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Nostalgia & History > 1973 Coast Daylight / Starlight question


Date: 12/01/19 15:07
1973 Coast Daylight / Starlight question
Author: haneckow

In 1973, when I was a kid, I rode from Los Angeles to Klamath Falls Oregon on the combined Coast Daylight / Starlight.  I recall SP locomotives on the front end, which were almost certanly SDP-45s as they were not cab units.  I also remember a rather garish interior palate in the interiors of the cars, seat coverings etc.  Blue and red, maybe purple (?).  What were those colors, and did the combination have a name?  Thanks!



Date: 12/02/19 07:51
Re: 1973 Coast Daylight / Starlight question
Author: ntharalson

haneckow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In 1973, when I was a kid, I rode from Los Angeles
> to Klamath Falls Oregon on the combined Coast
> Daylight / Starlight.  I recall SP locomotives on
> the front end, which were almost certanly SDP-45s
> as they were not cab units.  I also remember a
> rather garish interior palate in the interiors of
> the cars, seat coverings etc.  Blue and red,
> maybe purple (?).  What were those colors, and
> did the combination have a name?  Thanks!

Given the date as 1973, I would surmise the interior was redecorated by Amtrak by then.  At that time, IIRC, Amtrak would lease the
SP SDP45's for that train.  That would end when Amtrak got their SDP40F's, 500 series, so I suspect you saw a temporary lease by
Amtrak of the power for a redecorated train.  However, this is a guess and should not be treated as gospel and I can be corrected on 
any of it.  

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA



Date: 12/02/19 07:56
Re: 1973 Coast Daylight / Starlight question
Author: Arved

1973 was in the "Rainbow" era of Amtrak. I was only a kid, but my father would take me down to 16th street in Oakland on Sunday evenings to catch the Starlight. I loved how the SDP45s reverberated as they hustled the train out of town.

But as I said, this was the "Rainbow" era of Amtrak, meaning the train was composed of cars from all across the country. The car you were in could have been from any railroad. From GN Big Sky Blue to SCL silver. Pennsy Maroon to SP "SSS."

Your description of the interior colors my help someone with more knowledge than me, but at least I can confirm, yes, you had SDP45s on the point. Usually a pair, front to back, presumably so they wouldn't have to be turned at the end of the line.

Arved Grass
Fleming Island, FL
Arved Grass



Date: 12/02/19 09:16
Re: 1973 Coast Daylight / Starlight question
Author: PHall

There's also some pictures out there showing some SDP45/SDP40F combos too.



Date: 12/02/19 10:41
Re: 1973 Daylight / Starlight
Author: timz

Were the interior colors Amtrak's doing -- yes.

Power was usually a pair of SDP45s, sometimes
one SDP with two Fs, occasionally 4 Fs.
No SDP40Fs until 1974.

 



Date: 12/02/19 15:18
Re: 1973 Daylight / Starlight
Author: Topfuel

This was still in the early days of Amtrak, so some cars were refurbished with various versions of Amtrak decor, and some had not yet been refurbished inside.  Coaches and diners were generally refurbished by Amtrak in more subdued colors - eggshell white walls and blue upholstery and carpet.  Refurbished sleepers varied quite a bit, but those lounge cars could be very garish.  I call it "screaming purple and orange".  Remember that this was the disco music era, and also that the original Auto-Train also had cars with very bright and garish interiors as well so Amtrak to some extent copied what was working on Auto-Train.



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