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The New York Social Diary is a website that would not come up normally when looking for "name" train information.  But, in the course of looking for information on the Santa Fe's Super Chief, that website is a treasure trove of period photos justifying the train's moniker as "Train of the Stars."

 

Bing Crosby:

 

 

 

 

 

SF SC Bing Crosby

 

Clark Gable and Ava Gardner playing gin rummy; Eddie Arnold watches; and below them, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and wife:

 

SF SC Clark Gable Ava Gardner and Eddie Arnold

 

Kirk Douglas:

 

 

SF SC Kirk Douglas

 

Alan Ladd:

 

 

SF SC Alan Ladd

 

Rosalind Russell:

 

 

SF SC Rosalind Russell

 

Janet Leigh:

 

 

SF SC Janet Leigh in Pleasure Dome

 

Jimmy Durante:

 

 

SF SC Train of the stars photo Jimmy Durante

 

There are more photos in the article linked above for those interested; and, the write-up on the train that accompanies the photos is a nice synopsis of the Super Chief's origin and stature in that pre- and post-war era. 

 

And to conclude this post with the emphasis on the train: 

 

SF SC TRain of the stars photo of F units

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Images (8)
  • SF SC Bing Crosby
  • SF SC Clark Gable Ava Gardner and Eddie Arnold
  • SF SC Kirk Douglas
  • SF SC Alan Ladd
  • SF SC Rosalind Russell
  • SF SC Janet Leigh in Pleasure Dome
  • SF SC Train of the stars photo Jimmy Durante
  • SF SC TRain of the stars photo of F units
Last edited by Pingman

The famous and popular California Zephyr was jointly operated by CB&Q, D&RGW, and Western Pacific.  On May 1, 1971 the CZ died; but, the Rio Grande continued to operate its portion of the former CZ route between Denver and Salt Lake City as the Rio Grande Zephyr.  The train continued to operate independent of Amtrak until 1983.  During those 12 years, it operated the train with an F9 ABB engine (with a steam generator unit in winter) consist pulling a combination baggage car, four domes, dining car, no slumber coaches, and the, famous dome observation car.

 

Here's a sampling of views of the train: 

 

RGZ photo on sharp curve

RGZ full train photo

RGZ left quarter view--the best

RGZ close up F9A fireman

 

The F9A #5771 and the F9B's pictured were customarily the only motive power for the RGZ's tri-weekly service each way with no train service on Wednesday.

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Images (4)
  • RGZ photo on sharp curve
  • RGZ full train photo
  • RGZ left quarter view--the best
  • RGZ close up F9A fireman
Last edited by Pingman

Probably the two best known individual cars of the Rio Grande Zephyr were the dome observation car, Silver Sky, and the dining car, Silver Banquet.

 

Here's Silver Sky: 

 

RGZ rear view include Silver Sky

RGZ long rear view

 

And here is Silver Banquet:

 

RGZ dining car Silver Banquet photo

RGZ Silver Banquet etched glass

RG78lunch

 

Of course, the four dome cars were an essential element of the train:

 

RGZGlenwood64

RGZ dome photo

RGZ dome photo rearward perspective

And a couple of additional photos:

 

RGZ snow photo

RGZ steam generator car

 

The unit behind the F9A in the next to last photo is the steam generator unit pictured above.

 

I don't know if this image is authentically from D&RGW, but it sure caught my eye:

 

RGZ art advert

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Images (12)
  • RGZ rear view include Silver Sky
  • RGZ long rear view
  • RGZ Silver Sky interior photo
  • RGZ dining car Silver Banquet photo
  • RGZ Silver Banquet etched glass
  • RG78lunch
  • RGZGlenwood64
  • RGZ dome photo
  • RGZ dome photo rearward perspective
  • RGZ snow photo
  • RGZ steam generator car
  • RGZ art advert

For those wishing to learn more about classic passenger trains and their equipment, I highly recommend Arthur Dubin's "Some Classic Trains" and "More Classic Trains." These are big, heavy hardcover books brimming with information and illustrations. They are considered by many, myself included, to be the seminal works regarding North American passenger train travel. Copies of both titles are often available on the secondary market.

 

Bob

 

DUBIN1

DUBIN2

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Images (2)
  • DUBIN1
  • DUBIN2

In addition to the artwork, I was wondering if the rail lines commissioned any musical talent to drive interest in their services.  I've been listing to 40s on 4 (Sirius/XM radio) lately.  There are the train themed songs like Chattanooga Choo Choo and so forth, but I was curious if popular musicians were paid to write songs to promote a certain passenger service or company?  Thanks

This post on the Golden State stems directly from the listing of a set of passenger cars in the For Sale section of the forum--I didn't know what they were.  They're definitely good looking; red's my favorite color and it looks great with stainless steel--much like The Texas Special.

 

So I looked on the net and found out, according to those sources, that the Golden State was a lightweight, streamliner "name" train that was jointly operated by Southern Pacific and Rock Island between Chicago and Los Angeles from 1948 to 1952.  It was, in fact, the successor of sorts of a previous name passenger train jointly operated by those roads dating back to 1902, the Golden State Limited.

 

For locomotive power, SP provided fresh E-7's and RI supplied E-6's, colorfully painted.

 

Golden State E unit builder photo

Golden State data card art

Golden State art image locomotive

The passenger cars were distinctively red paint and stainless steel purpose-built for the train.

 

Golden State observation photo

In keeping with the times, print advertising and marketing materials were abundant:

 

Golden State art ad station scene

Golden State art advert 1948 Sat Even Post

Golden State art brochure

Golden State ad by Rock Island

Golden State GM art ad

Golden State Rock Island art ad

Golden State Rock Island art ad2

Golden State art graphics

Golden State art dinner plate

 

For more images and information, check-out this site

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Images (14)
  • Golden State E unit builder photo
  • Golden State data card art
  • Golden State art advert 1948 Sat Even Post
  • Golden State art image locomotive
  • Golden State observation photo
  • Golden State art ad station scene
  • Golden State art advert 1948 Sat Even Post
  • Golden State art brochure
  • Golden State ad by Rock Island
  • Golden State GM art ad
  • Golden State Rock Island art ad
  • Golden State Rock Island art ad2
  • Golden State art graphics
  • Golden State art dinner plate
Last edited by Pingman

Carl,

 

The Golden State was pulled by a RI E6AA consist early in its career.  Lionel made a model of these engines a while back, and they are a match for the K-Line GS 18" set.  Mine are currently in storage, so I don't have a good picture of them.  Here is a picture that does show the front of one of them.

 

E6 and Q2

Here is a picture of a K-Line GS dome car.  There are three available; two as part of the 9-car set and one factory error.  All the cars in the set are great looking, but unfortunately the real GS never had dome cars.

 

K-Line GS Dome-Golden Outlook

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Images (2)
  • E6 and Q2
  • K-Line GS Dome-Golden Outlook
Last edited by CAPPilot

Ron, thanks for the correction on the RI E-6's.  I've corrected my earlier post.  Frankly, I couldn't find a photo of the RI units, and I didn't look closely enough at the RI artwork which, in hindsight, is very much like an E-6's sloped nose.

 

As for including a dome in the GS set, I'm trying to represent The Texas Special and LIONEL produced a dome for it when it, like the GS, never had a dome.

 

A really good friend from my days in Chicago was the late Rich Sherry, and one of his best PW LIONEL F3 repaints for customers was that wild RI livery.  Every time I see it I'm reminded of him.

 

Thanks, again, for the correction.

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