SP San Joaquin Daylight (spring 1957)

Southern Pacific Lines


San Joaquin Daylight

This page depicts Southern Pacific's Train 52, the eastbound San Joaquin Daylight (Oakland to Los Angeles), in spring 1957. It is based on the photo at right, from page 261 of Southern Pacific Passenger Trains - Volume 2 - Day Trains of the Coast Line.

The San Joaquin Daylight ran from 4 July 1941 until the end of SP passenger train service on 30 April 1971. Amtrak elected not to continue the train, though there now is an Amtrak San Joaquin service which runs between Oakland and Bakersfield.


SP 6353 (EMD F7A) SP 6353 (EMD F7A, class DF-7, later EF415A-7) is a freight unit added at Bakersfield as point helper for the mountain crossing to Mojave. Several years earlier, the helper might have been an Alco RSD-5, assisting Alco PA/PB road power painted in Daylight colors, but not today. Built in 1951, most of 6353's features have been upgraded to newer standards including a larger 1,500-gallon fuel tank, Farr intake grilles, slotted carbody filters, and a 48" dynamic brake fan.
SP 6454 (EMD FP7) SP 6454 (EMD FP7, class DF-12, later EP415A-5) and an F7B are the road power for the Oakland-to-Los Angeles trip. It is one of 16 FP7s purchased by the Southern Pacific for passenger service on mountainous lines such as the Tehachapis. Even though the dome cars had appeared two years earlier, it had yet to receive icicle breaker bars ("antlers"), though the tunnels in the relatively warm Tehachapis aren't likely to pose much risk.
SP ? (EMD F7B) An unidentified passenger EMD F7B (class DF-4, later EP415B-1) assists 6454. It is one of the 1949-built units, which had smaller fuel tanks and 36" dynamic brake fans.
SP 5217-5218 SP 5217 or 5218 (ex 80-BP-60-1), baggage-postal car with a 20-foot baggage section and 60-foot RPO section, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1937.
SP 6505-6507 SP 6505-6507 (ex 80-BH-1), baggage-express car built by St. Louis Car Company in 1937 as a class 80-BH-1 baggage-horse car.
SP 6029 Probably SP 6029 (60-B-8), baggage-express car, a Harriman-style heavyweight car built by Pullman in 1909.
SP 2492 or 2493 (class 79-C-2) SP 2492 or 2493 (79-C-2), 44-seat chair car. Normally by this date, the first car after the head-end equipment would have been baggage-chair car 3300 or 3301, originally built for the 1937 Daylight. When unavailable, they were replaced by either 2492 or 2493, which were built for the San Joaquin Daylight by Pullman-Standard in 1941 (lot 6638, plan 7422A) as part of a group of nine cars. (Four others were assigned to general Daylight service, while the remaining three were built for the San Francisco Challenger.) These two cars, each of which was equipped with a radio antenna to provide news and music for the train, became notable as the last two cars to wear the San Joaquin Daylight herald.
SP ? (class 66-ACM/M-1 or -2)
66-ACM-1 or -2 + 
66-ACW-1 or -2

Articulated chair cars with 46 seats per car, built by Pullman-Standard in 1939 (lot 6594, plans 7423 and 7424) or 1941 (lot 6638, plans 7423A and 7424A).
SP 10201 (class 77-D-10) SP 10201 (77-D-10), coffee shop diner built as a 40-seat diner by Pullman-Standard in 1937 (lot 6500, plan 7380) for the original Daylight.
SP 3604 (class 83-DL-1) SP 3604 (83-DL-1), dome lounge converted by Southern Pacific's Sacramento General Shops in May 1955 from 1936-built Daylight parlor car SP 3000 (77-PR-1). It was assigned to the San Joaquin Daylight along with SP 3600, the shorter 1954 prototype for SP's eventual fleet of seven unique 3/4-length dome cars. Note that SP 3604 has the wider orange window band of the Shasta Daylight - all six of the 1955 domes were built with the Shasta's larger, 34"-tall windows on the main level. (One of the other 83-DL-1 domes, SP 3602, built for San Francisco Overland service, has been preserved.)
SP ? (class 79-C-1) SP 2439 or 2440 (79-C-1), 44-seat chair car built by Pullman-Standard in 1939 (lot 6593, plan 7422) for the Daylight.
SP ? (class 66-ACM/M-1 or -2)
66-ACM-1 or -2 + 
66-ACW-1 or -2

Articulated chair cars with 46 seats per car, built by Pullman-Standard in 1939 (lot 6594, plans 7423 and 7424) or 1941 (lot 6638, plans 7423A and 7424A). These two cars started the day in Sacramento on Train 54, the Sacramento Daylight, and were added to the San Joaquin Daylight at Lathrop. The elegance of a round-end parlor-observation faded into memory on 2 June 1946 with the start of the Sacramento Daylight, having been replaced by straight parlor cars 3000 and 3001 located immediately behind the head-end cars to avoid extra switching moves at Lathrop. Parlor car service disappeared entirely efective 19 November 1947. By the late 1960s an observation car was back in the form of a chair-observation car. These cars were usually run backwards in one direction, usually westbound, since SP couldn't be bothered to turn the train.

Daylight drumhead


About These Images

These train images are in a scale of 1 pixel = 12 in and were created by Karl L. Swartz. For more information about them, please see Not Quite Train GIFs.

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Daylight drumhead courtesy The Coach Yard.
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