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Treasure Chest Thursday: Southern Pacific’s Famous Sunset Route

I had no idea that my father (John Willie Taylor) worked for the railroad industry also until I came upon a W-2 with total wages he earned working for Southern Pacific (SP) in 1949. When I asked mom about his employment with SP, she said he did work for them, but only for a short period of time before going on to work full time for Sheffield Steel Corporation (Armco Steel).

In addition to the W-2, I found an old postcard booklet dad saved from 1949 about the famous SP Sunset Route from New Orleans, Louisiana to El Paso, Texas. A quick search online shows that this antique/vintage postcard collection sells for $2.50 and up today, depending on its condition. Even though my souvenir folder is a little brown from dirt & dust through the years, it has never been used and therefore, in pretty good condition (see below)!

Souvenir Folder of Southern Pacific Lines along the Sunset Route - New Orleans, LA. - El Paso, Texas

Front

 

Southern Pacific's Famous Sunset Route from New Orleans, LA to El Paso, Texas

Inside

SOUTHERN PACIFIC’S
Famous Sunset Route
from
NEW ORLEANS, LA
to EL PASO, TEXAS

There’s absolutely no doubt that Southern Pacific’s Sunset Route to California is the most romantic rail line in the country. It starts in New Orleans, which is one of the three cities in America that they write stories about. Five different nations have left their marks here. New Orleans has some of the finest restaurants in the world, and it is worth a trip to this city just to see the old French Quarter with its balconies of filigree wrought iron, and the antique shops on Royal Street, almost bursting with treasure, some of it from the fine old plantation homes of pre-Civil War days.

Leaving the Old South at New Orleans, the Sunset Route travels westward across the picturesque Bayou country of Louisiana, the land of Evangeline, fringed with moss draped oaks. Over the Texas border to Beaumont, famous for its vast oil production and then to Houston, bustling, prosperous, shiny Metropolis of Texas. Thence to San Antonio – famous for her Alamo, Missions, and the picturesque San Antonio River. Then over the famous new high bridge over Pecos to the Mexican border at El Paso.

Canal Street, looking west, New Orleans, LA

Canal Street, looking west, New Orleans, LA

Lacework in Iron, Royal Street, New Orleans, LA

Lacework in Iron, Royal Street, New Orleans, LA

Huey P. Long Bridge, New Orleans, LA

Huey P. Long Bridge, New Orleans, LA

Shadows on the Teche, New Iberia, LA

Shadows on the Teche, New Iberia, LA

Harbor View of Beaumont, Texas

Harbor View of Beaumont, Texas

San Jacinto Memorial Shaft, Houston, Texas

San Jacinto Memorial Shaft, Houston, Texas

Skyline of Houston, Texas

Skyline of Houston, Texas

Southern Pacific Depot, Houston, Texas

Southern Pacific Depot, Houston, Texas

Randolph Field near San Antonio, Texas

Randolph Field near San Antonio, Texas

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Grand Canyon of Texas

Grand Canyon of Texas

Pecos High Bridge on Southern Pacific Line, Sunset Route Near Del Rio, Texas

Pecos High Bridge on Southern Pacific Line, Sunset Route Near Del Rio, Texas

Saw Tooth Mountain, Davis Mountain Range

Saw Tooth Mountain, Davis Mountain Range

Cattle Kings of the Great Southwest

Cattle Kings of the Great Southwest

Bird's Eye View of Marfa, Texas

Bird’s Eye View of Marfa, Texas

Bird's Eye View of Alpine, Texas

Bird’s Eye View of Alpine, Texas

The International Bridge between El Paso, Texas and C. Juarez, Mexico

The International Bridge between El Paso, Texas and C. Juarez, Mexico

View of Downtown El Paso, Texas

View of Downtown El Paso, Texas

 

—–
Source Citation:

“Southern Pacific Lines Along the Sunset Route: New Orleans, LA to El Paso, Texas.” Souvenir Folder. Southern Pacific Lines. 1949.

  • Hi Marlive:
    Now I want to fly to Texas and take the train ride back home to California!!

    • ROFL!!! Hey sis, I know what you mean. Considering the number of ancestors I had involved with this industry, I’ve never taken a train ride in my life. I think that I will rectify that issue next year!

  • Dee

    Oh Liv, this is a wonderful historic post, especially since with the postcard illustrations. Are you becoming an old postcard collector? If so, you might like using some of them in posts linked to Sepia Saturday…

    • Thanks so much Dee!

      When I think about the fabulous Sepia Saturday collections I’ve seen online, I can safely say that I won’t be joining their ranks because I just don’t have very many great photos to share (boy how I wish that wan’t the case)! No, I’ve just been fortunate enough to have just a few vintage items that I’ve been able to successfully identify, research, and blog about their significance to my family’s history.

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