Advertising the Shasta Daylight

When it introduced the Shasta Daylight, the Southern Pacific did its usual flurry of advertising for the new train. However, the SP had a monopoly on passenger-rail service in the Shasta-Daylight corridor, where it competed with the Western Pacific in the City of San Francisco corridor and both the Santa Fe and Union Pacific in the Golden State corridor. So it is likely that the railroad made less effort to advertise the Daylight than some of its other trains.

Click image to download a 1.4-MB PDF of a brochure that SP mailed to travel agents highlighting this ad that appeared in several magazines.

I haven’t been able to find the original version of this ad or a larger version on the web. The ad emphasizes the train’s large windows by showing extra-large windows in the observation car. Ironically, the observation cars were the only cars on the train that didn’t have extra-large windows, as they were borrowed from a pre-war Coast Daylight.

Just three years after it was introduced, the train apparently deserved only this half-page ad in the April, 1952 issue of National Geographic. The ad emphasized the scenery and the tavern car that was inspired by Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.

Click to download a full-sized JPG of this ad.

Leave a Reply