Southern Pacific 1936 Timetable

This 56-page timetable includes several pages each on SP’s “four great routes”: Sunset, Golden State, Overland, and Shasta, plus two or more pages each on the Coast line, the San Joaquin line, San Francisco-San Jose, and San Francisco-Sacramento. There is also a page each on the West Coast of Mexico route, the Northwestern Pacific, and Pacific Electric.

Click image to download a 45.4-MB PDF of this timetable.

Despite the Depression, the SP was still a great travel system. Where other railroads had cut their secondary trains, SP still had the Argonaut as well as the Sunset Limited on its Sunset Route; the Apache as well as the Golden State Limited on its Golden State Route; the Pacific Limited and Advanced Overland Limited as well as the San Francisco Overland Limited and five-times-a-month City of San Francisco on the Overland Route; the Klamath and West Coast as well as the Cascade over the Cascade line of the Shasta Route; and a secondary Portland-to-Ashland train as well as the Shasta over the Siskiyou line.

The Advanced Overland included the coaches and tourist sleepers that would have been on the Overland had the latter not been an all-Pullman train. The Advanced, which also included a diner but no observation lounge car, left San Francisco a few minutes before the all-Pullman train, but apparently was combined with that train by the Union Pacific and C&NW between Ogden and Chicago.

The timetable also shows six trains a day between San Francisco and Los Angeles over the Coast line and three more over the San Joaquin line; 27 trains each weekday between San Francisco and San Jose; and a dozen trains a day between San Francisco and Sacramento. The Northwestern Pacific had two daily trains between Sausalito and Eureka and six daily trains between Sausalito and Point Reyes (with ferries from Sausalito to San Francisco).

There were also two trains a day on the Carriso Gorge route, weaving in and out of Mexico between San Diego and Yuma, Arizona. The West Coast of Mexico Route was not as blessed. SP offered three passenger trains a week between Nogales, Arizona and Guadalajara, leaving Nogales on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On alternate days–Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday–a mixed train with a sleeper-buffet car and coaches left Nogales for Guadalajara. The mixed train took about 12 hours longer than the regular passenger train. From Guadalajara, passengers could connect with National Railways of Mexico trains to Mexico City.

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