SP initially assigned three P-10 class Pacific steam locomotives 2383-2385 after semi-streamlining them and painting them in Daylight colors at the Sacramento shops. A single Pacific ran between Oakland Pier and Bakersfield; a pair of those Pacifics was assigned between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. The helper P-10 that led the northbound San Joaquin Daylight from Los Angeles to Bakersfield returned on the southbound San Joaquin Daylight from Bakersfield.
Diesel power included EMD F-units and Alco PAs, later supplemented by GP9s and SDP45s.
The inaugural runs were as follows:
2383 P-10 class 4-6-2 Streamlined Pacific Locomotive & Tender
5069 Heavyweight Modernized Baggage 30’ Railway Post Office Car
6091 Heavyweight Modernized Baggage Car
2492 44 Revenue seat Coach
2478 Articulated 46 Revenue seat Coach 2477 Articulated 46 Revenue seat Coach
10200 40 seat Dining Car
2480 Articulated 46 Revenue seat Coach 2479 Articulated 46 Revenue seat Coach
2487 44 Revenue seat Coach
2950 23 Revenue seat Parlor 10 seat Lounge Observation
2385 P-10 Class 4-6-2 Streamlined Pacific Locomotive and Tender (Helper) (Los Angeles – Bakersfield)
2384 P-10 Class 4-6-2 Streamlined Pacific Locomotive and Tender
5017 Heavyweight Modernized Baggage 30’ Railway Post Office Car
6092 Heavyweight Modernized Baggage Car
2493 44 Revenue seat Coach
2482 Articulated 46 Revenue seat Coach 2481 Articulated 46 Revenue seat Coach
10201 40 seat Dining Car
2484 Articulated 46 Revenue seat Coach 2483 Articulated 46 Revenue seat Coach
2488 44 Revenue seat Coach
2951 23 Revenue seat Parlor 10 seat Lounge Observation
In 1946 a Sacramento section of the San Joaquin Daylight was introduced, named the Sacramento Daylight, trains 53-54. The two trains ran together from Los Angeles to Lathrop, where they split. In 1970 the split moved from Lathrop to Tracy.
The San Joaquin Daylight's dining car was replaced by a coffee-shop car by the 1950s. The parlor-observation car was also removed, though it immediately gained a second life. In 1954 SP placed two of its seven home-built dome-lounge cars in the consists; one of the cars was rebuilt from the train's own parlor-observation car. The dome car was discontinued in the late 1960s.
In 1961 the coffee-shop car was replaced by SP's automat cars which had vended meals and non-alcoholic beverages, a self-service microwave oven, and a table area. This lasted to the end of service.
The San Joaquin Daylight ran until April 30, 1971, the day before Amtrak took over nationwide rail passenger service in the United States. In March 1974 Amtrak's San Joaquin began running between the Bay Area and Fresno and Bakersfield on Santa Fe track in the San Joaquin Valley.
0 Oakland Pier (San Francisco)
2 mi Oakland (16th Street)
5 mi Berkeley
11 mi Richmond
25 mi Crockett (Vallejo)
31 mi Martinez (Benicia)
45 mi Pittsburgh
78 mi Tracy (Stockton)
89 mi Lathrop
109 mi Modesto
122 mi Turlock
147 mi Merced
180 mi Madera
202 mi Fresno
246 mi Tulare
309 mi Bakersfield
357 mi Tehachapi
377 mi Mojave
402 mi Lancaster
473 mi Glendale
479 mi Los Angeles
Overnight: The Owl and the West Coast
The overnight counterpart to the San Joaquin Daylight was the Owl, trains 57-58, between Oakland and Los Angeles, with sleeping cars and meal and beverage service. It was discontinued in 1965, three years before the Lark on the Coast Line ended. The West Coast (trains 59-60) carried overnight Sacramento-LA passengers until about 1960, though unlike the Sacramento Daylight it was a separate train all the way.
San Joaquin Daylight
The San Joaquin Daylight was a Southern Pacific passenger train (train numbers 51 and 52) inaugurated between Los Angeles and Oakland Pier by way of the San Joaquin Valley and Tehachapi Pass on July 4, 1941. It operated until the advent of Amtrak in 1971.
Pullman-Standard built coaches were assigned to the two train sets, both articulated pairs and singles. The 40-seat dining car and parlor-observation car had been built for the original 1937 Daylight. Each train set had ten cars painted in SP's Daylight colors (red and orange, with black roofs and white striping and lettering), and included two head-end cars rebuilt from heavyweights by the SP Sacramento shops repainted Daylight colors to match the rest of the train.
Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
Southern Pacific SDP45 No. 3201 with the San Joaquin Daylight at Martinez, The train on the right is the Truckee Limited, a PLA excursion which would be the last SP excursion train to operate before the coming of Amtrak. April 25th, 1971. Photo by Drew Jacksich. By Drew Jacksich - originally posted to Flickr as SP 3201 with 52 MTZ Apr 25 1971 Truckee Ltdx, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11465900
Southern Pacific's San Joaquin Daylight, March 1971. Photo by Drew Jacksich.
By Drew Jacksich from San Jose, CA, The Republic of California - obs car walong, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17931706
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Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.