1937 Southern Pacific Menu

This is the first in a series of menus that feature a silhouette of some scene along the SP. The menu cover is narrower than page three so a colored stripe on the righthand side of page three that designates the meal appears when folded.

Click image to download a 1.0-MB PDF of this menu.

Unfortunately, I don’t recognize the silhouette on this cover. Most likely it is meant to represent Guaymas, Mexico, where the SP owned the Hotel Playa de Cortes. But it could be somewhere in southern California such as Laguna Beach or Catalina Island.

1937 Sunset-Golden State Timetable

Southern Pacific advertising proclaimed that the railroad offered “four great routes”: Shasta, Overland, Golden State, and Sunset. But the Sunset and Golden State routes were really the same route for the first 800 miles from Los Angeles to El Paso. There, it split with the Sunset trains going to New Orleans and the Golden State trains going to Tucumcari, New Mexico for a connection with Rock Island trains to Memphis, Chicago and other Midwest cities.

Click image to download a 21.1-MB PDF of this timetable.

This timetable has ten pages for the Sunset and Golden State routes. But instead of keeping those pages together, it intersperses them with pages for the Coast/San Joaquin and West Coast of Mexico routes plus the centerfold map. The two pages each for the Shasta and Overland routes are appropriately located near the back.

1937 Overland Route Timetable

In addition to system timetables (which, in 1936, were 56 pages long) and condensed timetables (16 pages in 1935), Southern Pacific in the 1930s produced 24-page timetables for each of its four main routes. Each appears to be a combination of a full timetable for that route plus condensed timetables for the other three routes.

Click image to download a 17.9-MB PDF of this timetable.

This one is for the Overland Route, and includes six pages for that route, three pages for the Shasta Route, two pages each for the Sunset and Golden State routes, and one page each for the Coast, San Joaquin, Northwestern Pacific, and West Coast of Mexico routes. It also has two pages for trains between San Francisco Bay and the Central Valley (Sacramento and Stockton). In addition to trains to Ogden and the East, the Overland Route pages include trains to Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Lakeview, Virginia City, and other Nevada towns.

Southern Pacific 1935 Timetable

The cover doesn’t say so, but this is really a condensed timetable. It is 16 pages long, while a true Southern Pacific system timetable in the 1930s was 56 pages.

Click image to download a 12.0-MB PDF of this 16-page timetable.

This one has abbreviated versions of everything you’d expect to find in a full-sized timetable: an index of station that’s only half a page long; a one-page list of fares but only for sleeping cars; and an unabbreviated centerfold map. The Sunset Route gets three pages; the Overland Route gets two; and there is one page each for the Golden State, Shasta, Coast/San Joaquin, West Coast of Mexico, and San Diego & Arizona Eastern routes.

Shasta Route 1929 Timetable

This is the first of fifteen Southern Pacific timetables I’ll be presenting over the next month. This one is for the Portland-San Francisco/Oakland Shasta Route, including both the Cascade and Siskiyou lines. It shows some branch line trains along this route, some “motor stage” schedules, and a few connecting trains.

Click image to download a 5.8-MB PDF of this 8-page timetable.

In 1929, Portland travelers to San Francisco could leave at 8:00 am on a train on the Cascade line, 8:30 am on the Siskiyou line, 5:45 pm on the Cascade line, 10:15 pm on the all-Pullman Cascade, or 10:45 pm on the Siskiyou line. The Cascade is 4-1/2 hours faster than the fastest Siskiyou line train.

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Cascade Shasta Postcard Folder

Southern Pacific opened up the Natron Cutoff in 1926, allowing trains to go over the Cascades instead of the Siskiyous. This postcard folder has a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge before it was painted orange. In fact, it is probably an artist’s conception as it says it is copyright 1934 by Jos. B. Strauss, the chief engineer for the bridge. The bridge was not completed until 1937.


Click image to download a 7.4-MB PDF of this postcard folder.

This Curt Teich folder has eighteen photos plus the cover and covers just the Cascade route, not the Siskiyou route. The colors are much brighter than in the Pacific Novelties Siskiyou folder but similar to the Curt Teich Siskiyou folder.

Shasta Route Official Folder

This postcard folder is postmarked “Mailed from Summit Siskiyous, Top of World, Mt. Shasta 14,444 ft. elevation.” There’s no date on the postmark, but it must be later than yesterday’s, which was mailed with a penny stamp, as this one says the postage is 1-1/2 cents. While yesterday’s folder had 22 photos plus the cover, this one has just eighteen.


Click image to download a 10.5-MB PDF of this postcard folder.

I’m not sure what makes this folder “Official,” though Southern Pacific must have somehow approved of it. Yesterday’s was published by Curt Teich of Chicago, this one is by Pacific Novelties of San Francisco. Personally, I prefer Curt Teich’s coloration. There doesn’t seem to be any overlap in the photos.

Shasta Route Postcard Folder

Not counting the cover, this folder has twenty-two postcard-sized photos. About half are of scenes in California and half in Oregon. Although there are numerous photos of Southern Pacific trains and it uses Southern Pacific slogans (“the road of a thousand wonders”), it was actually published by Curt Teich, probably under some sort of contract to the SP.


Click image to download a 10.7-MB PDF of this postcard folder.

The folder was postmarked April 27, 1918, in “Port & Ashland,” and mailed to Miss Elizabeth Wray, Park View Hotel, 386 Montgomery Street, Portland, with a note from Frank that, “I’m still thinking of you.” The Park View Hotel no longer exists.

Tillamook Beach Souvenir Folder

Southern Pacific once had a line to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast. Completed in 1911, it was originally called the Pacific Rail & Navigation Company. Southern Pacific formally took it over in 1915. Someone has written “1915” on this postcard folder, so it may be from that year and certainly isn’t from after that.


click image to download an 8.8-MB PDF of this postcard folder.

The folder has eleven images on each side and unfolds to be more than four feet long. One side shows scenes along the route while the other pictures Oregon’s capital building in Salem plus ten photos of structures and parks in the city of Portland (the other end of the Tillamook line).

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Yosemite National Park in 1902

Published by the Passenger Department, Southern Pacific Company, this little booklet has four pages of text followed by two dozen full-page photos plus a centerfold photo of Yosemite Valley. Though nominally black-and-white, most of the photos are printed in a brown or green tone that presents the subjects very well.


Click image to download a 12.4-MB PDF of this 36-page booklet.

The cover art is signed W.H. Bull. William Howell Bull was born in 1861 in New York, and made several trips to California to paint landscapes. He finally moved to California in 1894, first to San Francisco and then settling in San Mateo, where Southern Pacific’s Sunset magazine was published. He painted numerous covers for the magazine, both when it was owned by Southern Pacific and after SP sold it in 1914. He also painted a number of posters for Southern Pacific. He died in 1940.

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