1950 (lot 6872, plan 4122B). Oakland-Seattle.
SP 9053-9054 SP 9053-9054, 10 roomette, 6 double bedroom (10-6) sleeper, built by Pullman-Standard in 1950 (lot 6874, plan 4140D). These cars had a blunt end, slightly rounded with no diaphragm, wraparound paint, a package of lights, and drumhead for use on the end of the train in lieu of a true observation car. Their floor plan was the same as the other three 10-6 sleepers in the train. SP 9053 consistently operated with Cascade Club set SP 10280-10282 while SP 9054 operated with SP 10283-10285. Oakland-Portland. (SP 9053 has been preserved.)

Cascade drumhead
Pullman-Standard builders' photos show the blunt-end sleepers with an etched drumhead as illustrated above. These were apparently replaced by neon signs with horizontal script and wings, similar to those on other SP trains, by 1951 or 1952.


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