• Shasta Daylight and Lark Discussion

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by Gilbert B Norman
There are reports over at another board that the Amtrak Starlight #11 has had some recent arrivals at Los Angeles in the range of 9AM next day or some 12 hours late.

The Shasta and Lark are back of sorts.

As a practical purpose, anyone contemplating a next day connection at LA either to #2 or #4, you may not need the hotel room after all. Be sure you are mindful of your LA hotel's X-lation policy so you may act accordingly.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by AmtrakFan
Well at least 14 left ontime today. They used Yesterday's Train 1 Set.

  by queenlnr8
I almost fell over when I saw the title.

Why toy with our emotions??


  by updrumcorpsguy
Slightly off-topic, but please indulge, as there is no SP "fallen flags" forum on this site, and this pertains to potential Amtrak service....

I've have stated, on several occasions, my preference for truncating the
Starlight to a SEA-OAK operations, with a couple of daylight trains between the bay area and LA, but what service existed between the bay area and Portland Pre-Amtrak? I know there was a "Shasta Daylight" but was it a day train? Were there sleeepers? Was it once possible to go from the bay area to Portland in a non-overnight schedule?

  by Gilbert B Norman
After all Mr. QueenLane, anyone in the advertising profession knows what is a "teaser". :P

(edit) Ms. Bly's subsequent posting outlines the service that once existed during SP days, and that I had occasion to ride during the 60's. Here are some relevant links to material I posted at Mr. Benton's Rail Travel Forum:

Consists: Shasta Daylight Seattle-Portland train:

Thoughts on SP passenger service:
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by NellieBly
Yes, Mr. Updrumcorpsguy, there were once two "name" trains from Oakland to Portland. The Shasta Daylight was, as its name would suggest, a day train -- with coaches that sported extra-large windows, the better to see the scenery. There was also an overnight train, and this train also carried a through sleeper to Seattle (handled in the UP/GN/NP "pool" trains north of PDX).

There was a similar pattern on the Coast Line, with the "Daylight" and the "Lark". There was also an overnight train (the "Owl", I think) from Oakland and Sacramento to LA via Tehachapi. I believe there was also a day train on this route, but the name escapes me.

These trains all ran into the 1960s. Going back earlier, of course, you'll find through trains on the Siskiyou Line etc.

During the Amtrak era, California did briefly sponsor an overnight Sacramento-Oakland-LA train called the "Spirit of California".

  by John_Perkowski
Actually, Ms Bly,

There were multiple night trains on each California route into the 50s, and a singleton overnight survived relatively late in the day.

On the Coast route:

The Coast Daylight was the day coach/parlor.
The Lark was the night all-Pullman (long story here, we won't go into how it got coaches).
The Coaster was the heavyweight overnight, coaches and Pullmans.
The Coaster was replaced by the Coast Starlight.
Finally, there was the Coast Mail.

All this came to a halt by 1968, when SP went to CA PUC and did train-off for the Lark.

On the San Joaquin route, the trains were:

The San Joaquin Daylight (day run)
The Owl (Oakland to LA by way of the Valley)
The West Coast (Sacramento to LA in the Valley).

I can point those interested to several technical histories of these trains.

John Perkowski

  by EastCleveland
Time and cafe car food can trigger wacky side-effects, yes?

There have been moments when the Lake Shore Limited has run so off-schedule that I've convinced myself that I was, in reality, traveling on the New York Central's old Ohio State Limited, New England States, or even the 20th Century Limited.

  by updrumcorpsguy
Before the topic leaves us forever, does anyone have a link to the PDX-OAK trains timetables?

I don't believe that a "day train" from Portland to Oakland is a possibility, given the control of the old SP line, but it would be interesting to see how it could be accomplished.

  by John_Perkowski

The url here is steam era, and it's a condensed timetable. Even so, hope it helps.

http://shastaroute.railfan.net/Images/S ... 1927_2.jpg