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Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

The platform at San Diego in the early days of World War II. The Valley Flyer cars, on train 70, the northbound San Diegan, are at right.

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The Valley Flyer
The Valley Flyer was a short-lived named passenger train of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

The all-heavyweight, "semi-streamlined" train ran between Bakersfield and Oakland, California (through California's San Joaquin Valley, hence the name) during the 1939–1940 Golden Gate International Exposition on "Treasure Island" in San Francisco Bay. Motive power was two Baldwin-built 1300 class 4-6-2 "Pacific" locomotives refurbished and decorated for the train. It was the Santa Fe's first attempt at streamlining older steam power.

The locomotives had metal skirting along the sides, painted aluminum (as were the nose and smokestack) with red and yellow stripes, these being outined by black pinstripes; the tenders were similarly decorated. A yellow "Circle and Cross" emblem backed by red "wings" was emblazoned across the front of the locomotive above the pilot deck, and on each side of the tender, which also featured a red "wing." The air-conditioned rolling stock was painted aluminum with red and yellow stripes along their sills, bordered with black pinstripes (somewhat like Santa Fe's passenger diesel locomotives). Stripes on the combine unit split into two sets, with one set sweeping up to align with those on the locomotive tenders. Window shades were painted matte aluminum. The sides of the passenger cars bore "SANTA FE" in black, extra extended Railroad Roman letters. The design of the Valley Flyer‍ '​s drumhead was inspired by that of its counterpart, the Golden Gate.

The Valley Flyer cars on Train No. 70 at San Diego.
The Valley Flyer drum head.
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The first run was on June 11, 1939. The train left Bakersfield daily at 6:30 a.m. PST and arrived in Oakland at 12:35 p.m., then returned at 1:55 p.m., pulling into Bakersfield at 8:00 p.m. Beginning on October 27, 1941 the Flyer cars (save for the lounge car) was used to transport troops as a section of the San Diegan on the Santa Fe's "Surf Line" between Los Angeles and San Diego. In 1942 the trainset was discontinued and the passenger cars returned to pool service, repainted Coach Green.

Baldwin 4-6-2 Pacific No. 1369
Baldwin 4-6-2 Pacific No. 1376
Combine Baggage-Barbershop-Buffet-Library No. 1302
Lounge No. 1367
Fred Harvey Company Diner No. 1467
"Chair" car / Coach No. 3002
"Chair" car / Coach No. 3005
"Chair" car / Coach No. 3006

See also:

Golden Gate


Named Passenger Trains