Photo Album: The Southern Pacific Sunset Limited

The Southern Pacific Sunset Limited has a long and storied past beginning in 1894. These photos depict only the brief period between 1950 and 1953.

Shown below is a shortened 10 car depiction of an actual Budd Company 15 car stainless steel passenger consist from the newly introduced, streamlined SP Sunset Limited. It operating sometime between 1950 and 1953. We say 1950 to 1953 because that is the only period during which both steam and diesel were simultaneously operating on the route.

Photo 2 depicts an SP Daylight 4-8-4 GS-4, working between El Paso and LA while photo 3 shows three newly introduced ALCO PAs traveling between El Paso and New Orleans. The GS-4s from El Paso to LA would soon be replaced by EMD E-7 ABBs in the Daylight red and orange colors.

These highly accurate O scale, all aluminum passenger car models were produced by Scott Mann’s Golden Gate Depot. The cars displayed below are the eight car set plus an extra sleeper and coach. The full prototypical set has two more coaches and three more 10-6 sleepers.
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1 - The Sunset Limited in the the great outdoors

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2 - Southern Pacific Daylight 4-8-4 GS-4 leads the 10 unit Sunset Limited consist up the S-curve

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3 - ALCO PAs ABA

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4 - The RPO car at the head of the passenger consist

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5 - RPO #5008

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6 - Baggage/Dorm #3102

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7 - A Coach, Coffee Shop Lounge, and second Coach

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8 - Coach #2373

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9 - Coffee Shop Lounge #10409

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10 - Passengers taking a caffeine break in the Coffee Shop Lounge

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11 - Another section of the Coffee Shop Lounge

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12 - Coach #2374

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13 - Diner #10212

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14 - A closer look at the Diner #10212

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15 - Lounge car #2987

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16 - Sleeper Car #9006

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17 - Relaxing before bed time in Sleeper car #9006

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18 - The second Sleeper car #9012

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19 - The Blunt End Sleeper Car #9027

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20 - A quiet evening moment in #9027

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21 - Another Angle on #9027

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22 - The Logo of the Sunset Limited

NOTE 1: The typical consist as ordered from Budd by the Southern Pacific would have had 15 cars:

(1) RPO
(1) Baggage/Dormitory
(2) Coaches
(1) Coffee Shop “Pride of Texas”
(2) Coaches
(1) Diner “Audubon”
(1) Lounge “French Quarter”
(5) Sleepers 10-6
(1) Blunt end 10-6 sleeper (there is a theory that it was blunt because there wasn’t much worthwhile scenery between LA and NOLA)

NOTE 2: Major Stops of The Sunset Limited

New Orleans
Lafayette
Houston
San Antonio
El Paso
Tucson
Phoenix
Yuma
Palm Springs
Ontario
LA